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Recipe: Gehun Dal upma

Updated: Sep 26, 2020

We all use wheat grain in its flour form, but not many of us would have cooked this cereal in its whole grain form. Whole grain is more nutritious and fibrous than its powdered form. You can also sprout the whole grain, which frees it from anti-nutrients and enhances the protein and vitamin C content. In this recipe, we have used the combination of whole cereal and pulses which has enhanced both the quantity and quality of the overall protein intake (check “Did You Know?” section below for more detail). You can also try this upma recipe by replacing wheat with jowar or jau. In future, we will share more such healthy recipes using other whole grains. Till then, do try this Gehun Dal recipe and share your feedback.

Did You Know?

Cereal and pulse combination enhances your overall protein intake. Amino acids are the building block of proteins. Pulses are deficient in one of the amino acids (methionine) but rich in another amino acid lysine, whereas, cereals have high methionine and low lysine content. Thus, the combination of cereal-pulse is needed to ensure the body gets the required protein from these sources.


  • 1 katori whole wheat grain

  • ½ katori bengal gram dal (chana dal)

  • ¼ katori peanuts

  • 1 medium onion

  • 1 medium tomato

  • 1 medium carrot

  • 4-5 medium French beans

  • ½ medium capsicum

  • ½ medium red bell pepper (optional)

  • ½ medium yellow bell pepper (optional)

  • ¼ medium size broccoli (optional)

  • 2 medium green chillies

  • 5-6 curry leaves

  • ½ inch ginger

  • 3-4 garlic cloves (optional)

  • 1 tsp mustard seeds

  • ½ tsp cumin seeds

  • 1 tsp lemon juice

  • 1.5 tsp salt (salt can be adjusted as per taste)

  • ½ tsp black pepper

  • ¼ tsp turmeric powder

  • ¼ tsp red chilli (can be adjusted as per taste)

  • Handful of coriander leaves

Serving: 3

Calorific Value (per serving):

  • Energy: 433 kcal

  • Protein: 15 gm

  • Carbs: 56 gm

  • Fats: 17 gm

  • Fibre: 14 gm



1) Add whole grain wheat to a large bowl and rinse it well a few times in water. Pour fresh water and soak for at least 8 hours. Soaking helps to soften the grains which reduces the cooking time. It also helps in increasing digestion of the grain.

2) One hour before the cooking, wash chana dal and soak it in clean water.

Steps to cook whole wheat grains:

1) Throw the water in which the wheat was soaked and rinse it properly again.

2) Pour 2 cups of water in a pressure cooker along with whole wheat grain and cook for 7-8 whistles on a medium flame.

3) Once pressure cooker steams out naturally, open the lid and check whether wheat grain has become soft and edible. In case it is hard and chewy, you can cook again for 4-5 whistles.

4) Once wheat is done, set aside and let it cool down.

Steps to cook chana dal:

1) Throw the water in which chana dal was soaked and rinse it properly again.

2) Pour 1 cup of water in a pressure cooker along with chana dal and cook for 3-4 whistles on a medium flame.

3) Once pressure cooker steams out naturally, open the lid and check whether dal has become mushy. If not, keep it in the pressure cooker again for some time.

4) Now strain the dal so that excess water is removed.

5) With the help of masher, make a very fine paste of chana dal.

6) Keep this paste aside to cool down.

Steps to dry roast peanuts:

1) Heat a pan and dry roast peanuts in the pan on a low flame till they start cracking and getting dark brown in colour.

2) Keep aside these peanuts. When they have cooled down, rub them so that their outer covering gets removed.

3) Now crush these peanuts into small pieces.

Steps to make Gehun Dal Upma:

1) Finally, chop all the vegetables (onion, tomato, carrot, beans, bell peppers, capsicum, broccoli, green chilies and garlic) and finely grate ginger.

2) Heat oil in a pan. Once heated, add mustard seeds. Once mustard seeds start spluttering add cumin seeds, green chilli, ginger, garlic, and curry leaves. Sauté this mixture for few seconds.

3) Add chopped onions and sauté this mixture for a minute.

4) At this stage add salt, turmeric powder, black pepper, and red chilli powder.

5) Add the remaining vegetables in the following order: carrot, broccoli, beans, capsicum, bell pepper and tomato. Sauté each vegetable for a minute before adding the next vegetable. Cook the vegetables on a medium flame.

6) Cook all vegetables till they become little soft. Don’t overcook them as we want to keep them crunchy.

7) Now add cooked wheat grains to this mixture. Sauté it for a minute so that all the spices and vegetables get properly blended with the wheat grain.

8) Now add chana dal paste to this mixture and mix it well so that it also gets properly blended with the entire mixture. Cook this mixture for over a minute.

9) Finally, add peanuts and lemon juice to this mixture and mix them well.

10) Garnish this upma with coriander leaves.

Your Gehun Dal Upma is ready!

Health Benefits of Some Major Ingredients:

Whole wheat grain (Gehun)

Eating more whole grains is an easy way to make your diet healthier. Whole grains are packed with nutrients including protein, fiber, B vitamins, antioxidants, and trace minerals (iron, zinc, copper and magnesium). As compared to refined grains, eating whole grains is associated with many health benefits such as reducing the risk of heart disease, type 2 diabetes, obesity, and high blood pressure. Whole-grain diets can also improve bowel health by helping to maintain regular bowel movements and promote growth of healthy bacteria in the colon.


Pulses are great source of plant-based protein and fibre. In fact, pulses are made up of over 25%-30% protein, which makes them excellent source of protein for vegetarians. They are also good source of B vitamins, iron, magnesium, potassium and zinc.


Peanuts are rich in protein, good quality fat and various healthy nutrients. The protein content ranges from 22–30% of its total calories, making peanuts a great source of plant-based protein.

This recipe was awarded at the all-India Healthy Recipe Competition organized by the Indian Institute of Public Health Gandhinagar as part of the National Nutrition Month 2020.


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