This Indian-inspired cracked wheat dish features local vegetables, incorporated into a nutty, toasted cracked wheat. Seasoned with turmeric, red chili powder, and chaat masala, the bold spice of the flavor works perfectly as breakfast or lunch on a cold morning. Served with chickpea salad in cilantro vinaigrette and a glass of buttermilk, this new twist to the Indian classic creates a perfect harmony between traditional and modern.
Growing up in a kitchen where the clanking of copper pots and the earthy smell of clay vessels was a daily occurrence, I became accustomed to the sizzle of Indian spices as they combined with hearty cracked wheat. A dish like this was a staple in my mom’s kitchen, being passed down through the generations of her family, but each time arriving with a new alteration. Perfect for winter mornings or for lunch on a brisk day, I enjoyed the warmth of this delectable grain against the cool refreshment of yogurt or a glass of my grandma’s buttermilk. Being all too close to this meal and having a longing for home on such a drab, rainy day, I took it upon myself to reinvent this dish, keeping the love and soul that my mother used to put in it, but presenting it with a modern accompaniment or harmony.
Featuring the freshness and subtlety of verdant vegetables that are supported by the nutty, toasted flavors of the cracked wheat, the body of the dish is truly an ode to Indian cooking. Seasoned with red chili powder, turmeric, and chaat masala, the tangy heat within the grain can only be compared to the beauty of a controlled burn. To balance out the flavors and stifle the boldness in the wheat, I opted for a bright and acidic counterpart; a salad. With the homemade cilantro vinaigrette and raw chickpeas, the salad had slight notes of Greek and Latin flavors, but was the most impeccable duo with the wheat. Cilantro is typically a very well rendered complement to Indian cuisine because it adds an aromatic acidity to heavier dishes. The dish was immediately lifted up with the addition of the chickpeas, a modern feeling resonating throughout the dish now.
Despite the taste of the dish, you won’t feel guilty indulging in this delicious, filling meal because it’s just as healthy as it is scrumptious. The whole grain wheat and chickpeas deliver a healthy dose of protein, dietary fiber, and are a great source of calcium/iron, all of which work together to keep your body stable and functioning properly. Whole wheat is also a good source of folate, which helps with cell production and is especially critical for pregnant women and infants. Served with a glass of buttermilk, the dish aids digestion with probiotic bacteria and keeps your digestive system robust.
So, while the healthy grains portion of the grocery store may be a fairly unexplored region for you, enter with confidence now and try this protein-packed, fresh recipe today!
STEP BY STEP VIDEO:
Cracked Wheat Bowl with Cilantro Vinaigrette and Chickpea Salad
This Indian-inspired cracked wheat dish with bold flavors, served with chickpea salad in cilantro vinaigrette and a glass of buttermilk is perfect for breakfast or lunch.
- 1 cup coarse cracked wheat
- 2 cup water
- 1/2 cup onions, finely chopped
- 1/2 cup tomatoes, finely chopped and deseeded
- 1/4 cup boiled corn
- 1/4 cup carrots, finely chopped
- 1/4 cup green peppers (any color), finely chopped
- 1 tsp green chilies, finely chopped ( optional )
- 2 tbsp cilantro (coriander) leaves
- 1 1/2 tbsp oil or ghee (clarified butter)
- 1/4 tsp cumin seeds
- 1/2 tsp turmeric powder
- 1 tsp red chili powder
- 1/2 tsp chaat masala
- 1 tsp lemon juice
- 4 curry leaves
- salt to taste
- 1 1/2 cup boiled chickpeas
- 1/4 cup cucumbers, finely chopped
- 1/4 cup tomatoes, finely chopped and deseeded
- 1/4 cup red onions, finely chopped
- 1/4 cup radish, finely chopped
- 1/4 cup extra virgin olive oil or any natural flavored oil
- 3 tbsp lime juice or adjust according to the sourness you want
- 2 tbsp honey or adjust sweetness according to your taste
- 1/4 cup cilantro (coriander), very finely chopped
- 1/2 tsp black pepper
- 1/2 tsp red chili flakes
- salt to taste
- Turn on the Instant Pot in sauté mode and add 1/2 tbsp of ghee or oil.
- Add cracked wheat and sauté it for 3-4 mins until you notice a slight color change (whitish dots) and it becomes aromatic.
- Now, add 2 cups of water and salt and close the lid . Press the cancel button, set the instant pot on manual pressure, and cook for 8 mins. Wait for natural release.
- When it is done, fluff the cracked wheat with spoon or fork.
- In a pan, add remaining ghee/oil, cumin seeds, curry leaves and onions. Let it sauté for few minutes till the onions are translucent.
- Now start adding all the vegetables and stir it for 1-2 mins on medium flame. Don’t over cook the vegetables as we want to keep them crunchy.
- Add in all of the spices, lemon juice, and adjust the salt according to taste. Remember that we have already added little salt while boiling the cracked wheat, so only a small amount is needed.
- Add in cracked wheat and stir it. If it appears a little dry, you can sprinkle some water on it to make it moist.
- Cracked Wheat is ready. Cover it and keep it aside . Let’s prepare our salad.
- Measure all the ingredients of the salad vinaigrette into a jar with a tight fitting lid and shake vigorously or whisk the ingredients in the jar. Taste and adjust the seasoning according to your taste .
- Mix in chickpeas and vegetables, drizzle the dressing and your salad is ready.
- Now, in a bowl arrange the salad on one side and the cracked wheat with vegetables on other side. Your healthy lunch is ready.
- Pressure cooker recipe – Heat oil/ghee, add cracked wheat, dry roast it for few minutes on medium flame till it is little whitish in color. Now, add in water, salt and close the lid. Put the whistle on and cook for 3-4 whistles. Release the pressure naturally and follow the instructions from step 4.
- I like to cook the cracked wheat and vegetables separately as I love the crunchiness of the vegetables. However, you can even make the cracked wheat bowl like a one pot meal in pressure cooker or instant pot. In pressure cooker add oil/ghee, cumin seeds, curry leaves and let it sputter. Then add in onions and sauté it till they are translucent, add cracked wheat and sauté it for few mins on medium flame till it is aromatic. Now, add in all vegetables, salt, red chili powder, turmeric and water and close the lid. Pressure cook till 2-3 whistles. For instant pot follow the pressure cooker instructions, cooking on sauté mode. After adding water, switch to manual mode and set the timer for 8 minutes and on natural release. Once it’s done, add the chaat masala, lemon juice and cilantro leaves.
- You can even store cooked cracked wheat for 2-3 days and sauté it with your choice of vegetables, whenever you want. It just takes few minutes.
- It goes very well with all vegetables. I have tried it with many different combinations like broccoli, cauliflower, peas and beans – it tastes awesome.
- Water measurement can vary depending on variety of the cracked wheat. Fine quality wheat typically requires 1.5x the amount of water. However, for coarse wheat, it requires 2x water.
- I generally use coarse cracked wheat as its grains are loosely attached and are more easily separated. This adds more flavor to the dish because the individual grains open up and absorb the added spices more.
- Cilantro vinaigrette can be stored in a sealed container for 2-3 days. Shake well before using.
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