Wednesday, September 26, 2012

Wheat berry Pilaf: guest post by Richa of Vegan Richa

I met Richa sometime in the middle of last year when she dropped into my Facebook page. Her blog, which was then called Hobby and More and is now Vegan Richa, is filled with scrumptious recipes of various kinds with totally drool worthy photographs. But what she's most famous for is her whole lot of creative, amazing bread recipes! It's very obvious that Richa loooooves to bake bread and also make all kinds of interesting dishes with bread, like her Tiramisu and Gulab Jamun French Toasts.

Richa also makes some yummy gluten free breads. I tried her steaming method to make Gluten Free Flatbreads earlier this year and was really happy with the results.

Today I'm happy to have her here as a guest blogger with a delicious, healthy Wheat Berry Pilaf recipe. All those pictures she's clicked of the pilaf are making my mouth water and I can almost feel the chewiness of the wheat berries in my mouth. Yum!

As I mentioned in an earlier post, I'll be participating in Vegan MoFo this year. You can see my Vegan MoFo Sneak Peek album here.

Last year was my first time doing MoFo and it was the first for Richa too. This year she is really busy and was hesitant to participate, but finally she decided to just go ahead and jump into the MoFo madness. :D I can't wait to see all the delicious recipes she comes up with all through October.

Now, without further ado, let's move on to Richa's post...


Wheat berry Pilaf

I blog at Vegan Richa, where I vegan-ize Indian food, sweets, yeast breads, and other baked goodies. I met Susmitha I think around Vegan Mofo last year. :) Come to think of it, I met so many wonderful bloggers in that one whirlwind month.

I was instantly attracted to her super cute hand made monsters, beautiful jewellery and amazing and simple food creations!

When Sus asked me to do a guest post in the middle of Summer. I knew I was not going to find time till later. So here I am when the weather is cooling down, and in a few days I will be going crazy trying to blog every day of the month!

Wheat berry Pilaf

For the guest post, I was initially thinking of making some cookies. But Sus has been baking up super fun cookies already lately. So I decided on a delicious whole grain pilaf. For those on a gluten free diet, this pilaf can be made with any whole grains.

Wheat berry Pilaf

For variations: add mushrooms, greens, eggplants, chunky vegetables, nuts, biryani /pulav masala of choice, dried fruit (raisin/cranberries). Or make a simple one with vegetable broth, mushrooms and parsley.

For some of my Whole grain/Rice preparations see here and veganized Indian sweets see here.

Wheat berry Pilaf

Whole wheat berry pilaf

Vegan, soy, corn, nut free recipe

Cook Time: 30 minutes to 1 hour, Serves 2


1/2 cup dry wheat berries (Gejun grain)

3/4 cup water for pressure cooker, (1.5 cups for saucepan)

extra water for soaking

1 teaspoon organic canola or virgin coconut oil

1 teaspoon cumin seeds

1 green chili chopped

4-5 garlic cloves chopped

1/4 medium onion chopped

1/4 red bell pepper chopped

1/4 cup green peas

1 teaspoon coriander powder or biryani masala blend

chopped cilantro for garnish


Rinse the berries well and soak overnight in 2 cups water.

In a pressure cooker or pan, add oil.

Heat on medium heat. Add cumin seeds and let them crackle.

Add chili and onions and cook for 4-5 minutes until golden.

Add red bell pepper and peas and cook for a minute.

Add in the rinsed wheat berries, salt and cook on medium for 2 whistles in the pressure cooker, and then on low heat for 15-20 minutes (2-3 more whistles).

If cooking in saucepan, add the rinsed berries, 1.5 cups of water, cover and cook on low until berries are tender. Serve hot.

The water content and cook time depends on the wheat berries(hard or soft), add more water and cook longer if not tender at the suggested time. I use soft white or red wheat berries here.

You can also cook the wheat berries separately like pasta and keep ready. Cook with water and salt until tender.

Serve hot topped with cilantro and lemon juice/wedge.

Wheat berry Pilaf

Thank you for sharing your space with me Susmitha! Hope you all like this post. You can also find me on Facebook, Twitter and Pinterest. Have a great week.

Wheat berry Pilaf


  1. the pics are so neat and nice its time i try making wheat berry pilaf at home.

    1. Thanks Dassana. It was a very cloudy day, so they are very edited:) Try some whole grain pilafs for sure:)

  2. Clearly i dont remember when i met you;) it just feels like i know you forever now.
    Thanks for having me over Susmitha. have a fantastic week. and a few days of rest before the rush begins!

  3. Nice to meet you Susmitha! And Richa- I've always wondered what to do with wheatberries (I've never cooked them, myself), so thank you for the tutorial! :-)

  4. Gorgeous! Good luck with MOFO, I'm doing it for the first time this year! Ack!!!

  5. There's those galub jamuns calling my name again. What are you two trying to do to me? This is a great guest post and post, but you know I expect nothing less from you two ;)
    Look forward to MOFOing with you ladies.

    1. Yay for Mofo! cant wait to catch up with everyone this year