But for today’s post, let’s spare a thought to these sides made with hearty whole grains, each one is a delightfully wholesome serving to complement and complete a meal, whatever the occasion.
Couscous, which is appropriately derived from a word meaning ‘well-rounded’ due to its shape, is also well rounded nutritionally. Full of essential B vitamins as well as minerals, it has a low glycemic load and packs an impressive 6g of protein per cup, cooked.
Adding to these qualities is the fact that the couscous sold in our western markets is pre-steamed and dried, which means all we have to do is add some hot water or stock, cover and leave for 5 minutes.
Bring in some delightful Indian street food flavors to create a mouthwatering Chaat and…voila, a hearty wholegrain side is ready to serve.
Brown rice is 100% whole grain, unpolished rice kernels. The oil-rich bran & germ layer are left intact, giving an added punch of more than 15 essential B vitamins, manganese, selenium, magnesium & iron. The complex carbohydrates in brown rice deliver a boost of energy and help regulate and improve mood by triggering serotonin production.
This Indian pulao-style brown rice dish is easy to put together and full of the goodness of fresh green herbs and aromatic spices, hearty whole-grain brown rice, protein-rich lean chicken and a rainbow of colorful vegetables like red bell pepper, green peas, orange carrot and yellow sweet corn. Sounds wholesome and delish, right?
Bulgur is an inexpensive, high in fiber and protein-filled whole grain. Inspired by my friend Ozlem’s Turkish way of cooking bulgur, I’ve added Indian spices and aromatics to create my Mixed Vegetable Bulgur Pulao recipe. Back in India, bulgur appears more commonly in sweet and savory porridges as Dalia or Lapsi.
It’s worth getting to know ‘Quinoa’, a 3-4 thousand year old, ancient Incan grain; especially since nutritionally packed fiber-rich quinoa is one of the few foods that qualify as a complete protein source with all nine essential amino acids, and is also filled with important vitamins, minerals (especially manganese) and iron.
Antioxidant-rich lentils are cholesterol-free and gluten-free nutritional heavyweights. One cup provides 90% of the daily value of folic acid (the highest amount provided by any unfortified food), 35% of our daily value of protein and 15 grams of fiber, all delivered at only 230 calories per cup.
To get a Lowdown on Lentils: Read this article.
- 1 cup yellow lentils, washed (See note)
- 1 tablespoon canola oil
- ½ cup chopped onions
- 1 teaspoon ginger garlic paste
- ¼ teaspoon turmeric powder
- ¼ teaspoon coriander powder
- ½ teaspoon salt
- 2 teaspoons tomato paste
- 2-3 tablespoons chopped cilantro
- 2 tablespoons lemon juice
- Heat oil and add the onions and ginger garlic paste. Cook the onions for 2-3 minutes and add the dry spices and salt.
- Then add the washed lentils and tomato paste. Stir for a few minutes for the flavors to blend. Add 3 cups of water and cook till the lentils are done; the time taken for the lentils to cook depends on the type of lentil used. The fastest method to cook lentils is in the pressure cooker.
- Sprinkle with lemon juice and fresh cilantro. Serve warm with your favorite meat like these grilled lamb chops and basmati rice.
- I used Chana (gram lentils) for this recipe. But this preparation works just as well with other yellow lentils like Toor (pigeon split peas) or Moong (split yellow lentils.)
Subscribe to Blog via Email
Disclosure: This post contains affiliate links. For the full disclosure notice, read here