Monday, April 6, 2009

Bulgur or Cracked Wheat Porridge

If there is one term that tops the healthy diet list with good carbs and good fats that is none other than "Bulgur" Bulgur wheat or cracked wheat is so rich in fibre and has lesser carbs than in white or brown rice...You read any health article this is one grain that you can readily see in the healthy carbs list...

Bulgar, cracked wheat, cous cous, qiunoa are a few terms in the world of diet and health which are talking there place instead of rice.

Bulgur is differentiated with cracked wheat, which is crushed wheat grain that has not been parboiled. Although traditionally de-branned, whole-grain, high-fiber bulgur and cracked wheat can be found in natural food stores. Bulgur is a common ingredient in Turkish, Middle Eastern, Indian and Mediterranean dishes. It has light, nutty flavor.

Its high nutritional value makes it a good substitute for rice or couscous.

Bulgur has low glycemic index of 46 than compared with rice at 83

Bulgur can be used in pilafs, soups, bakery goods, or as stuffing. It is also a main ingredient in some salads. In Indian cuisine, bulgur or daliya is also used as a cereal with milk and sugar, which is what I'm posting here.

I had this cereal once in a restaurant in Delhi, North India...Usually I'm bad at trying new foods..But this porridge didn't disappoint me.

I have yet to discover the other versions of this wheat where it can act as a substitute to rice. I remember my aunt used to make upma with this...But the cracked wheat which I got from Indian groceries is a larger grain and more firm and hard. So I don't know the ratio of water to be added to it for upma or to cook rice.

For now I'm happy consuming this as a porridge to benefit from its goodness.

Ingredients :
This is one filling porridge, packed with fibre and protein and has a nuty chewy texture which is perfect for me...

1/2 to 3/4 cup Bulgur or Cracked Wheat
1 + 2 cups low-fat or 1% milk
1 cup or more water
4 Tbsp Brown sugar or 4 sachets of Sugar free or Splenda
A Pinch of salt
A few saffron strands
Raisins (Completely optional, omit if your on a diet, I just used them here for presentation)
Thinly crated nuts like cashew, almonds or pista (I didn't use nuts either)
Few drops of Almond and/or Rose Essence ( This is optional again, I used it to flavour my porridge, instead of having a bland one or to balance the wheaty flavour)
1 pinch of Cinnamon or All spice or Nut meg powder if you want to spice it up more. ( I preferred without these spices)

Read the instructions on the Wheat package to boil or pressure cook wheat with 2 cups of milk and 1 cup water along with salt
If using cracked wheat variety it will take longer time to cook.
Soak the saffron strands in the rest of the 1 cup milk
When almost cooked add brown sugar, rose or almond essence, spices (if using) and cook till wheat is soft.
Once fully cooked add the remaining 1 cup saffron milk and remove from heat.
Serve hot in bowl garnished with crated nuts, raisins(if using) and a saffron strand.
The above measures make around 3 to 4 cups of porridge.

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