Why and how to eat khapli wheat
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There are many ancient foods which are coming back to our modern life these days. Khapli wheat is one such example. If you are a diet enthusiast you must have heard about this special wheat in recent times. This special wheat is gaining popularity these days for its health benefits. This blog is going to be all about –

  • What is khapli wheat?
  • A comparison between normal wheat vs Khapli wheat
  • What are the health benefits of khapli wheat?
  • How to eat khapli wheat?

What is Khapli wheat?

why and how to eat khapli wheat - khapli/ Emmerwheat

Khapli wheat also known as emmer is ancient wheat grain. “Khapli” wheat means “crusty” wheat.  The scientific name is Triticum dicoccum.This specific variety of wheat is generally grown in Maharashtra. It can withstand very harsh environments like drought, extreme heat.  As the name suggests, the outer layer of this light brown wheat is very hard which enables the grain to survive in the harsh weather.

How khapli wheat is different than normal wheat? Khapli wheat vs normal wheat

Khapli wheat grains are generally longer than normal wheat.

There is not much difference when we compare the nutritional profile of normal wheat with Khapli wheat. The fiber, fat, and protein content of khapli wheat is a little higher than normal wheat. On the other hand, calcium, phosphorous, and iron content is comparatively better in normal wheat flour.

Just like any wheat grain, khapli wheat naturally contains gluten. However, the gluten content is believed to be lesser than the normal wheat. Therefore, this wheat is now marketed as “gluten-free” wheat or as “safe” for gluten-sensitive people. (1)

Table 1: Nutritional comparison of khapli wheat flour vs normal wheat flour (in 100g)

 Normal wheat flour1Khapli wheat flour2
Carbohydrate (g)69.468.3
Protein (g)12.112.5
Fat (g)1.72.4
Fiber (g)1.92.7
Calcium (mg)4838
Phosphorous (mg)355360
Iron (mg)4.94.7

Source –

1.C Gopalan, Nutritive value of Indian Foods, NIN, 2016

2 .Food and Agriculture Organization Corporate Repository 

why and how to eat khapli wheat - Khapli/emmer wheat flour

What is gluten?

Gluten is a type of protein found in wheat, rye, and barley. Gluten is composed of two types of proteins – glutenin and gliadin. They are bind to each other tightly. Gliadin is water-insoluble whereas glutenin is the water-soluble fraction of gluten. The study suggests that gliadin is primarily responsible for celiac disease.

What is celiac disease?

Celiac disease is an autoimmune disorder triggered by gluten. It is also called gluten-sensitive enteropathy. People with celiac disease often experience stomach aches, bloating, gas, diarrhea, heartburn, etc after consuming gluten present in wheat/ rye/ barley products.

What are the health benefits of Khapli wheat?

Khapli wheat has multiple health benefits. The nutritional profile, phytochemicals make it special and helpful to deal with various lifestyle disorders.

Good source of protein –

why and how to eat khapli wheat - it's good for diabetes, weight loss

100 g of khapli wheat flour contains 12.5 g of protein which is a decent amount compared to other popular cereals like rice, ragi, jowar, bajra, corn, etc.

It can be a great protein choice, especially for vegetarians. The protein quality of khapli wheat improved to many folds when combined with dal or any other legumes.

Table 2: Comparison of the protein content of khapli wheat with other common grains –

Common GrainsProtein content (per 100 g)
Parboiled rice (Milled)6.4
Parboiled rice (hand pound)8.5
Raw rice (Milled)6.8
Raw rice (hand pound)7.5
Whole wheat flour  (atta)12.1
Khapli wheat flour12.5
Refined wheat flour (Maida)11
Corn (Tender)4.7

Source –

C Gopalan, Nutritive value of Indian Foods, NIN, 2016

Food and Agriculture Organization Corporate Repository

Rich in fiber –

Khapli wheat flour is rich in soluble as well as insoluble fiber.100g of this wheat contains 2.7g of crude fiber. Except for ragi, most of the common grains contain a lesser amount of fiber compared to khapli wheat. This is very helpful to relieve constipation.

Fiber also helps to keep the LDL under control and maintain heart health. (4)

Table 3: Comparison of the fiber content of khapli wheat with other common grains

Common GrainsFiber content (per 100 g)
Parboiled rice (Milled)0.2
Parboiled rice (hand pound)
Raw rice (Milled)0.2
Raw rice (hand pound)0.6
Whole wheat flour  (atta)1.9
Khapli wheat flour2.7
Refined wheat flour (Maida)0.3
Corn (Tender)1.9

Source –

C Gopalan, Nutritive value of Indian Foods, NIN, 2016

Food and Agriculture Organization Corporate Repository

Good source of antioxidants

Free radicals are produced during our metabolism process. These free radicals often move in our body and tend to attack the cell walls of skin, eyes, etc making wrinkles, cataracts,s, etc. Antioxidants help to remove these free radicals.

Whole grains, fruits, vegetables are a generally good sources of antioxidants – polyphenols, carotenoid, selenium, etc. Khapli wheat is not an exception.

The study suggests that it is rich in polyphenols. (2) Long-term intake of whole grain as a part of a balanced diet helps to prevent cancer, cardiovascular diseases, diabetes, neurodegenerative diseases, etc.

Helpful for weight loss

Since it’s high in fiber, khapli wheat gives a good satiety value. That means this helps to keep people full for a long time. Therefore it can be a great choice for people trying for weight loss.

Good for diabetes

Fiber helps to delay the digestion of carbohydrates. Therefore after digestion glucose slowly gets released into the bloodstream maintaining a steady blood sugar level. Khapli wheat is high in fiber which makes it a good option for diabetic people.

Study shows it may have a role to delay and prevent type 2 diabetes. (3)

Is khapli wheat gluten free? Can people with celiac disease have it?

use khapli/emmer wheat for making bread/roti

Khapli wheat is not gluten-free. Just like any other wheat, it contains gluten. However, since it is less processed, people believe that it has low gluten content.

Therefore, people with celiac disease should be very careful to introduce khapli wheat in their diet. Don’t forget to follow overnight soaking or germinating the wheat grains for better digestibility. Try to consume this in a small amount. Wait to see if there is any reaction. If not, think of increasing the quantity. Otherwise, avoid it.

 Who can eat khapli wheat?

Khapli wheat is a whole grain and has multiple health benefits. If you are not gluten sensitive, feel free to add this in regular diet. It is safe for kids, adults, pregnant and lactating mothers too. If you are diabetic, hypertensive, or planning to lose weight, Khapli wheat can be a great choice.

How to eat khapli wheat?

Foods ensure the health benefits once taken in the right way. You need to consume khapli wheat in a way so that it gets digested easily without causing any harm.

You may consume khapli wheat either as wheat or as flour. You can make a variety of dishes following the usual recipe.

If you are interested to eat this wheat, make sure you either soak it overnight or germinate them first. This will make the food easily digestible and light on your stomach.

It has a distinct hard outer layer. Germination helps to break down the complex nutrients to their simpler form.

Germination helps make this wheat more tolerable especially for people with a celiac disorder or gluten sensitivity. 

How to germinate khapli wheat?

why and how to eat khapli wheat - germinated wheat in cloth bag
  • Take the khapli wheat and wash it well
  • Keep the wheat in a cloth bag
  • Sprinkle some water on the bag
  • Keep the bag in a cool place
  • Keep sprinkling water after 4-5 hrs
  • Within a day or two wheat will start germinating.
  • Take them out from the cloth bag
  • Store the germinated wheat in clean airtight container in the refrigerator.

Use the soaked or germinated khapli wheat to prepare –

  • Khichri  – add variety of dal, vegetables and spices and follow the usual recipe
  • Kheer/ Porridge – add jaggery, ghee, dry fruits, milk and follow the usual recipe
  • Upma – add chopped vegetables, ghee and follow the usual recipe
why and how to eat khapli wheat - powder of germinated wheat

How to eat khapli wheat flour ?

Follow the usual recipe and use khapli wheat flour to make –

  • Roti – eat with dal, sabji as usual
  • Paratha –  may make stuffed (with dal/ vegetables) or plain paratha
  • Poori – enjoy with chana or sabji
  • Dosa – add usual sambar, chutney
  • Uttapam – add chopped vegetables
  • Pancake – may think of making banana pancake
  • Cake – due to less gluten content, may not be as fluffy as by using normal wheat
  • Bread – just like cake, may not be very fluffy like usual bread
why and how to eat khapli wheat - roti

Where can I buy khapli wheat?

Interested to buy Khapli wheat? Click on this link –


Want to try khapli wheat flour? Buy here –


Bottom line

Khapli wheat is an ancient grain. This light brown, long whole grain has multiple health benefits. Make it a part of your balanced diet. Consume in moderation, eat mindfully.

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Dr. Soma Chakrabarty is based in Hyderabad. She has 15 yrs of working experience in nutrition. She guides people to modify eating behavior and achieve goals for wellness. She believes in a practical diet that helps people to live rather than survive.

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