Thursday, August 09, 2007

Daliya Pulao in 30 minutes

Daliya Pulao

I saw my blog mentioned at the CHOW. It was funny as I never thought of the "other bong" and also made me proud. Thank you all for having me here, your words make my day and Thanks Kara for finding me. Thanks to Mandira too and she knows for what !!!

I got to tell you this, grumble as you might of mixing up little S in my recipes and stopping only from eating her as a sidekick (ahem side dish) to my recipes.

Now as you all know “Reading” is sold highly as a virtue and all that among kids and so like all good mothers I started the routine too. But more than reading to her I would make up stories and tell her, even change the story in hand if the situation so demanded.

As she learns to read small words I try to induce her to read books herself.Reading by itself opens up a whole new world as it did for me when I was a 5 year old. I still remember the Red hard bound "Everyday Stories" by Enid Blyton which Baba got me once I started reading english and thus had me hooked for ever. That and the Bengali Kids magazine Anandamela which I used to get every month showed me a way to a world of everlasting enchantment.

So that S gets a hang of reading, we got her the “Dr.Seuss” which is brilliant if you think ease of reading but not really interesting when seen through the eyes of a 3 year old or her X year old Mom. So “Hop on Pop” does rhyme and also can be read but then what….nothing really happens…no story is spun…and so the 3 year old girl and the X year olds interest wane.

The 3 year old however seems to be more interested in picking up a book and spinning her own story. She does not really read the lines, but makes up a story on her own through the pictures and that enchants her.

In all this she got hold of a thick pink Disney Princess Story Book Collection. This was a hand me down from a friend’s older daughter and I had slipped it away at the bottom of the chest which holds her books. Why did I do that? Because what if she asked questions like this I thought.

“Why did Cinderella have a step mother?” – because her own mother is dead and gone…tell that and hear her wail…. Can’t be done
“Why is the step mother angry?” -- because she loves her own daughters more and does not love Cinderella… more wailing…. Can’t be done
“Why does the prince want to kiss Cinderella?” --- because she is very beautiful and also very good….Yikes.

I figured once she can read on her own, she could do it. I am a psyched mother I tell you.

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Anyhow this little girl of mine found the glossy pink Disney Book one day and enamored by its prettiness strutted away with it before I could say NO.
So I asked her read to me instead and this is what she came up with in the sing song voice a 3 year old usually has. Mind you S is perfect in her Bengali but her English is far from so and it’s really funny to hear.

“Cinderella”… she started off, making up the story from the pictures in the pages.
“Once upon the Time, Cinderella is very busy. She do all her work. She want to go to dance party so her mom scold her. Then her Grandma (the fairy Godmother in the book) gave her “sparkly-sprinkly” dress and a star clip.

In the party she see her Daddy. Her Daddy say, Now we have to go home, Tomorrow is school.

Cinderella break her shoe so her Daddy buy her new shoe.
She is very happy and tells Thank You Daddy and so Daddy kiss her”

I wanted to roll on the floor laughing but obviously I had to show great interest and be sober so that is what Cinderella's story is for me now on.

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With such a 3 year old wrapped around my leg most of the time that I am home, I never get to finish my cooking in express time. I cook in bits and pieces, doing hazaar things in between. So maybe I will come home and put the Dal in the cooker, and then I will sit and paint with S and so though the Dal could have been ideally done in 20 minutes flat, I get back to do it only after an hour maybe.

However to make things go faster I also do a lot of chopping etc. over the weekend or whenever I get time to ease the weekday. I usually have a cup of coarsely chopped onion, some fresh onion paste, and some chopped ginger & garlic in the refrigerator for impromptu weekday meals. If I am planning to make fish, I usually fry the fish pieces (we Bengalis fry the fish and then put them in the gravy) and then use them in a day or two in different gravies.

Yesterday I was determined to time my cooking though for Mallugirl's Summer Express Cooking and asked D to entertain S while I just cooked. It was a very simple thing I made, simple but healthy, Daliya Pualo. My Ma makes this pretty often to pack as lunch, I do both for lunch and quick dinners.

Daliya is Cracked Wheat that you can find in Indian stores. It is not same as bulghur but you can use bulghur too.

Bulghur ~ Partially hulled whole wheat kernels that are soaked, then steamed (hence pre-cooked if you will), dried and then crushed are called bulghur
Daliya or Cracked Wheat ~ Raw whole wheat berries that are crushed to varying qualities of texture are called cracked wheat


What I already had

Onion Paste ~ Red Onion ground to a coarse paste
Ground Chicken ~ I had some ground chicken which I had marinated with a little yogurt, ginger paste, cumin & coriander powder. I often do this with ground chicken, it stays well for couple of days and can be used to make quick kabobs or to be added to pasta or stuffing for wrap or sandwiches
Pureed Tomato ~ remember the cherry tomatoes from my garden, well there were more so I pureed them and stored

Note: You can skip the ground chicken or substitute with scrambled eggs, soy granules, crumbled panner

And The Time Starts Now...


Wash 1 cup of Daliya and put it in pressure cooker with almost twice the amount of water, a little oil and 2 elaichi/cardamom


Heat a small Frying Pan
Add Olive Oil
Add onion paste about 1 tbsp
Once it starts browning add the minced chicken, maybe ¾ cup of it, add salt and cook


While the chicken & Daliya is cooking chop the veggies
Chop long hot peppers, I chopped 2-3
I had a quarter of a cauliflower, I chopped the florets into small pieces. Smaller means will cook fast
I also thawed about ½ cup of frozen peas.
I chopped half a cucumber to make a raita
While chopping, remember to stir the chicken too.
Note: use your choice of veggies here


Heat a Kadhai
Add Olive Oil
Add 2-3 Bay Leaves, 4 cloves/laung, 4 elaichi/cardamom (all whole)
Add about 1 & ½ tbsp of onion paste and fry with 1/2 tsp of sugar
Meanwhile the ground chicken will be done and the Daliya too.

Add the chopped veggies, 1 tbsp of pureed tomato, sauté a little and cover and cook. Since I used fresh veggies this took a little while to get done


The veggies should be done by now.
Add the cooked ground chicken and mix well. Throw in some golden raisins. Add salt.
Now is the time to add the Daliya. If the pressure lid refuses to budge, put it under running cold water, this will release the steam.
If the Daliya has excess water, drain
Add the Daliya to the Kadai gradually and then mix well.
Add salt, a little sugar if you wish and stir till the Daliya is dry and has mixed well with the veggies


Quickly make a raita with yogurt and some cucumber
Everything done in 29 minutes and now you have one minute to reflect on what Douglas Adams said "Time is an illusion. Lunchtime doubly so"

Trivia:Because cracked wheat is made from whole wheat berries, it carries a great deal of nutrition and fiber since it includes the fiber and nutrient rich outer bran and germ of the wheat.


  1. This is defenitely a post from a passionate mom! I really enjoy reading it... =)

  2. A big KISS to dear S! :) Such a sweetheart she is Sandeepa. :) Kids can surprize you with their innocence like no one else.

    The pulao loiks awesome! Beautiful pic. I sometimes add Yellow moong dal to it to make it more filling.

  3. wow what a nice post! loved reading it. the dalia pulao looks delicious as you said even i never make up in 30 mins even though what a i cook may take up ony 30 mins. thats the way a its gonna be with mom and kids he he :)

  4. I think little S will grow up to be a great story writer, loved reading the rendition of her story!

  5. Ha ha DID you keep a straight face???

    Anyway, I think it's wonderful how she is using her imagination to put a new spin on old stories!

    And confusing Prince Charming with Daddy...what a jump...straight from fairy stories to Greek drama!

  6. Kids come up with such a cute stories, that we can help laughing :)
    The pulao looks delicious!!

  7. Kids and the things they say. Well, her imagination should run wild now :-)

    I too made a similar dish with daliya and vegetables on Wednesday night.

    We're thinking along the same lines. And I cooked the daliya in the microwave. Cooks in 10 minutes. I tossed the entire thing in a coriander chutney. Will post soon :-)

    Enjoyed reading this post Sandeepa :-)

  8. wow thats a very impressive recipe for express cooking.. will def try it out cuz its so simple :)

  9. excellent story from your kid...and very nice pulao...good picture...


  10. Hi Sandeepa,

    This post was tooooooo good to miss commenting! Cute S and a lovely,healthy and quick recipe. Thanks,


  11. i missed the kalaier dal and alu posto post... that make me nostalgic for home. tomar dalna pulao also looks delicious sandeepa. great complete meal in 30 min.

  12. Congratualtions on being recogonized as the 'Bong'!
    Oh the pleasures of reading with the little ones. Never ceases to amaze what stories they can come up with :)

    Daliya Pulao with cracket wheat is interesting, perfect one pot meal for the workday.

  13. A BIG BIG BIG hug for little S. She surely would be a great story-teller, if not writer.

    Daliya is not a household favourite, but will definitely try. Have a nice weekend

  14. I feel so guilty sometimes when I read your post, thinking that do I spend that much time with my son? you are such a great mom!!
    lovely and comfy daliya pulao.

  15. Kara thought you blog about "Bhang!" LOL!!!!! Good to see you there too:)
    S is all girly girl,isn't she? All pink and fairy stories.Before Trisha was born,we bought many dolls and pink dresses,fairy tales books.She never played with dolls,hates pink and purple now and turned out into a pucca Tomboy!:P
    When she watched the "Beauty and the Beast' when she was four,she wanted the Beast back bcos she didn't like the prince!:D
    Dalia Pulao looks yum! I love the plate and the photo!:
    Great post Sandeepa.

  16. That was such a sweet do come up with the most amazing stories, don't they...talking about being a psyched mom,join the club...I go crazy at the thought of all the questions that a book or movie might raise and brace myself, hoping for th e best...
    ...the pulao does look nice indeed...especially, as I love daliya.

  17. Anh
    Thanks. Kids do create fun moments :)

    That seems a good idea, do you cook the moong dal along with the Daliya ?

    As S is getting older she demands more attention, I thought it would lessen, but nope !!!

    You know I told her why is that all these stories have Daddies and not Mommies (all the prince in Snowhite, Sleeping beauty) and now she is in deep thought about it :)

    You said...what a complex at age 3 ;-)

    It sure was funny and I had to write it so that I don't forget once she grows up :)

    Looking forward to your post. Cooking in microwave sound like a better idea.

    Yes, simple it is

    Thanks dear :)

    Are you the same at DMC ? how are you. Shall drop you a mail

    Yest this is a very easy complete meal in 30 mins.

    Its perfect to pack for lunch too
    S doesn't want to eat it, she is a fussy eater when it comes to new food. But I sure DD will like it.

    Maybe because I lived a big chunk of my life in Bihar, this was popular in my home. None of my other Bengali friends want to have it :)


    When you read my post you read about my life on a random day. Everyday I too do not get time to spend a lot of time with her. Also my daughter is the kind who ALKWAYS needs company and so I have to do it(maybe the influence of the grandparents being around for a big slice of her life)
    You are a great mom and do not feel guilty ever.


    Funny isn't it ;-)
    S loves purple and pink. Though she is not interested in playing with dolls or dress up, she likes these colours. Maybe a Dora influence

    Maybe we should do a post on such questions at DMC

  18. I must admit, I come here mainly to read your lil notes and if it's about S, I am all giggling most of the time :) Hope she is back in good health and spirits! With all that chicken, the pulao sounds interesting :P I am looking forward to her round up, coz its going to be Bible :D

  19. Shn
    How can you say that !!!! You mean you don't like my Bong Cooking...thats not what draws you hoo
    Just kidding :) S is doing fine now but she refuses to have a second helping of ice cream even if I am generous so I think she is not TOTALLY fit yet :)

  20. Good for you, Sandeepa! Let me know what she thinks could be the explanation.

  21. I totally loved S's story :) way better than the real one.

    and thanks for the recipe too - I have cracked wheat from whole foods that can be put to good use.

  22. Tupu my older girl is a great reader and Tani hates reading anything apart from her school books . My guess is The Sleeping Beauty put her off stories and books for life . She refused to accept the fact that the Prince could kiss SB on the mouth and wake her up without SB having brushed her teeth first . This , when she was about 3 maybe . It had us in splits . Si can empathise with S !
    I like your daliya recipe - have you tries a veg version with bhaja mug dal ? Tastes fabulous . Im going to try out your recipe over the weekend .
    The Puri hotel is called Z's - they have a page on the net.

  23. HA HA HA....very new cindrella story..u know now a days em alo learning some stories from my kid.S is really amazing!!!!

    thats a vey quick recipe sandeepa and healthy too!!

  24. Awesome! Lil' S is a master story teller! really, i have been through similar dilemmas with many stories, when my friend's daughter (another lil' S) would start asking those questions about step-moms and so on.....i then begin wondering if such stories are going to leave a very negative impression on a kid's yes, i like changing my stories too :). It was really very emotional when this lil' girl asked me about "mean" animals and why they kill the rabbits etc.....

    and thats why this story from lil' S is a the priceless gem that it is.....its innocent and real.....

    and lovely pulaav too :).

  25. Sandeepa, I love S's version better than the real one! These toddlers coem up with such amazing stories and comments sometimes.

    BTW, I use to hate Daliya as a kid but your version looks so good I might try it sometime.

  26. Hugs n kissed to lil S and congratulations for the recognition!
    Super express recipe for Daliya

  27. Cute li'l S is sooo creative: I loved the new Cinderella story, much better than the original one..ha ha. I feel li'l S ke kole tule khub adore korte.
    Sandeepda, tomar lekha eto bhalo je I can almost hear her aado aado kotha :). Thanks for sharing all these cute little golden moments with us and bringing smile to my face (I am having a bad day here).

    And of course the food. I am so excited about your chow mention, yay! Congrats Sandeepa dear!

  28. Oh and a huge Congratulations on your Chow mention - you fully deserve all the praise there and more!

  29. I just loved little S's version of the story :). Will surely try out the pulao sometime soon. Tumi to bhishon busy mom and tar upore blog koro, amazing, keep it up.

  30. Yup...... I do the tempering and all directly in the pressure cooker .... add the veggies, the masala and then washed daliya and moong dal 2:1 and then cook for 2 whistles. now let me do a post on that!!

  31. I'm up early in the morning on a weekend and stiffling my laughter so that the spouse doesn't wake up :D I love lil S's tale....isn't she a sweetheart! A big mwah for her from this aunt in a faraway land:) Hope she's perfectly fine now. Btw, i had a good laugh reading the article at chow :) Thanks for a happy beginning to my day!

  32. Ayyo! So cute :) With little S around, I'm sure the distractions are endless as is the wonder of her amazing mind :-)


  33. Hi Sandeepa,You deserve tons of compliments for the short crisp & humorous write-ups...make me think perhaps my infant daughter will also one day grow up and show such creative stuff like your little S!!ANd I may also see thru a glass tinted with humour like you have narrated!!Keep the good writing flowing in...).

  34. muuuuuuuuuuuuah to little darling:) she made me laugh today and its been quite some days since i laughed like this:) by the way, i loved her story more than the original one;) at least it felt real:)

  35. nice write up...onek din por abar regular hoye gacho....its nice!!!wanted to tell u.....i tried the kolai dal recipe...and was great....agey ek baar was a sticky mess.....thanks for the roasting tip!!and daliya.....seems like a healthy option...try kortey hobey

  36. Only from the mind of a child... :) S is too sweet.

  37. ROTFL ... that is the best cinderella story ever... hugs to little S, she is the best...:D ... and oh man, the bong story had me in knots too... I can't imagine how many people get to your blog looking for some kicked up recipes :D... u must have some interesting set of search terms in your referal logs...:D

  38. Little S's rendition of Cinderella was so cute. And so very hilarious. Wish we human beings always remained as innocent. :) Have never had dalia before..will give this a shot sometime in the near future. Since I got into the foodie blogging world, our menu has been so varied and interesting..hats off to bloggers like you. Enid Blyton was one of my favourite authors .. as a kid, I used to practically dream about being in the world the author used to conjure up. :) Thanks for reminding me!

  39. K's Mom
    Try it, you should like it

    Eve's Lungs
    That was really funny :) Kids do have their own thoughts don't they ?
    That hotel looks good.

    Nice seeing you Swapna.

    Yeah, I think 3 is still a very innocent age and though too much shielding is not good, I just can't bring myself to tell her the real truth always

    is hating daliya abong thing ? I love it though

    Thanks :)

    You are really cute :) S does not say "ado ado" katha anymore. If I try to do baby talk, she corrects me !!!

    Mom means you got to be busy :) there's not other way. The blog is kind of my hobby but when it gets addictive that's when the problem starts ;-)

    If you do directly in the cooker, doesn't it become like khichdi ? My Mom does a Daliya Khichdi that way

  40. Jyothsna
    Thanks for laughing :)

    Good to see you around. How have you been in Canada ?

    Welcome to my blog and shall mail you soon

    Maybe I shall make her rewrite the stories

    Thanks and I guess all those who don't like Kalai Dal, like the roasted version


    I used to get some comments but not much fun on the search log

    Enid Blyton was my favorite too, in fact yesterday told my Ma to send some of my childhood books for S

  41. thanks a lot for the info on Patties Sandu, do we get it in wholesale mkts like BJs or in stores like A&P too.

  42. those varieties sound real good Sandu. Thanks a lot for taking out time and letting me know about it. Real nice of you:) *hugs*

  43. This is my first visit to ur blog Sandeepa....Ur Daliya Pulao surely tickles my tastebuds ...will try it out soon :-)

  44. such a sweet cinderalla story! kids do have a unique persepective! and ur dalia pulav looks exotic.

  45. Conrats Sandeepa for the mention in chow! LOL on the reinvented Ciderella story. You are a superMom!

  46. Your posts are as entertaining and delicious as the recipes. You come across as a multi talented person and a fun-loving mom.
    This is my first comment but I have been a regular visitor. Keep up the good work.

  47. Sandeepa, the old tale of Cinderella has hundreds of variations. Little S's imaginative and sweet version measures up to any of them. Baby is fully recovered from her illness, now?

  48. Girl, U re my window to bong cooking & bong social life:)))Didn't u know that ???? :P


  49. This comment has been removed by a blog administrator.

  50. too good a fairytale ever


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