This is a soothing winter warmer to lull you to sleep. Flavouring milk with barley is a Russian idea, and it thickens the milk into a silken cream and imparts a delicate barley flavour. Adding nutmeg and cardamom gives a wonderful scented quality to the silky milk. Nutmeg is said to have a sedative effect, and so does warm milk, so this should send you straight off to sleep. You can cool the leftovers, pop it in the fridge and heat it up the next day.
230g pearl barley
1 litre of milk
6 cardamom pods, crushed
Zest of ½ an orange
¼ nutmeg, grated
2 tbsp honey
1. Put the pearl barley, milk, cardamom and a little orange zest into a pan and grate in the nutmeg. Bring to the boil and simmer for 30 minutes.
2. Pour the mixture through a sieve over a bowl. Season the milk with honey to taste. If you don't want to throw the barley away, you can mix it with yoghurt, fruit and seeds and have it for breakfast the next day.