July 21, 2009

Mexican Jobs Tears

Today's exotic ingredient is job's tears. This grain comes from a tropical Asian grass. In looks similar to barley --in fact it is often called Chinese barley-- but it is not very closely related to barley. Because barley contains gluten, my wife can't eat it, but she can eat job's tears.

The grain can be substituted for barley quite readily, but it does have a unique, earthy taste that some may not like. Like quinoa, it is best to cover up the taste with accompanying ingredients.

For this recipe, we pair the job's tears taste with Mexican flavors. This is another pressure cooker recipe that takes about 25 minutes to cook. You can make this in a standard pot, but allow for 60 minutes of cooking time.

Mexican Jobs Tears


1½ c job's tears
1 T olive oil
2½ t cumin seeds
1 onion, coarsely chopped
3 garlic cloves, minced
1 red bell pepper, chopped
2 ribs celery, thinly sliced
¼ t crushed red pepper flakes
2 t dried oregano
1 lb tomatoes, pureed
½ t salt
¼ c parsley


1. Rinse the job's tears well and drain.

2. Place the grains in the pressure cooker and roast over high heat for 3-5 minutes (the grains won't darken much, but your pot will. It will wash off). Place grains in a bowl.

3. Heat the oil in the cooker and saute the cumin seeds for just a few seconds. Add the onion, garlic, red pepper, celery, red pepper flakes, and oregano. Saute for 2 minutes, stirring frequently.

4. Top off the tomato puree until it is 3½ cups. Add this to the cooker and bring to a boil.

5. Stir in the job's tears and salt.

6, Lock the lid and bring to high pressure. Maintain high pressure for 16 minutes, then let the pressure reduce naturally for 10 minutes.

7. Stir in the parsley.

1 comment:

  1. I love mexican! Nice side dish or main dish..thank you!