A cousin, who is in the family way, was visiting me a few weeks back. Having lost her appetite for curries and anything rich or spicy, she asked me if I could prepare something light and simple for her. Keeping in mind her need for a nutritious and balanced diet I raked up my brain and came up with an idea to try this salad.
I have often seen bulgar wheat salads as an accompaniment to Lebanese dishes. However, bulgar is not easily available here (available at speciality stores and none is even remotely close to where I stay). Instead I zeroed in on broken wheat as a substitute. I added chick peas (safed chana) to it since I found the taste of the wheat somewhat bland despite the addition of herbs. Although I do not like eating pomegranate, (love its juice though), on insistence of my cousin I added pomegranate to it. I was delighted to note that its addition gave texture and slight tart sweet flavour to the salad which everyone loved at home.
The salad is ideal for a mid day meal. It is actually a well balanced meal in itself with a healthy dose of carbohydrates and protein (broken wheat/chick peas), herbs (mint & cilantro) and the goodness of veggies (cucumber & carrots) and fruit (pom). Instead of cooking the broken wheat, I soaked it in boiling water for half an hour and then squeezed excess water from it. Being colourful, the salad instantly drew my daughter’s attention and she excitedly tried it without any prompting. She enjoyed it to the core which came as a pleasant surprise to me!! J
Feel free to adjust the amount of ingredients to suit your taste. My family enjoyed the ratio mentioned below.
½ cup broken wheat (coarse in texture)
½ cup chick peas (canned or freshly boiled, drained)
1 tbsp heaped pomegranate seeds
½ tbsp mint leaves, torn
1 tsp fresh cilantro or coriander, finely chopped (parsley can also be added)
1 tbsp cucumber, diced in small pieces
1 tbsp carrot, shredded
1 pinch black pepper, coarsely ground
1 pinch red chilli powder
2 pinch chaat masala (optional) [available at Indian grocery stores]
2 tsp lemon juice (+/- as per your taste)
Salt to taste
Transfer ½ cup broken wheat in a bowl and add 350 ml boiling water over it.
Let it soak for 30-35 minutes
Drain and squeeze out excess water from broken wheat
Transfer to a mixing bowl and add rest of the ingredients except pomegranate
Mix them well and sprinkle with pomegranate before serving.
Note: The addition of chaat masala peps up the taste of the salad and I would highly recommend it.
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