It has been a constant endeavour to enrich the quality of the food we eat, by reducing unwanted fat, cholestrol, calories, and increasing the fibre, protien and nutrients. After reading up about the benefits of Cous Cous , Quinoa , Bulgur Wheat and Cracked Wheat, I have been waiting to experiment by substituting rice with these protien and fibre rich ingredients.
WHAT IS CRACKED WHEAT???
Cracked Wheat is a wheat product made from whole raw wheat kernels which are crushed or cut into smaller pieces. There are a large number of uses for cracked wheat, and the food makes a popular dietary supplement in many cultures. Many grocery stores carry cracked wheat, which should be stored in a cool dry place until use so that it does not go rancid. If not used within one year, cracked wheat should be discarded.
A similar product, Bulgur wheat, is also made by cracking wheat kernels. Bulgur, however, is made from wheat kernels which are steamed and toasted before cracking, so that they develop a rich, nutty flavor. Bulgur also requires minimal cooking, since it is already partially cooked. Cracked wheat, on the other hand, uses whole raw wheat berries.
Because cracked wheat is made from whole wheat berries, it carries a great deal of nutrition and fiber since it includes the fiber and nutrient rich outer bran and germ of the wheat. For this reason, it is often added to healthy diets, especially those eaten by people who are concerned about heart health. Other whole cracked grains may be used as well, for variation in flavor and nutrition.
There are a wide range of uses for cracked wheat. Many people use it as a base, like couscous serving vegetables or meats alongside it. It can also be used in grain pilafs, and many recipes for multi-grain pilafs call for cracked wheat, since it is fluffy and flavorful. Many people also include cracked wheat in multi-grain bread,pancakes, upma, dosa , and other grain dishes. The crushed wheat berries may be soaked or partially cooked when they are included in recipes such as bread, to ensure that they are fully cooked when the food is served.
COOKING WITH CRACKED WHEAT:
As with all grains, cracked wheat should be washed before use, to remove residual dirt and other compounds which may have adhered to the wheat during growing, processing, and shipping. The easiest way to do this is to measure the wheat out into a fine grained colander, running water over it and gently stirring it with a spatula or by hand to make sure that each grain is washed. Soaking the washed cracked wheat will also make it cook more quickly. Cooked cracked wheat can be stored in a snug container under refrigeration for several days for use in salads, pancakes, and other foods.
1 1/2 Cup Cracked Wheat.
1/2 Cup Old Fashioned Rolled Oats.
3/4 Cup Moong Dal.
6 Cups Water.
2 Tsp Pepper Cummin Powder.
1/2 Cup Finely Grated Carrots. (Optional).
1 Tsp Ghee.
8-9 Whole Black Pepper.
1 Tsp Jeera.
2 Tsp Pepper Jeera Powder.
1 Tsp Jeera.
- Dry roast the cracked wheat on a dry tava until you get the aroma. Set aside on to a cooker vessel.
- Dry roast the oats also on the tava and grind to a coarse texture. Add to the cracked wheat.
- Dry roast the moong dal and add to the same vessel.
- In a seasoning ladle, add a spoon of ghee and when hot, pop in the whole pepper, 2 Tsp finely chopped ginger and curry leaves. When all of them are well fried, add this to the ingredients in the vessel.
- Lastly add the finely grated carrots, salt and 6 cups of water.
- Stir in well and pressure cook for 2 whistles. Allow the steam to completely vanish and then open the cooker.
- Take a flat bottomed pan and add 2 spoons of ghee. When melted, add curry leaves, whole black pepper, jeera, 1 tsp pepper jeera powder, 2 tsp grated / chopped ginger and fry for a couple of seconds.
- Now add the cooked craked wheat + oats + moong mixture to the kadai and mix in well.
- IF you feel that its hardened up a little, simply add some milk to the kadai so it will loosen up the pongal and make it mushy.
- Add sufficient salt and the remaining 1 Tsp Pepper jeera powder and mix in well.
- When the Pongal has come together, add one more spoon of ghee and switch of flame.
- Keep closed to lock in the flavours and serve Hot with Chettinad Onion Tomato Chutney
- Moderate the amount of water depending on the graininess of the Cracked Wheat and the rolled oats. If you use Quick Cooking Oats, it hardly takes any time to cook. If you feel that the water is a little too much, simply let it stand for a few minutes and this will harden up the moong dal. Then proceed to make the Pongal.
- If its too thick, simply add milk, as mentioned in the post to loosen it up.