Friday, April 9, 2021


Talbina is a barley porridge. The first time I heard about it was in Rafeedha's blog, the big sweet tooth. Barley is a very healthy grain and so this is a good recipe to have in hand. This is a good and filling dish to have during suhoor, before starting your fast. Can make a small batch like mine and store in fridge and have it for suhoor or even after Tharaaveeh prayers.
I heard one of the scholars of Yageen Institute mention this talbina dish in one of the lectures last year and looked it up, you can click here to have a listen.  It is narrated by Aisha, one of the beloved wives of our prophet,  the " that whenever one of her relatives died, the women assembled and then dispersed (returned to their houses) except her relatives and close friends. She would order that a pot of Talbina be cooked. Then Tharid (a dish prepared from meat and bread) would be prepared and the Talbina would be poured on it. `Aisha would say (to the women),"Eat of it, for I heard Allah's Messenger (ﷺ) saying, 'The Talbina soothes the heart of the patient and relieves him from some of his sadness.'   (Sahih Bukhari 5417, book 70, hadith 45)

I tried Rafeedha's version and tried to grind the barley. Never am I ever going to try and grind barley again because the electric grinder was so loud and it took so much time, and half of the grains didn't grind well.  And I am not the most patient person when it comes to these kind of things especially one that requires a loud noise!. The result was alright, half the barley didnt break down and my grinder was more in danger of breaking than the barley itself.

So I tried searching and saw that most people had used whole barley in their Talbina , some had them served with chopped nuts like pistachios. So I decided to try and make a small batch , knowing fully well that the boys will have to be coaxed into eating it and it would be just me and hubby eating it. But surprisingly the little one actually loved it. 

So I prepared this recipe after referring to a recipe I found on Pinterest.


The barley needs to be soaked in water overnight. Once soaked overnight it becomes softer and easier to cook.

Now add barley into milk and bring it to a boil and then simmer. Be careful as milk tends to overflow when boiled so keep an eye on it and stirring often, so the milk doesnt burn at the bottom. Let this simmer, on low heat,  for about  40 minutes, then add sugar or honey and 1/4 tsp of freshly ground cardamom powder and 1/4 tsp of freshly ground cinnamon powder. You can use store-bought but it tends to have less flavor so use a little more of the spice if using store-bought ones.

Let it simmer for another 30 minutes. By then the mixture will be getting thicker. You can finish off with a little rose water if you like.  Then switch off.

While still warm, pour into a serving dish, top with finely sliced almonds and chopped dates and serve drizzled with some honey. ( I don't think they served it like that during the old days but I quite liked adding these and found it gave more flavor). 

You can serve this warm or cold. Stores well in the fridge for a couple of days, although it does tend to dry out so best to enjoy it soon.

Yield: 2


prep time: over night soaking  cook time: 1 h 30mins Total time: 1h 30 minutes 


  • 50g (1/4 cup) pearl barley
  • 3 cups milk  
  • 3 tbsp sugar or honey to taste
  • 1/2 tsp cinnamon and cardamon mix ( ground)
  • Chopped dates, and almonds
  • extra honey


How to cook Talbina

  1. Wash the barley,  place in a bowl and cover with water and leave to soak overnight.
  2. Drain the water the next day and give a rinse and place the barley in a saucepan. 
  3. Pour into milk and place on stovetop over medium heat and bring to a boil. Watch the milk as it tends to rise and overflow when it starts to boil, so bring  the heat down and let the milk simmer when the milk starts to boil.
  4. Simmer for about 30 minutes, stirring occasionally, the milk will start to reduce and when the barley is almost cooked, add the sugar to taste or honey. You can skip the sugar altogether and use honey later when serving. 
  5. If using sugar/honey, stir it in and also cinnamon and cardamon mixture and let it simmer another  15 minutes, stirring occasionally, don't let it thicken too much.
  6.  Once the barley is cooked, it has a slight chewy texture,  switch off pour into a heatproof serving bowl and let it cool.  
  7. To serve, add some chopped dates and some sliced up almonds and a drizzle of  honey and enjoy warm or even cold. Will keep in the fridge for 2-3 days. 
Created using The Recipes Generator


  1. Barley has a nutty taste that I really enjoy. The porridge looks comforting and very tasty...a lovely breakfast to wake up to, Nammi.

  2. Mi piace molto il porrige, da provare, grazie!

  3. Looks delicious and filling. Barley is very healthy, need to cook more often. Thanks for sharing this recipe.


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