Mindful Eating - Barley, Cracked Wheat and Kale pulao- A fibre based recipe

This one is totally new invention for me with my three favourites -Barley, Cracked Wheat and Kale leaves.

Barley is a very versatile cereal grain and is known to have rich nutritional content -molybdenum, manganese, dietary fibre, and selenium, and a good source of copper, vitamin B1, chromium, phosphorus, magnesium, and niacin.
Cracked Wheat is primarily a wheat product made from whole raw wheat kernels which are made into small pieces which resemble rice grains. As the name suggests cracked wheat is made from whole wheat berries, hence it carries a great deal of nutrition and fibre. The rich outer bran and the germ of the wheat are what makes it so healthy. For this reason, it is often added to healthy diets, especially those eaten by people who are concerned about heart health.

Kale is one of the healthiest amongst all the green leafs around.In a 100 gram serving, raw kale provides 49 calories and is a rich source of vitamin A, vitamin C, vitamin K, vitamin B6, folate, and manganese.Kale is also a rich source of thiamin, riboflavin, pantothenic acid, vitamin E and several dietary minerals, including iron, calcium, potassium, and phosphorus
Boiling raw kale diminishes these nutrient contents, with the exception of vitamin K.

Barley is chewy in texture so for those people who haven't taste barley yet, this will be a new addition to the palette. Cracked wheat is just like rice in texture when cooked. :)

Preparation Time-20 mins (included the time taken to boil the barley and cracked wheat).

Cook time-10 mins

Total time-30 mins.



Serves- 2 adults


1 tsp cumin seeds
1 tsp red chilli dry stick
1 thin piece of cinnamon stick
½  tsp turmeric powder
2 green cardamom
2 cloves
3 tsp of pav bhaaji masala

The grain and vegetables
1 cup cracked wheat
½  cup barley grains
3 sticks of dense kale leaves
½ cup chopped carrots
½ cup chopped bell pepper
½  onion chopped
4 cloves of garlic finely chopped
1 green chilli finely chopped
3 tsp lemon juice
salt as per taste

  • Boil cracked wheat and barley together on medium heat. Water should be added with caution. Just enough to immerse the grains and 1/2 inch above the grains.
  • Once boiled, take them out in a container, allow to cool and refrigerate. Next morning you will find the grains to be separated and dry which is exactly how we want to make this pulao.

  • Take a non-stick wok, add two tsp oil. Once heated, add cumin seeds. Allow them to sizzle. Put red chilli stick, cinnamon stick, cardamon and cloves. Once they start sizzling too add crushed garlic, chopped onions and green chilli.  
  • Saute the above for two minutes and then add all the vegetables. Keep on medium heat.
  • Now add barley and cracked wheat grains to it. Add the turmeric powder, salt, pav bhaji masala and mix well.
  • Cover with a lid and allow it to cook for 5-8 minutes. Keep stirring occasionally to prevent from burning.
  • Meanwhile finely chop the kale leaves and keep it ready. Once you feel the raw smell of turmeric has disappeared and the pulao looks mixed and cooked well, throw in the kale leaves, mix for around 15-20 seconds, cover the lid and switch off the heat.
  • Let the container sit on the stove with the covered lid. I did not put kale leaves while cooking because I didn't want to destroy its nutrition. This steaming process will allow just sufficient heat to wilt the leaves and make them soft and yet preserve its nutrition.
  • After few minutes, remove the lid and mix the leaves in the pulao further. Put in the lemon juice for that extra tang.

Things to remember

Barley and cracked wheat can become mushy if excess water is added. That will ruin the entire preparation. This process is the most crucial hence ensure only 1/2 inch of water above the grains while putting it to boil.
You can add vegetables of your choice. Since it is a kale based pulao I limited my vegetables and let kale take over as the main lead. :)

Sautéing them just for a minute keeps its nutritional value pretty much intact. It also gives a nice crunch to the dish.
If making this for kids, omit the green chilli and balance the spices. Finely chopping the vegetables makes it easy for the kids.



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