Combine the water, pearl barley, olive oil, ground cumin and salt in a large saucepan.
Bring to the boil over a moderate heat then reduce to a simmer and cook for 30-35 minutes, stirring occasionally, until the grains of pearl barley are tender.
Stir in the milk and cook for a further 5 minutes, stirring frequently. Remove the saucepan from the heat and stir through the evaporated milk. Adjust the seasoning to taste before ladling into soup bowls.
Garnish with a pinch of ground cumin before serving.
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Freezing and defrosting guidelines
In order to enjoy optimum flavour and quality, frozen items are best used within 3 months of their freezing date. Always defrost and heat thoroughly before eating. For more tips on freezing and defrosting food, read our article Love Your Freezer.