Talbinah (also spelt talbeena, talbina, talbeenah and probably some other variation that I’ve forgotten) is the Muslim word for barley porridge. It is a delicious alternative to oatmeal porridge, and as we currently grow barley but not oats, I’ve been experimenting with it this winter.


  • 3 tbsp barley flour
  • 1 pint milk
  • 1 tsp honey
  • Brown sugar, nuts, dried fruit, stewed apple, etc, to finish as preferred

Place the barley in a small pan, and add a splash of milk, just enough to make a paste. Turn on the heat, then add a splash more. Make sure that each splash of milk is thoroughly mixed before adding the next. After a few rounds of this, you can start adding larger splashes of milk, until all of the milk is incorporated.


Stir continuously while the porridge thickens. In my experience, the barley flour thickens quicker than oatmeal does, so requires a little more attention. When it’s nearly thickened, add the teaspoon of honey.

Pour into two bowls and top with dried fruit, dark brown sugar, or anything else you like!

Experiment with how thick or thin to make it, with milk or water, as you prefer it.

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