Best-comfort-food -talbina

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Looking For The Best Comfort Food For Sadness or Depression? Have Talbina, The Sunnah Way

Recipe of talbina – How to make it.  

Talbina  has got to be the most forgotten comfort food yet it is the most simple to make. It consists of only two main ingredients and takes only 5-10 minutes to prepare.

Talbina - Best Comfort Food For Sadness or Depression The Sunnah Way

Talbina is actually  a simple nourishing barley broth, made from two spoonfuls  of  barley flour  mix with milk or water, cooked over low fire.

It is called talbina because it resembles milk (laban) in its color and consistency.

I first heard of talbina (barley porridge) last Ramadhan 1435.

One of the sisters in our friendly support group had shared the virtues of reviving a sunnah and one of it is by consuming talbina as a means to dispel sorrow and sadness.

Well I have always love just any kind of broth and I love barley too. So the thought of barley broth, soothing.. I just had to try making it.

Despite it being simple to prepare I only had success in preparing it by the third attempt.

It burned easily so you really have to keep your fire real low. I kept my stove fire as low as the  stove allows.

Barley Water

During my growing up days, mom used to prepare barley water for our late afternoon tea by boiling whole barley grains. She would  add in screwpine leaves for added  essence  and fragrance while simmering it gently over  low fire.

Mom used to boil it in a pressure cooker.  That way, it keeps the nutrient, preserving the all needed barley benefits.

It also helps to reduce the cooking time of the barley

My favorite way to have it, is to scoop it into a big bowl, top it with sweetened condensed  milk  and a  pinch of salt.

It tastes  heavenly sweet and creamy.

Satisfying and fulfilling for a growing up kid with an apetite.  Today, I still love the taste of barley water served this way.

Talbina, The Sunnah Comfort Food to Overcome Sadness or Depression

At that time, I had no idea that talbina was one of the best comfort food for sadness or depression .

Had I known about it,  I would have had it served to me daily,  to heIp overcome my depression that I was going through then.

Drinking talbina as an effort to remove sorrow, has been  a tradition practiced long since our messenger of Allah’s ( peace and Allah’s blessings be upon him) times.

So please allow me to share this little piece of long forgotten sunnah that might help to alleviate your pain and sorrow that you’re going through and may it bring comfort to us all.

I have written the recipe How to prepare talbina in step by step, you can easily follow it here.

Talbina Benefits

Talbina has been mentioned in many narrations of the messenger of Allah (peace and Allah’s blessings be upon him) each pointing exclusively of talbina, as a comfort food towards relieving sorrow and a relaxation for the heart of the sick person, such as

Talbina - The best comfort food for sadness and depression the sunnah way

The narration of Aisha (May Allah be pleased with her ) that when someone from her relatives died, the women would gather for that (reason) then they would disperse except her family, she would order an earthenware pot of talbina be cooked, then thareed (a dish made form meat and bread) would be made and the talbina poured over it. Then she Aisha (May Allah be pleased with her) would say (to the women),

Eat from it for indeed I heard the messenger of Allah (peace and Allah’s blessings be upon him) say: “Talbina is a relaxation for the heart of the sick person and it removes some of the sorrow”

[Bukhari 479/9, Book of Food, Chapter of Talbeenah

Aishah (may Allah be pleased with her) also said: the messenger of Allah (peace and Allah’s blessings be upon him )said:, You must have what you find unpleasant but beneficial: the talbina. She further said –

whenever one of the family of the messenger of Allah (peace and Allah’s blessings be upon him ) was troubled with sickness, the pot never left the fire until he reached one of two extremes”

Ibn Majah #3446]

Ibn Qayyim explained this means  until he or she recovered or died.

Now because of this newly founded sunnah, I got all excited because it contributed towards prophetic medicine.

So I have made an extra attempt to ensure that I have enough stock of barley grain in my freezer.

Yes (that’s how I store mine) I kept it  an airtight container then placed it in the  freezer.

That way it will keep fresh longer and keep rice weevil at bay.

I live in a  very warm and humid  country , an ideal climate for rice weevil to breed and I am certainly no fan of weevil.. Ergghhh

There are several ways to prepare talbina but the most basic and simple way to prepare it is mixing barley flour with milk

Barley flour benefits

Ibn al-Qayyim said:

If you want to know the virtue of talbina, then think of the virtue of barley water, for it is barley water for them. It is a soup that is made from barley flour with bran.

The difference between it and barley water is that the latter is made from whole grains, whereas talbina is made from flour, which is more beneficial as the properties of the barley are released through grinding.

You may get your barley flour from here

It has been  the common practice of the people then to drink barley water made from flour rather than whole grains, which is more nourishing and effective in  overcoming sadness and  to regain strength.

Barley Water

Where I used to live, barley water is the local favorites of the young and old generation alikes.

Step into any drinks stalls scattered around the neighborhood and request a glass of barley water, served warm or chill.

Squeeze some lemon juice into it as an added zest.

It is also available in a can but of course nothing beats the goodness of a freshly homemade lemon barley drink.

In sha Allah I will be writing down the recipe for making homemade lemon barley drink as soon as time allows.

So do come back and check up on me.

It is my hope that this post provides you with another option of comfort food and may it helps to ease your sorrow.

If you have tried consuming talbina and it has benefited you, please do leave a comment here, or if you are like me, an introvert who would rather go on one  on one, then email me, I‘d love to hear from you.

Let’s connect!

~Su Zu

Disclaimer :

  • Though barley is well tolerated, it is best to follow with caution
  • Gluten allergy ––barley should be avoided by people with celiac disease and gluten intolerance.
  • Type two Diabetics who take drugs to lower blood sugar may need to exercise some caution until the proper dosage is established.
While I tried to share and provide with the relevant quoted narrations from the messenger of Allah (peace be upon him) I am by no means a scholar. So If you noticed of any error or weak narrations do please alert me, I would be most willing to learn and rectify the above post to make it right. And Allah knows best
Talbina - the sunnah comfort food
Talbina - Sunnah Comfort Food


Aminat Odunewu-Seese · 26th February 2018 at 6:06 pm

SubhanAllah. Learn something new everyday! I’ve never heard of this Sunnah.

    Su Zu · 27th February 2018 at 6:00 pm

    Me neither, never heard of it ,not until that sister shared it with us, may Allah bless her

Afreen Zia · 27th February 2018 at 1:00 am

Nice post.Now I have learned so much about barley.I like to drink lemon barley but I had always made it with ready made drink.I would like to get your recipe.

Rand El Jarrah · 27th February 2018 at 2:49 am

I never knew that Subhanallah! You learn something new everyday. I should really give it a try for I have been really tired and down lately with all the demands of motherhood…

NOOR · 27th February 2018 at 4:37 pm

Great to bump on this article. Will surely try this recipe.

    Su Zu · 27th February 2018 at 5:58 pm

    Try it sister, add some crushed nuts and dates into it, taste great

Fozia S · 27th February 2018 at 5:26 pm

Oh never heard of this before. It does sound like a good comfort food. Might have to give it a try!

Ayeina · 27th February 2018 at 6:35 pm

SubhanAllah! Learned something new today! JazakilAllahu Khayr for sharing this with us and yes I’m waiting for your homemade lemon barley recipe. 🙂

Madhiya · 3rd March 2018 at 8:13 pm

JazakAllah Khayr for sharing this! This sounds so good! A nourishing comfort food that helps with depression? Sounds like a win win to me! ^_^

Farhana · 4th March 2018 at 8:27 am

This is very informative, thank you for sharing it.

Afra · 5th March 2018 at 2:09 am

SubhanAllah my sister was making this the other day and I was like “what is talbina”! I can’t wait to try this. I have some barley for soup I wonder if I can turn it into a flour by blending it…

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