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What is kritharaki?

Kritharaki” (aka orzo) is a type of pasta made from durum wheat semolina shaped like barley grain. Its name, “Kritharaki”, means “small barley” in Greek. It is a traditional type of pasta, 
widely consumed in Greece. It is eaten at home, as part of a classic meal, but it is also considered a gourmet dish, in fine restaurants. As a typical Greek dish, it can be a main dish, accompanied by salad or yoghurt. It can also be the ideal accompaniment to any meat dish. It requires very few ingredients and can be prepared in a very short period of time.

Kritharaki is unique for its shape, its rich taste and granulated texture. Whether you cook it in the pot or in the oven, it retains its shape and texture.

Kritharaki is ideal for authentic dishes, such as traditional beef casserole with red sauce or Mediterranean salads. It is perfect with tomato sauce or as part of any baked dish. It is excellent in winter soups, as a base for a summer salad or as a rice substitute in risotto.
It can also be cooked in the same pan as the sauce on the stovetop, but it can also be added to a dish with chicken, beef or lamb.

Every mouthful is a reminder of how a few simple ingredients and a simple cooking technique can give such a wonderful taste to a dish! Kritharaki in tomato sauce is a perfect recipe for vegans to enjoy!

With the creation of this site, we invite you to discover the magic of this special pasta and different techniques to cook it!

One of the easiest and widespread techniques is Kritharoto!


What is kritharoto?

Kritharoto is based on kritharaki! But it is cooked with a different technique. It is the classic Italian risotto technique with which kritharaki is cooked in the pan!  
What is the secret of its success?

The addition of the liquids is the biggest secret of its success. The liquids must be added slowly to the pan.

So, let's start with the basics.
Here, you will find chef Dina Nicolaou's basic technique for a very simple, but honeyed kritharoto, without adding any other ingredients!

All you have to do is try it and share your experience with us!

  1. Heat 2 tablespoons of butter and 1 tablespoon of olive oil in a warm (not hot) frying pan. Sprinkle in the spices (freshly ground pepper, granulated paprika, fennel seeds, cumin, etc.) and let them warm up and release their flavours.

  2. Add 1 chopped onion and salt (essential) to remove the moisture and prevent the onion from burning. Fry for 3 minutes and add 1 chopped clove of garlic.

  3. Add 400 g of HELIOS barley and cook for 2-3 minutes, stirring constantly.

  4. Add 100 ml of wine, allowing the alcohol to evaporate and the barley to “infuse” the flavours.

  5. Season with salt and pepper and add 1,200 ml of hot chicken stock in small doses (risotto technique), waiting for the first dose to be absorbed, before adding the next one. This will take about 20-25 minutes.

  6. Finally, add 1-2 tablespoons of butter and 2 tablespoons of grated parmesan or gruyère, stir until kritharaki gets thick and serve immediately.

Discover here the delicious recipes by
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