Quick and easy to make, this Dalia Upma is a healthy breakfast recipe idea and a great way to kick-start your day. Create a nutritious, hot breakfast in only twenty minutes with minimal fuss: One-pot, simple cooking and only a few things to wash up! Now that's what you want first thing in the morning.
This healthy breakfast recipe reflects one of my food mantras: Simple yet oh-so-tasty!
Of course, you don't have to limit this to breakfast time. It often goes into my partner's tiffin lunch box.
Dali Upma: A Healthy Breakfast
What is Upma? Upma is a thick, porridge-like breakfast dish usually made from coarse semolina that is first dry roasted. It's a prevalent breakfast dish in India and is prepared in numerous ways, depending on preference. Spices and vegetables to flavour an upma are unique to each family or region. Think of it like a savoury, flavourful porridge.
This healthy breakfast recipe uses Dalia or broken wheat, which is not only easier to cook, but it's also healthier, therefore making it perfect for breakfast. Dalia keeps you fuller for longer and is easy to digest.
Dalia consists of grains of whole wheat. It is an excellent alternative to refined carbohydrates. The husk in the Dalia makes it super rich in fibre. Dishes made with Dalia are ideal for weight loss and are an excellent choice for people searching for alternative carbohydrate types.
Semolina upma, if not cooked correctly, can end up lumpy; however, with this Dalia upma, there is almost zero chance of that happening.
Dalia is quite similar to bulgar wheat. Both are wheat-based grains; bulgur wheat is usually parboiled and retains a bite, whereas Dalia is soft and easy to digest, making it perfect for a healthy breakfast recipe. The dalia grain is more delicate than bulgur as well. Bulgur is also usually eaten as a part of the main meal, whereas Dalia is mainly a breakfast option.
- Dalia (cracked wheat)
- Red onion
- Black mustard seeds
- Cumin seeds
- Curry leaves
See the recipe card for quantities.
Dalia upma is very simple to make and requires just one pot.
First, prepare your ingredients.
Finely chop the red onions and ginger.
Peel the carrots and cut them into small dice.
Heat the oil in a pan over medium heat. Add the cumin and black mustard seeds when the oil is hot and bloom for thirty seconds. Blooming spices means cooking them very briefly to release their flavours. Be careful not to burn them, though. Also, the mustard seed will pop and fly, so be aware!
Then add the finely chopped red onion and saute for a minute or two.
Next, add the finely chopped ginger and continue to saute for two minutes.
Strip the curry leaves from the stem and add them to the pot.
Add the carrots and saute for two minutes.
Add the peas and saute for another two minutes.
Season the mix with salt and pepper to taste and mix well.
Add the dalia (broken wheat) and the water. Stir the contents and cook for ten minutes with the pot covered with a lid.
After cooking for ten minutes, the dalia (cracked wheat) should be fluffy and soft.
Remove the pot from the heat and transfer the contents to serving bowls.
Serve the dalia upma hot with coriander chutney or yoghurt. You can also serve it just as it is with a squeeze of lime.
If you don't have access to fresh curry leaves, leave them out, and you can add chopped herbs like coriander or even mint before serving.
You can change the vegetables to what you have at hand. Add a similar quantity. Just bear in mind the cooking time may vary depending on the hardness of the vegetables.
This Dalia upma recipe is a blank canvas; you can play with a choice of spices and vegetables. You only need to remember that the ratio of dalia and water is 1:2. Thus, if you use one cup of dalia, you need to add two cups of water to cook.
This healthy breakfast recipe is best fresh; however, you can store it in the fridge in an airtight container for up to three days. Just make sure you heat thoroughly before consuming. Microwave heating is the best option; if, however, like me, you don't use a microwave, transfer the cooked Dalia into a pan, add some water and cover the pan with a lid. It should heat up in a matter of minutes.
When blooming (tempering) the spices, have everything at hand, including the chopped onions. This process is swift, and any delay will cause the spices to burn. Also, the popping mustard seeds may fly off the pan in this recipe, so be ready!
Do not be tempted to open the pot/pan after adding the bulgur and water; if you do, the steam will escape, altering the cooking time and the water/steam required to cook. Just leave it on medium heat, and everything will come out perfectly.
Here are some other breakfast recipe ideas.
Quick And Easy Dalia Upma
- Digital scales
- 300 g Dalia (broken wheat)
- 100 g Carrots
- 50 g Peas
- 50 g Red onions
- 15 g Ginger
- 1 stem Curry leaf
- 1 teaspoon Black mustard seeds
- ½ teaspoon Cumin seeds
- 1 tablespoon Olive oil
- 600 ml Water
- 1 teaspoon Salt
- Peel and finely chop the red onion and ginger
- Peel and cut the carrots into small dice
- Heat the oil in a pot/pan over a medium heat and add cumin and black mustard seeds when the oil is hot. Give them about 30 seconds to a minute to bloom. Be careful; the mustard seeds will pop and fly!
- Add the chopped red onion and saute for a minute, then add the chopped ginger and saute for another minute or two.
- Remove the curry leaves from the stem and add them to the pot.
- Add the carrots and saute for two minutes and then add the peas and cook for another two minutes.
- Season with salt and mix well.
- Now add the Dalia (broken wheat) and the water. Cover and cook for ten minutes.
- After ten minutes, the Dalia should be soft and fluffy - a bit like couscous.
- Remove from the heat and transfer into serving bowls.
- Serve hot with coriander chutney or yoghurt, or simply with a squeeze of lime.
In a professional kitchen, food hygiene and safety are a top priority, and from the very beginning of training, I practised good habits and routines. Of course, practising good food hygiene and safety at home is also very important. Here are some fundamental practices to adopt in the kitchen.
- Wash your hands regularly while preparing, handling and cooking food
- Wipe down countertops and high-contact points regularly
- If you cook meat and fish, do not use the same utensils on cooked food that previously touched raw meat. Use separate chopping boards for meat and fish. Wash your chopping boards immediately after use.
- Thoroughly cook food to a minimum temperature of 165 °F (74 °C)
- Don't leave food sitting out at room temperature for extended periods (more than 2 hours)
- Store food correctly
For more details on food hygiene and safety in the home, visit the UK Government's Food Standards Agency webpage.