Friday, May 10, 2013

Cracked Wheat Pilaf/Dalia Upma

Cracked wheat is basically whole raw wheat kernels that have been crushed into smaller pieces. Cracked wheat and bulgur look very similar, however, they are different, in that the latter cooks much faster, because it is already pre-cooked. We call cracked wheat dalia or broken wheat back in India. The popular dishes they make are dalia khichdi, dalia upma, and also dalia kheer (sweet version- which is yum!). And of course, since this is whole grain we are talking about, this stuff is loaded with nutrients, is diabetic-friendly, good for the heart, etc.

Cracked Wheat/Broken Wheat/Dalia

Here's how I make cracked wheat pilaf, or dalia upma:


1. 2 cups of cracked wheat

2. Veggies- I like to use finely chopped onion, some green chilies, maybe a potato, carrots, bell pepper, and peas. Since I like tomatoes, I add a tomato as well

3. Peanuts- about a handful- I just like the crunch factor

4. A few teaspoons of oil

5. Mustard seeds, salt, chili powder (optional), a pinch of turmeric powder

6. Water (lots of it, to cook the cracked wheat)

7. Curry leaves- if I want a South Indian twist to the dish, just for the fragrance (available at the Indian Store)

Curry Leaves

1. I first toast/dry roast the cracked wheat. Just to get the nutty flavor going. And then set it aside.

2. Meanwhile I get the pan/pot going, add a few teaspoons of oil, heat, fry the peanuts, temper some mustard seeds, followed by a pinch of turmeric powder, and then I throw in the chopped onion+green chilies+curry leaves, and fry for about 5-7 minutes. I then add the other veggies. At this point, I salt it, and add some red chili powder.

Note: I sometimes add "vaangi bhath" powder, for extra flair. For those of you who may not be familiar with this, "vaangi bhath" powder is a special spice blend, that is used in South Indian cooking.

3. I then add the toasted cracked wheat into this, and mix it all. Meanwhile, on the other burner, I have a pot of water boiling. This water will be used to cook the whole pilaf/upma.

Cracked wheat+veggies
4. After about 5-7 minutes of frying everything together, I add the hot boiling water into the mixture of cracked wheat and veggies. (Be careful here, the contents of the pan/pot tend to splatter a little bit-- so watch out!) I add water so as to cover the entire mixture- so say, about an inch higher than the mixture.

Ready to cook....
 5. I bring this to a boil, and then cover it with a lid, and simmer it. It takes a good 30 minutes for the cracked wheat to really cook. After about 20 minutes, I add peas, and then let it all simmer again. Another 10 minutes, and I remove the lid, and this is usually what I see:

Note: I taste it (of course!), and if I think that the grain needs to be more tender, I just add some more of that hot water, give it a quick mix, cover, and simmer for another 5 to 10 minutes.

Cracked wheat pilaf or Dalia Upma is ready to be enjoyed! Super delicious, and super healthy! I like to spoon in a little bit of ghee or clarified butter on top--- mm mmm! ;)

Dalia Upma/Cracked Wheat pilaf


adibud34 said...

You could even use Bulgur Wheat or Quinoa to make this upma! Same deal, dawg!

spartan said...

Now we are talking. After that gatte-ya (get it? ) sabji!
We used to make this all the time in desh. The pic looks good! Here is how I have it for breakfast. Cook the daliya plain. Add soy milk and a few strands of saffron, mix well, top with walnut pieces and sliced almonds, kishmish or date pieces and eat the most yummy breakfast cereal ever! You can skip kishmish/dates if you add vanilla flavored soy milk 'cos that will sweeten it a bit.

Aparna Heroor said...

@adibud34 that's right, dawg! ;) I like both quinoa & bulgur wheat. Good stuff!

@spartan heh heh! knew you would appreciate this more than the poo-curry! ;) And WOW! that breakfast recipe sounds most delicious!