Cracked wheat with tons of veggies

This dish is modeled after the excellent Vegetable Baath that my mom makes. Baath is nothing to do with bathing, but this is a rice dish, that has loads of vegetables that are finely chopped, sauteed with whole spices and spice powders. The cooked rice is then cooled and delicately hand-mixed with the spiced vegetables. My favourite accompaniment to this is a ripe banana pachchadi (raita), the recipe for which I must share with you once I manage to capture a picture of this. This darn thing is so delicious that waiting to take a pic is an ultimate test of resolve.

Here, I have not bothered to cook the veggies and wheat separately but cooked the wheat in a sort of stock where the vegetables have been half cooked. Next time, I intend to do it the way mom does it for the 'baath' and will update the results here.

The result of the dish below is a cross between an upma and a pulao, which could have been due to some confusion in my head. The dals, ginger and curry leaves are the seasoning that are done in case of upmas and the whole spices are from the pulao end of the spectrum. You could use either one or both of them.

3/4 cup cracked wheat, medium sized
1/2 tsp ghee / butter

5-6 cups of finely chopped vegetables
I used-
Fresh green peas
Green beans
Fenugreek greens

2 tsp olive oil
2 bay leaves
4-5 cloves
1-2 sticks of cinnamon
2 green cardamoms
1 tsp cumin seeds

1/2 tsp mustard seeds
1 tsp udad dal
1 tsp chana dal
1 tsp chopped green chillies
1/2 tsp finely grated ginger
1-2 dried red chillies, broken

1/4 tsp turmeric powder
1 tbsp sambhar powder
1 1/2 tsp salt


In a large wok, heat the ghee / butter and saute the cracked wheat for 3-4 minutes on medium flame till fragrant. Remove in a bowl. Cover with 3 cups of boiling hot water, cover and keep aside.

In the same wok, heat the olive oil and add the whole spices (bay leaves, cloves, cumin, cardamom). After 30 seconds, add the mustard seeds. Let them crackle, and follow it with the udad dal and chana dal. These need to be sauteed for 1 minute on low to medium flame to turn them golden brown.

Next, add the green chillies, ginger, curry leaves, red chillies. Stir them around for a minute or so, and transfer all the chopped veggies and greens into the wok. Add half the salt, sprinkle with water and cover with a tight fitting lid. Give it a stir every 2 minutes with more sprinkles of water. OR Place a thali (a dish with a rim) with one cup water in it to cover the wok and let the veggies cook for 6-8 minutes till almost tender.

At this point, tip the bowl with the cracked wheat in hot water, into the wok. Add the spice powders (turmeric powder, sambhar powder), remaining salt, stir well and cover until the cracked wheat is cooked till tender. This will take around 6-8 minutes depending on size of the grains. Adjust salt and spiciness. Fluff with a fork and remove into a serving bowl.

Serve hot with a bowl of chilled raita.
This is perfect when I don't want to fuss over making dinner. This one pot dish is nutritious, filling and tasty as well, and it is just right to send over to Meeta's Monthly Mingle : One dish dinners.

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Raaga said...

yummy :-) I tend to pressure cook everything :-)

A. Grace said...

wowza, that looks amazing! i love it when healthy foods are tasty and beautiful!

sowmya said...

nice healthy recipe..thanks for sharing..

Uma said...

Looks so yummy! On a healthy note, it is good too! Lovey Pic.

Vaishali said...

Looks delicious, Nandita. And it couldn't be any healthier!

Namratha said...

That looks gorgeous! Love the idea of cooking them together, I have a whole lot of cracked wheat sitting around.

Mansi Desai said...

that looks healthy and tasty Nandita!:) high in fiber and vitamins:)

Meeta said...

Gorgeous! We are far too alike Nandita - my better half I would say. I mean how else would you explain having the same likings in food, posting almost them same dish on the same day for the same event LOL!

Hugs to you and thank you for the great entry.

KayKat said...

Mmm ... cauliflower, spinach, fenugreek and more! This is a serious veggie explosion.

Love it :)

musical said...

Healthy, one pot meal! What better can one ask for :).

Srivalli said...

nandita...that looks great...looks like you have been busy not posting many?..

Revathi said...

Now that is really a tonne of veggies...

I wish someone just passover a bowl of that !!

Anjali said...

Farm fresh ..yum.

sandhya said...

Nice recipe... i never cooked cracked wheat wih vegetables... thanks for sharing it..

desigirl said...

Ok, dumb q alert! Is this cracked wheat same as bulghur wheat? I have that as well as something we call sambha godhumai (generally used to make upma). Which one do i use? Neither? either? Please help!

Nandita said...

DG, sorry, i should have been more can use the sambha godhumai or its also called Bansi ravai - or else use cracked wheat itself or bulghar. Anything would be fine. Just take care to vary the cooking time accordingly.

desigirl said...

Oh thanks for the clarification, Nandita! I tried it with bulghur whear and it tasted out of the world. I want to try it next time with the samba godhumai and see the difference.

I found this recipe extremely useful as it could be made so quickly - esp since I used frozen veg from my freezer! I have a maternal fam history of diabetes and am keen to learn how to control / avoid it. SO thank you and pls keep 'em coming!!

desigirl said...

Can I just say - this recipe has become our staple in less than a fortnight! I even made this for a quick dinner when the hubby's cousins dropped in unexpectedly for dinner and it was a massive hit. the healthy aspect of it was praised high and low and even my MOTHER in LAW (has to be a record) has requested it!! howzzat?

Deee said...

Hey i loved your blog..and this is one of my all time fav make it more wholesome u can even add moongdal/sprouted moong..and pressure cook once..

PreeOccupied said...

Isn't this the most nutritious breakfast or brunch you can have any time of the year? My Mum-in-law makes this and serves it with boiled eggs, I used to love the dalia-veggie breakfast. Your recipe of course is more interesting with all those lentils added to it. Thanks for sharing.

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