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A bowl of Talbina
Place of originArabian Peninsula
Region or stateMiddle East
Serving temperatureHot
Main ingredientsMilk, barley and honey

Talbina is a porridge made from barley flour, formed by adding milk and honey to the dried barley powder. The name comes from the Arabic word laban meaning milk, because of its resemblance to milk, as it is soft and white.[1]


Barley is a good source of insoluble and soluble dietary fiber. The soluble fiber portion contains the richest source of beta-glucans compared to any other grain; these can aid immune function. Barley also contains B vitamins, iron, magnesium, zinc, phosphorus, and copper, and is one of the richest sources of chromium, which is important in maintaining blood glucose levels. Barley is also rich in antioxidants and contains a high concentration of tocols and tocotrienols, oils that help reduce the risk of cancer and heart disease.[citation needed] Barley has been cited as a possible food to increase tryptophan, and thus serotonin in the body.[2]

Cultural significance[edit]

Ibn Sina, in his 11th century work The Canon of Medicine, wrote of the healing effects of barley water, soup and broth for fevers.[3] Additionally, barley can be roasted and turned into roasted barley tea, a popular Asian drink.

See also[edit]


  1. ^ "Definition of the words "Talbina" and "laban" in Lisan'ul Arab dictionary". Almaany.
  2. ^ "Serotonin: Function, uses, SSRIs, and sources". 11 November 2020.
  3. ^ Scully, Terence; Dumville, DN (1997). The art of cookery in the Middle Ages. Boydell Press. pp. 187–88. ISBN 0-85115-430-1.

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