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Healthy breakfast - Bulgur Upma

Posted on 1:51 AM by

I was always told, half knowledge is dangerous. Yes it always proved true, when I tried solving my algebra equations without knowing the formulas. It even proved true in the kitchen, when I thought "kali dal" simply black lentil. And was left wondering why it didn't taste even one bit similar to the restaurant one, when I made it with "kali masoor dal". Well that was pre blogging and googling days. So I think I can pardon myself for such foolishness. 

But how do I forgive myself for buying a pack of bulgur, thinking it to be Indian "dalia" and trying to cook it for as long....Now all of you who are much familiar with the ease of cooking with bulgur would be smiling ear to ear, reading this. Specially when every packet at least comes with a basic label of what it is. Right?

But then I guess I have to this time as well, since the two are really similar, both being forms of cracked wheat. As per Wiki, "Bulgur is a cereal food made from different species of wheat, mostly from durum wheat". But the difference is that it is soaked and steamed/ cooked before cracking, hence its finer and more refined. It also has a better shelf life.

Not only that, a cup of bulgur has lower fat, fewer calories and more than double the quantity of fibre than brown rice. So if you haven't tried it till now, here's an easy recipe to take the first step!

Bulgur is a common staple in the Middle Eastern cuisine, being most famous in the form of the popular salad - tabbouleh. Other than that as well, being bland in taste, bulgur can easily be accommodated in varied dishes and recipes. Hence its quite easy to flavour it with our southern flavour combinations. 

A tempering of mustard and curry leaves, crunch of bengal gram and peanuts, tang from tomato and lemon, heat from green chillies and red chilly powder and voila bulgur becomes a hearty bowl of your breakfast. Have it with a fresh glass of orange juice and you are ready for the day ahead!

Bulgur Upma Recipe
(Healthy and easy breakfast made of cracked wheat - bulgur. Made in southern Indian style)

1/2 cup bulgur
1/2 cup warm water
1 tbsp peanuts
1/2 tsp mustard seeds
3-4 curry leaves
1 tsp chana dal (bengal gram)
1/4 tsp red chilly powder
1/4 tsp lemon juice
1 small onion, finely chopped
1 small tomato, chopped
1 green chillies, finely chopped (add more if you like it hot)
1 tbsp chopped coriander leaves
2 tsp oil
1/2 tsp cumin powder (optional)

  1. Soak bulgar in warm water for at least 20-30 mins, till it softens*. Then fluff it up, by stirring it with the help of a fork.
  2. Heat oil in pan. Fry the peanuts and remove it. Now add mustard seeds and curry leaves. Let the mustard seeds splutter. Then add bengal gram/ chana dal and let it turn brown on medium heat. Keep a watch that it doesn't burn.
  3. Now add chopped onion and green chillies. Saute the onions till translucent. Then add the chopped tomatoes and red chilly powder and cumin powder (if using). let the tomatoes cook a bit; 2-3 mins.
  4. Then add the soaked bulgur and mix it all well with a sorted spoon. Add salt, chopped coriander leaves and let the flavours absorb, another 3-4 mins.
  5. Finish it with adding lemon juice and fried peanuts and serve warm.

  1. Like most of the Indian recipes, this too is a very adaptable recipe. If you want to skip onion or tomato, please do so. Want to make it healthier, simply add cooked carrots, green peas, cauliflower or veggies of your choice. Same way add or subtract spice of your choice. I also add some "Chaat masala" for extra flavour.
  2. Bulgur is soaked in both hot and cold water. I have still to discover the difference between the two. If you know any finer points about it, please share.
  3. Also I prefer to to fry peanuts and take it out and then add in the end, to avoid it getting over browned.
Sharing the B/W image with Susan's Black & White Wednesday series and the dish with the New U event being hosted by Vardhini, Breakfast Club, started by Helen and Healthy & Hearty by Jyoti.

20 comments: Leave Your Comments

  1. AarthiJanuary 25, 2012 at 3:26 AM

    I would love to give this a try..It looks awesome..Bookmarked it Dear..


  2. JayJanuary 25, 2012 at 3:52 AM

    hmmmm...sounds just divine..
    excellent captures..;)
    Tasty Appetite

  3. Hamaree RasoiJanuary 25, 2012 at 4:51 AM

    Delicious and mouthwatering upma. Excellent preparation.

    Hamaree Rasoi

  4. RajiJanuary 25, 2012 at 8:55 AM

    I really like bulgar because of the less cooking time. And in place of rice most days I cook bulgur and take it with whatever daal or subzi I have made, it's so good. Upma is also a great way to dress up the simple bulgar..lovely picture.

  5. SravsJanuary 25, 2012 at 9:02 AM

    delicious !!

    Ongoing event CC-Chocolate Fest

  6. ChandraniJanuary 25, 2012 at 10:50 AM

    Healthy yummy upma...

  7. S at Buttered UpJanuary 25, 2012 at 10:58 AM

    Looks wonderful. I can almost smell it. I use bulgar often and find it to be comforting, light and different at the table. Will give ur recipe a spin.

  8. Taste JunctionJanuary 25, 2012 at 11:05 AM

    @Raji I agree, its a very versatile dish, but I yet to give it a try with dal & sabji..will surely do!

  9. JyotiJanuary 25, 2012 at 5:34 PM

    I too bought it to make dalia, but now I know better!

    You can link it to my event too if u like


  10. PriyaJanuary 25, 2012 at 7:30 PM

    Super healthy and quite a filling upma,lovely dish.

  11. Now ServingJanuary 25, 2012 at 8:46 PM

    I have bulgur wheat I bought recently - Thanks for giving me this awesome dish to make :) looks super healthy and yummy!

  12. MadhaviJanuary 26, 2012 at 3:06 AM

    Greattttt Upma!!!

  13. VardhiniJanuary 26, 2012 at 9:47 AM

    I love the broken wheat upma, but the others at home .. not so much. So I just make it for myself. :)

  14. Aimée @ Food, Je t'AiméeJanuary 26, 2012 at 5:20 PM

    What a stunning presentation and beautiful photos! I haven't had many spicy breakfasts, but being a spice-lover, I can imagine how it would be a great way to wake up and start the day. Would love to give this a try!

  15. Taste JunctionJanuary 26, 2012 at 6:01 PM

    @Aimée @ Food, Je t'Aimée Thanks Aimee..I'm sure you won't be disappointed..and this is not really a spicy can just season with salt & lack pepper too!

  16. AnonymousMay 19, 2012 at 12:23 AM

    How can you say bulgar is "bland in taste", beats me!

  17. Chowringhee North CampusSeptember 17, 2015 at 10:50 AM

    Delicious and lovely looking. Wonderfully prepared.*
    Restaurant in North Campus

  18. Mona KumariSeptember 29, 2015 at 2:39 PM

    Nice blog!! Looks delicious, feel like grabbing the roll right away. Thank you chowringhee in satya niketan

  19. Riya SinghOctober 6, 2015 at 1:25 PM

    nice food ! I like it .I have never eaten this type of roll.It is very testy and delicious.chowringheenorthcampus

  20. Anushka SharmaOctober 14, 2015 at 10:21 AM

    I just wanted to make a quick comment to say GREAT blog!….. I’ll be checking in on a regularly now….Keep up the good work restaurant in vijaynagar

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