(Gehoon, गेहूँ, Gothumai, கோதுமை, Gouthamp, ഗോതമ്പ്, Godhuma, గోధుమ)
Wheat is a cereal grain that is the third most commonly used around the world. There are several varieties of wheat with varying gluten content.
The wheat grain has three parts: the outer skin or bran which is the fiber rich part, the inner reproductive part of the grain known as the germ and the endosperm, which is the tissue surrounding the germ. While the germ is full of protein and vitamins, the endosperm is the starchy part of the grain.
Wheat is used in many different forms in Indian recipes:
- The whole wheat grain, also known as Wheat Berry is used in few Indian dishes. It is also sprouted and consumed in the form of salads.
- The outer fiber rich layers of the wheat grain, known as the Wheat Bran is sold separately. It is used for certain recipes like muffins, bread etc.
- Wheat is also used in its crushed form known as Cracked Wheat. If the same is parboiled and then crushed, it is known as Bulgur or Broken Wheat. It has a coarser texture like corn meal. In India, it is commonly known as dalia or daliya or lapsi in hindi. The tamil name for this is samba godhumai or godhumai rava. It is used to make upma, puttu, khichadi, kheer, sheera and many other sweets.
- Most often, wheat grain is ground into Wheat Flour which is commonly known as Atta or Godhumai Maavu in India. A wheat grain has three parts: the bran or the multi layered outer skin, the inner endosperm and the embryo of the wheat kernel known as the germ. Durum wheat variety is generally used for making the commercially available Atta Flour. It is made with the wheat grains' bran (fiber rich part) and endosperm starchy part), unless it is specified as 100% whole wheat.. This is used to make many roti (flat bread) varieties in India. It is also used to make sweet dishes like halwa, ladoo etc. On the other hand Whole Wheat Flour is the flour made with the whole grain and includes the bran, endosperm and the germ (protein and vitamin rich part). In olden days, whole wheat flour was made using a stone grinder (chakki) at home. In India this is known as the chakki atta, where the whole wheat grains are crushed between the chakki or stones. Over the last few years, flour mills are found all over India. Also, domestic chakkis are available to make wheat flour at home. The flour produced using these methods is obviously healthy with high fiber content.
- All purpose flour or Maida is the flour made with endosperm only. I have discussed in detail about maida here.
- Semolina has a texture that is between wheat flour and the cracked wheat. Rava is a form of semolina that is again used in many Indian recipes. I have discussed in detail Rava, also known as Bombay rava in a separate page. Do check it out here.
In this page, I have given the list of recipes using the different types of wheat products.
Recipes Using Whole Wheat Berry (Whole Wheat Grain)
Whole wheat berries have a chewy texture and can be used in making different types of salads - both sweet and savory. It is very high in fiber content. It can be soaked to make the cooking faster. Another common way of using whole wheat berries are by sprouting them. This increases its nutritional value.
Recipes Using Cracked Wheat & Broken Wheat (Bulgur, Samba Godhumai, Godhumai Rava, Lapsi, Dalia)
There are two forms of broken wheat : One is the cracked wheat and the other is called bulgur or broken wheat. Both kind of looks the same. The former is the wheat grains crushed in its raw form and the latter is made by parboiling the wheat grains and then crushing them. You can use it interchangeably in most recipes. Both have a grainy texture and is fiber rich. Both of them are called as lapsi or dalia in hindi and samba ravai or udaitha godhumai in tamil. There are no separate names for these in India. They can be used for savory dishes like upma, pongal, biryani etc. and sweet dishes like kheer, sweet pongal etc.
Recipes Using Wheat Flour (Atta, Godhumai Maavu)
Atta or wheat flour is the widely used form of wheat in India. While it is mostly used to make roti (flat bread) varieties, it is also used to make sweet dishes like halwa. It is a must have in every Indian kitchen pantry.