Cooking this lent season: Using Whole grain Farro

I am born in a Syrian Christian family in Kerala in the southern coast of India.. I have great memories of my family observing the lent and preparing special food during the season. My grandmother used to not even have any milk products, eggs, or seafood ,but strictly vegetarian. But here in the US during the lent season,  I am observing lent and preparing  many traditional vegetarian meals. 

I can think of so many different varieties of vegetarian and legume preparations during this season.  Here are a few recipes for everyone to try for "meatless Mondays" or "meatless Fridays" in the Western world.

The recipe we are sharing today is the "Farro Tahiri," a fun and traditional one pot meal, which includes wholesome ingredients and flavorful spices and herbs.  In this recipe, we have featured an ancient grain,  Farro,  which is high in protein and filled with minerals and fiber. This product is available locally at the  The Meat House, a local grocer in Summit, NJ. We have many more recipes for this lent season in our recipe collection including a Classic Dal recipe. Hope you enjoy making them.


Recipe courtesy of Indian Cuisine Diabetes Cookbook and the American Diabetes Association.

farro tahiri

Culinary History:

Farro, is a group of ancient whole grains comprised of 3 ancient wheat types. This ancient grain is sourced from Italy and is known for its complex nutty taste and it's similar appearance to brown rice grains. Because farro is so easily digested and so low in gluten, farro can often be eaten by people who are gluten intolerant. 

SERVES: 6 - SERVING: 3 oz 


2 cup farro, rinsed and drained
2 cups vegetable broth, low-sodium
2 cups warm water
1 tsp salt

(Veggies for the Tahiri)
2 pounds sweet potato (about 2), peeled and cut into ½-inch cubes
½  tsp salt
1 tsp sunflower oil
1 head of cauliflower, 2 cups chopped cauliflower florets into pea size
2 medium carrots,  ½ cup chopped diced ¼ inch cubes
12 french beans, ⅓ cup chopped into ½ inch sized
½ cup green peas, fresh or frozen

(Whole Spice masala)
3 cloves
3 whole green cardamoms
1 small cinnamon stick

(For the Masala)
1 tbsp sunflower oil
2 red onions, sliced thin, about 1 cup
1 tsp salt
2 medium sized tomatoes, diced, about ½ cup
1 tbsp ginger-garlic paste
1 green chili, seeds removed slit into half
 2 tsp Keralan Curry Spice Blend

(For Garnish)
1 tbsp finely chopped mint leaves
3 tbsp finely chopped cilantro leaves
½ tbsp lemon juice


To roast the sweet potato:

  1. Preheat an oven to 375 degrees and position an oven rack in the center. 
  2. In a large bowl, combine 1 tsp oil, and salt with sweet potato, toss until well combined. 
  3. Transfer the mixture onto a rimmed baking sheet, spreading evenly. 
  4. Place the baking sheet into the oven to roast, stirring every 15 minutes, until fork tender, about 30 minutes. 

To Make the Tahiri:

  1. Preheat heat a dutch oven, medium high heat,  add 1tbsp of oil 
  2. Add the whole masala and sauté till the spices are fragrant for about 2 minutes
  3. Now add the sliced onions, and add  the 1 tbsp of salt and sauté until the onion become golden
  4. Reduce the heat to medium
  5. Now add the ginger garlic paste and sauté for about 2 minutes
  6. Now add the chopped tomatoes and and sauté for another 3 minutes
  7. Now add the spices and the chili and sauté for another minute
  8. Now add the rinsed farro and the salt and sauté for another minute.
  9. Now add the water + vegetable stalk cook on medium high and once the liquid boil close the lid and seal it with an aluminum foil and cook on low heat for another 30 minutes
  10. Take the lid off and add the roasted sweet potato, cilantro and mint and the lemon juice and fluff the faro

Cooks notes:

If the farro is not cooked, close the lid and turn off the heat and keep it for another two minute.