The term “Dalia” is often used to connote a grain; people tend to confuse it for a wonder grain that checks all the boxes on a “good carbs” list. While the latter is true, the assumption that Dalia is a type of grain is wrong.
In truth, Dalia is a texture—a milling term. In India, we refer to “Rava” not just to mean the semolina-like ingredient derived from wheat but also from rice and other grains. Similarly, Dalia is a texture that refers to any grain that has been broken. Thus, Dalia can be made from any grain—wheat, rice, millets, etc.
The milling process for Dalia is fairly simple. In most cases, the grain is washed and dried or sometimes, parched (lightly roasted) to make the tough outer skin easier to break down and the grain is then passed through a machine, which breaks it down into various degrees of fineness. In some cases such as the Conscious Food Sprouted Wheat Dalia, the wheat grain are first sprouted in order to maximize their protein content and then milled.
Since the grain is either washed or parched or sprouted, dishes made using Dalia cook faster and are also easier on digestion and because no part of the grain is wasted (endosperm and bran is kept intact), the whole grain is consumed thereby making it an excellent source of fibre as well as complex carbohydrates. This makes it more accessible to diabetics and weight watchers, who need to stay away from simple carbohydrates.
Dalia also makes it easy for one to incorporate millets in our diet; not all of us eat Bajra or Jowar rotis everyday; so, using them in the form of broken grain to make porridges, pulaos, kheers, etc. is an easier and faster solution.
The next time you see Dalia on the supermarket shelves, do not shy away from it. Read the label to know which grain it has been derived from and know that it is a virtuous option that will help you eat the whole grain rather than in a refined format.