Cracked Wheat Pilaf (Pulav)

Bulgar wheat or cracked wheat is packed with vitamins, minerals and lots of fiber and it's very delicious. It has a slightly crunchy and nutty taste which I love. Cracked wheat being a thick and more substantial grain has the advantage of standing up really well to spices.

As part of adding more different grains to our meals, I have been stocking up on cracked wheat, couscous, quinoa, wild rice and cornmeal - all of which make usual rotation appearances on the dinner table. Bob's red mills is generally a well trusted and readily available brand which carriers many different grains, but if not you can always find them online. 

This recipe is a healthy make-over of a beloved classic. It is also part of my fast 20-minutes or less weeknight dinner collection. It is very adaptable to different vegetables and herbs - feel free to use whatever you have at hand or tucked away in that forgotten corner of the fridge.

For every cup of dried cracked wheat, I try to pair it with atleast 2 cups of chopped veggies.. any combination works but we try to go seasonal as much as possible. Our favorite combo is sliced onions, sliced mushrooms, asparagus and chopped butternut squash (depending on season). 
Our favorite seasoning is a combo of curry powder and sambhar powder and a generously chopped handful of fresh mint leaves. But this dish is like a blank canvas so feel free to experiment with your favorite Indian spice blends and/or herbs :)


Serves 4


1C cracked wheat
2C water
olive oil

6-7 button mushrooms (sliced)
quarter of a large onion (sliced)
1 carrot (chopped)
1C butternut squash cubes

handful of mint leaves - chopped
few cilantro sprigs
1/2 tsp curry powder
1/4 tsp sambhar powder
salt & pepper

  1. Heat oil in a pan. When hot, add onions and let them cook down for a few minutes.
  2. Follow-up by adding all the veggies and cook for another few minutes.
  3. Then add cracked wheat, water, spices, mint and season with salt & pepper.
  4. Let it come to a boil then reduce heat to simmer. Cook covered for 10 minutes or as per package directions.
  5. Remove from heat and fluff up using a fork. Garnish with chopped cilantro and serve hot!