WBB#6 Twisted Dalia?


Some like porridge. Some will not touch it with a ten-foot-pole. My family falls in the latter category. But dalia* is a healthy way to include fibre and when made into a porridge with milk can keep you going well till lunchtime.

But even I cannot have porridge more than once in a couple of weeks. And, so the packet of dalia lay woefully in the larder with no takers. Being the true Indian that I am, I am loathe to dump food that is not either totally infested or rotting.

Necessity is the mother of invention, they say. And this is the only dish I have ever created. Any resemblance to any other dish is unintentional and purely coincidental 🙂 . Mostly I adapt recipes to suit what is available, or change a few proportion to suit my inclination, but this is something I put together all on my own, though I admit it has been inspired by couscous.

I had couscous once, a long time ago, when my sister prepared it in our university apartment. Couscous, which is partially cooked wheat that has been coarsely ground, requires only soaking in hot water to serve. Dalia, on the other hand, needs soaking and pan-cooking. But, the textures are very similar.

With the couscous in mind and that packet of dalia at hand I got an inspiration a couple of years ago. Today dalia is a happy breakfast at our table on many Sunday mornings. Filled with the goodness of veges and fibre, and looow in fat, this (I’m gonna call it Sunday Dalia Twist!) is amongst super-healthy-eating husband’s favorite breakfasts! Porridge? That’s history.

Maybe I should call it Dalia Ravivar! Ice cream that is even better is a SundaeDalia that is nothing like porridge is Ravivar! (Lame? You suggest a name…really!)


wbbSince this was going to be the entry for Nandita’s WBB#6, I worked a little bit on the presentation as well. Something I tend to overlook in my hurry to get the food to hungry people. So I reserved some chopped coriander for the garnish, cut some hot red peppers on the bias (what kind of a Kylie Kwong fan would I be if I cut them any other way!), and for the final flourish, sprinkled some toasted sesame seeds on top. The toasted sesame was a worthy garnish.

I present to you the nutritious


Dalia Ravivar

1 1/2 C dalia (cracked whole wheat)
1 C diced cucumber
1 C diced tomatoes
1 C diced green bell pepper
1 medium onion, chopped
1 hot green chilli pepper, chopped fine
2 t oil
for garnish: 1 T toasted sesame seeds, 1
thinly sliced (on the bias) hot red chilli pepper, and chopped cilantro

(You may use any combination of vegetables; this is what I had this morning. I also like to use finely shredded cabbage, green beans, carrots, coloured bell peppers, spring onions…)

Soak the dalia in enough water to just cover it. Let it soak for about an hour. The water will be absorbed and you will have a dryish dalia. If there is additional water, drain and reserve.

Heat the oil just below smoking hot. Add the onions and stir them around, on medium heat, till transparent. Add the soaked dalia and the salt. Cover and cook for about 5-8 minutes, stirring every few minutes. As the dalia cooks, the colour will start changing to a more translucent. Add the tomatoes and the green chilli pepper (and vegetables such as beans and cabbage, that may need some cooking), mix well, the reserved liquid (or some water) and cover for another 5 min or so. The dalia should be almost cooked by now. Toss in the other vegetables (cucumber and bell pepper), mix well and take off heat. Cover the pot and let rest for another 10 min.

Garnish with sliced red chillies and chopped cilantro. Sprinkle the toasted sesame seeds on top and serve.

I serve the dalia by itself. The wholesome taste needs no pickle pick-up. Next time I am going to try soaking the dalia in some buttermilk. I think that will add a subtle-creamy-sour note.

This nutritious breakfast is quite quick for even a weekday breakfast (I made it today, a Monday morning!). Just soak the dalia as you groggily put the tea on, and get dressed when you leave it to sit! Vege preparation can take a few minutes…but if you do it when the dalia is cooking in its steam…then definitely under 30 min!

* In North Indian the word Dalia is used for both cracked wheat as well as the porridge that is prepared with it. In Southern India, dalia is roasted chickpea (known as bhuna chana in the North) that is used in namkeen mixes and also in some chutneys.

Tags: breakfast, cracked wheat, dalia, low fat


Published by Anita

A self professed urban ecologist!

17 thoughts on “WBB#6 Twisted Dalia?

  1. Same as lhapshi (in Marathi)?

    Same as bulghur / burghul (Mediterranean/Middle East)?

    Apparently there is a difference between blughur and cracked wheat. Never knew that! Amazing what a post can lead to, eh?!

    Lhapshi is the slimey stuff made with dalia.  Stay away from that! 🙂

  2. Hi Anita,

    This looks and sounds too good. Surely will try this. Although I am not a dalia fan..never know, this dish might make me one..:))


    Dilip loved it!  You might too! 

  3. My mom makes something similar to this…we uncreatively call it goduma(wheat in telugu) rava upma. I used to hate the usual upma…but this one used to be and still is a favorite. Havent tried it out in my kitchen though..thanks for the reminder !!

  4. What a super twist Anita! I just checked ur blog a few hrs ago in the evening to check out the homemade pizza recipe as I made one now in my mom’s place. It suddenly turned cool in the evening and the dough didn’t rise to satisfaction and the same thing translated to the end result…

    Anyway, i love dalia, just last night, Sunday night I made dalia khichdi with split moong dal and some veggies to end the weekend on a LIGHT note, and now you’ve presented this for brekky…i’ll share my dinner recipe soon

    Thanks for participating, I very glad you made it

  5. Love Dalia, but it turns slimy if added more water “accidentally”:)) Your’s looks great and spicy!!OOO!!VEE!! 😀
    I made mixed Veg Upma with southern grits yesterday,it’s exactly tastes like crushed wheat dalia.YUM!!

    And I thought I was being original! Other great cooks seem to have had similar ideas! 🙂

  6. Hi Anita….. my first time here and I must say I liked all your recipes and your posts on flowers is awesome….. I do a lot of oil painting out here, so you mind if I borrow some of your pictures for painting???

    Like Nandita, I also make khichdi with split moong dal and some veggies and its tastes awesome….. I also liked your idea of breakfast with dalia…. will try it out soon. 🙂

    Hi Rooma.  You may use some pictures.  It’ll be nice if you could inform me when doing so and give credit for the picture!  There is another painter friend who will be using some of them.

  7. Hey i learnt a new way for cooking dalia. We dry roast the dalia and then cook it in hot water(usual stuff). The soaking in buttermilk might add a new taste. will try it out.

  8. This looks really good, especially since I love whole grains. I have never heard the name, “dalia,” so I’m wondering if it would be called cracked wheat in a health food store. Do you know if it has another western name, or is it only available in Indian markets?

    Hi Julie: it is plain old cracked wheat!  I’ve used the term at a couple of places in the post.  So go ahead and try this variation.

  9. ahh enlightenment..i thought couscous was the same as dalia :D..eh well…and there are similarities to my recipe too..i hereby accuse you of stealing my recipe through..ahem..telepathy 😉 😀

    Hi Disha. Great minds think alike?

  10. Hi Anita-
    There is a difference between bulghur and cracked wheat in that bulghur is partially cooked and then dried again…thus it can just be soaked in hot water as your recipe says…cracked wheat takes 30 min or so to cook and be soft enough to eat otherwise. couscous is actually a pasta that is golden in colour and made from semolina/sooji and is usually steam-cooked like rice in pilaf/pilav/pulao/biryanis…there are bulghur pilafs as well BTW…(i’ll send you a fond recipe of mine from turkey) This dish of your creation looks great!

    Couscous is a pasta!
    Do send your fav recipe – I’ll have to use either cracked wheat or rice though!! Unless, I let myself buy the steeply priced stuff at he INA Market!

  11. Hi this looks great.. I was wondering if i use just a dab of oil, green pepper,onions, and a cup of dalia.. How many calories would that be? Approx?

Leave a Reply

Fill in your details below or click an icon to log in:

WordPress.com Logo

You are commenting using your WordPress.com account. Log Out /  Change )

Twitter picture

You are commenting using your Twitter account. Log Out /  Change )

Facebook photo

You are commenting using your Facebook account. Log Out /  Change )

Connecting to %s