The foodie and chef in me are often on a lookout to find interesting ingredients to make something that can really help me learn and grow better as a cook. I take runs to supermarkets to find exotic ingredients , local vegetable vendors for regular stuff to twist recipes and local food markets to find produce coming from different states .
I call myself lucky to visit Solapur Fest that was happening near me and wanted to check something that could really catch my attention. The first stall, young farmer with a bright smile introduced me to khapli gahu / khapli wheat. ” Tai, he khapli gahu aahe , khaaun bagha, khoop aavdel. Kheer banva .” ( Sister this is khapli wheat , try out u will love it. Make kheer.)
Intrigued , I got a kilo and wanted to know more about it. As I googled, I was excited to know that khapli wheat also called as emmerwheat , is one of the ancient food grains with medicinal properties . The wheat is gluten free and helps losing weight and fight diabetes which are lifestyle diseases. Khapli is majorly found around Karnataka, dry regions of Maharashtra and Andhra Pradesh . I’m sure it must be available in other parts of our country as well. The fact that urbanisation has made us forget such almost amazing foods . We rely on easily available vegetables and food grains that are quick to cook and digest which definitely causes harm in long run. For me , I’m definitely adding this to my regular food.
Simply tried the first dish as suggested by the young farmer with a southern touch..
150 gms khapli wheat cleaned soaked for 12 hours
2 tablespoon jaggery powder/grated
half cup coconut milk
1 tablespoon ghee
2 crushed cardamom
Water to cook the wheat
Pressure cook the soaked wheat with 2-3 cups water . It might need 7-8 whistles on slow flame. Make sure its cooked through.
In a blender give a quick spin to make it coarse without adding water . Heat a heavy bottomed vessel , add the remaining water from the cooked wheat and coarse wheat. Bring it to boil and add jaggery powder and cardamom.
Add ghee and cook it thoroughly and turn off the gas. Add the coconut milk and mix well.
The recipe is extremely simple bringing in the rustic flavors. It is important for me to make a basic dish first with any new ingredients so that i can understand the flavors to make more complex dishes.