Dalia Upma- a cracked wheat vegetable pulao

photo (62)- TS

One may think that there is not much you can do with Dalia (cracked wheat) other than make porridge and serve it for breakfast. Well that’s what I thought until Nikhil introduced me to it’s delicious savory variation- something he learnt from his mum. Dalia (cracked wheat in Hindi) is basically  a wheat product made from whole raw wheat kernels which are crushed or cut into smaller pieces. If you can’t find cracked wheat, bulgur wheat or couscous are great alternatives. This is a super quick, easy, healthy, tasty recipe that can be served for breakfast, lunch or dinner (BLD!?!? 🙂 ). So here is how Nikhil made it:

Dalia Upma- a cracked wheat vegetable pulao


  • 1 cup cracked wheat (aka dalia)/ bulgur wheat or couscous
  • 2 ½ cups water
  • 1 tablespoon extra-virgin olive oil
  • ½ teaspoon cumin seeds
  • ½ of a small onion, finely chopped
  • 1 teaspoon finely chopped ginger
  • 1 whole green chili
  • 1 teaspoon garlicphoto 2 (20)
  • 1 ½ cups vegetables of your choice (we used corn, beans, carrots, capsicum, cabbage, peas)
  • ½ teaspoon garam masala
  • ¼ teaspoon ground coriander seeds
  • ¼ teaspoon turmeric powder
  • ¼ teaspoon red chili powder
  • ¼ teaspoon ground black pepper
  • juice of half a lime
  • salt to taste
  • fresh coriander for garnish


  1. Cook the cracked wheat/ dalia in water just like you would cook rice and set aside. If you are using bulgur wheat or couscous, make sure to cook it in accordance with instructions given on the box.
  2. In a separate pan, heat the oil on medium heat and add the cumin seeds, ginger, onions & green chili and sauté for about a minute.
  3. Next add the garlic, sauté for 30 seconds and add in the vegetables and cook for about 3-4 minutes.
  4. Then add in the spices & salt to taste, add the cooked cracked wheat/bulgur/couscous, mix well and cook for about 2 minutes.
  5. To serve garnish with fresh coriander and lime juice.


That is how quick & easy this is!


  1. this is soooo funny – in large parts of the western world, we are totally oblivious to the fact that you can prepare sweet dishes with bulgur/cracked wheat! in germany, where lot’s of people from turkey have immigrated, we only know hearty bulgur dishes like pilav. i have made bulgur porridge for breakfast for the first time yesterday and loved it, by the way.

    • Haha.. I agree Lisa. But it’s weird ‘coz I’ve usually had bulgar wheat in the form of sweet porridge. My husband introduced me to this version. It’s so great to learn how we can put the same ingredient to so many different uses!

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  4. Hello, I’m Elaine. I love food blogs. My favorite is yours and “Cooking With Mr. C.” on Facebook. (also a blog) Between the two of you, I get the best recipes. Keep them coming. Elaine.

  5. Hey the cracked wheat doesn’t really cook that well if only boiled with water hence I end up pressure cooking it after roasting it. But the downside is it it become slightly sticky and I really don’t get beautiful looking separated grains. Any tips on how I can avoid the stickiness?

    • Hi Ambica. We usually cook the dalia in the microwave. We cook a cup of dalia in about 2 1/2 cups of water with a couple dashes of oil for about 12-13 minutes- if at this stage the dalia looks dry add a few tablespoons of water. Then cover with a lid and cook for a couple of minutes more. Hope this works for you too. Happy cooking!

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