Dalia Tabbouleh: A vegetarian star that can be a worthy opponent to any meat heavy meal

Dalia Tabbouleh: A great vegetarian star that can be a worthy opponent to meat heavy meal

The classic middle eastern salad made with Tabbouleh

The classic middle eastern salad made with Tabbouleh

This the season to be jolly...falalalala!

I love this time of the year, autumn and winter are my favourite times of the year. And I feel smug living in Bangalore with its mild winters, clear skies, when its cold enough to curl up with a good book and a warm drink and still not chilly enough to bring out any heavy woollens or dying without blankets.

As winter sets in I find myself naturally gravitating to making more soups and wholesome foods like Salads. I also like to throw dinner parties. Usually all of our friends love chicken and meat and I make a lot of it but sometimes we have this one vegetarian friend who can’t eat meat. I also feel that a good vegetarian dish can off-set and balance a meat heavy meal.

A salad to me is not just a side dish or something to fill in your diet friendly requirements . In fact a salad can be a star of a holiday feast. I like making this almost classic Tabbouleh but with a local twist with the widely available ingredient  in India that is almost a staple nowadays as a replacement grain. It’s nothing but the humble Dalia. Now I really feel that Dalia is one of the most underrated ingredient ever, sure there are the dali Khichdis and Dalia breakfast recipes. But Dalia deserves to find its way in to a holiday feast. It’s both nutritious and extremely versatile, two qualities that make it a super ingredient.

This Tabbouleh recipe replaces the classic bulgar wheat with Dalia, and is off-set with freshly grown organic parsley from my mom-in-law’s garden. The proportions of the tabbouleh is important but not strict , a good tabbouleh uses less grain and more parsley.


Servings: Enough for a 4-5 small bowls

1 Cup Dalia

2 cups chopped parsley

¼ cup basil

¼ cup freshly chopped onions

1 cup minced tomato & cucumbers (add quantities as per taste, I used the crispy kakdis and not the soft cucumbers)

1-2 Tbps olive oil

1 tbps to ½ cup lemon juice (as per taste)

½  cup Pomegranates

Salt & pepper to taste


  1. Take a large bowl so that everything can be mixed easily

  2. Boil water (enough to submerge the dali)

  3. Toss the dalia in it and let it cook (it won’t take long, so alternatively you can pour boiling water in the dalia and leave it or a few minutes). After its soft and cooked , strain the excess water and make sure its dry by laying on a sheet of baking paper or a plate

  4. Add the parsley, onion , tomato and cucumbers and the pomegrenate

  5. Add the olive oil and lime juice

  6. Cover with a clingfilm and place it in a fridge until you are ready to serve

  7. Add salt and pepper just before serving so that water is not released due to the salt


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