Spicy and savoury, this salad will really bring pizzazz to any meal, but it can easily be turned into a main meal with the addition of chick peas, prunes or dried apricots, and some crumbled goat cheese.
Peel and chop the garlic cloves, set aside.
Pick the mint leaves from the stalk, and chop.
Chop the fresh coriander, stalks and all. Set aside along with the mint.
Top and tail the carrots, and peel. Cut into 1cm rounds, place in a saucepan with a pinch of salt, and cover with cold water. add half the cumin and coriander seeds to the pan.
Use a vegetable peeler to remove the zest of the lemon, and add to the carrots. Bring up to a boil, and leave to simmer until the carrots are cooked through and soft, about 8-10 minutes. Drain and set aside, but keep the cooking water. Discard the lemon peel.
Bring the carrot water back to a boil, and cook the barley at a gentle simmer for 15 minutes. They barley will still be firm, but if left to cool down in the cooking water, the grains will soften further.
On a medium heat, warm the olive oil in a frying pan. Toast the remaining cumin and coriander seeds, turmeric, black pepper, and chopped garlic, until the garlic is just beginning to turn golden.
The toasted spices can be ground, if you prefer not biting into whole coriander seeds. Add the carrots to the pan and heat through.
Add the juice of a lemon, taste for seasoning, and toss through the chopped herbs.
This salad can be served hot from the stove or at room temperature.
«Carrots are lovely any way you eat them, however, when cooked until soft, they are not only beautifully buttery, their vitamin A content is more readily absorbed by our bodies.»