Sunday, 7 July 2013

Dalia - An Alternative to Rice

I love winter! I've got a ridiculously crappy immune system, but I can withstand the cold really well. Cold breezes and monsoons bring about more warmth in me, and I love walking on the streets in the cold weather, tugging my jacket closer to my chest and protecting my cold fingers from the frost. Most see it as gloomy, but something about it makes me happy and content. The best part is being able to snuggle up in a warm blanket, listen to an awesome Rahman or Raja melody, and slowly sip a cup of dark thick Italian hot chocolate.
I've become re-addicted to a song which my husband happened to play one evening, and it rekindled so many old memories. This song seems almost perfect for a cool winter's evening. A beautiful composition by Ilayaraja's son, Karthik Raja - 

Song: Veesum Kaatrukku
Movie: UllasamSinger: Unnikrishnan
Veesum kaatrukku poovai theriyaadha,
Paesum kannukku ennai puriyaadha..
Anbae undhan paerai thaanae virumbi kaetkiraen,
Poagum paadhai engum unnai thirumbi paarkiraen..
(veesum kaatrukku…)

Ennaiyae thirandhaval yaar avaloa,
Uyirilae nuzhaindhaval yaar avaloa..
Vazhiyai marithaal, malarai koduthaal,
Mozhiyai parithaal, mounam koduthaal..
Maeghamae maeghamae aruginil vaa,
Thaagathil moozhginaen prugida vaa..
(veesum kaatrukku…)

Today's recipe is ideal for a cold winter's day..
Almost every single Indian these days tends to look for an alternative to rice. Rice is such a huge part of our diets and lacks so heavily in nutrients, so any substitute is helpful! Rice comes from wheat, where the outer layer is stripped off and cleaned, leaving a white grain. Unfortunately, the outer layer is what contains all the nutrients and "healthy stuff", and by removing that, we're effectively just eating starch! Dear, oh dear...

My mother has for some time, started eating dalia as a substitute. Dalia is broken wheat, and is prepared with some Moong Dal/Payatham paruppu and jeera. It doesn't taste very different to rice, is much healthier, and keeps you fuller for longer too in lesser quantities than normal white rice.

Time required: 20 minutes
Yield: Serves 2 people

1 cup of Broken Wheat
3 tablespoons of Payatham paruppu/Moong Dal
1 teaspoon of jeera/cumin seeds

Combine all ingredients in a kadai/non stick fry pan. Dry roast for a few minutes till the dal goes golden brown.

Once dry roasted, transfer contents to a stainless steel bowl, place in your pressure cooker, add 2 cups of water and cook with whistle on medium-high for 3 whistles.

You can alternatively cook this in the fry pan/kadai itself with the lid closed but this will take longer to cook thoroughly.

Do not add salt. This is healthier without salt. Just mix with sambhar/rasam/sabji/curry and eat as you would with rice.