More often than not, people who are short on time wonder what alternatives they can adopt to lead a healthy lifestyle. I turn to Oats because supermarkets are lined up with this superfood these days. Oats are trending and very easily available. You have packets available in different flavours for your taste buds - sweet and savoury to keep you company on idle nights or early mornings when you have to rush to work. They can be made quickly and are really filling. I've also been tempted and have tried experimenting with many varieties, my favourite being Quaker. But somehow these packaged oats always leave a bad taste in my mouth at the end of it, and a sort of guilt at consuming an unhealthy form of something so healthy. Packaged oats are a little bit plastic-y and they make me think that cornflour is added to the mixture.
I was introduced to this Upma by my younger sister during our health conscious days, and though she doesn't have much liking to it now, this dish has slowly become one of my favourite go to dishes for breakfast. Contrary to a popular myth, not everything healthy has to taste boring! This dish is versatile, flavourful and easy to make, and can be made in large quantities. The ingredients used in the Upma bring out the best in Oats and this is by far one of my favourite ways of consuming Oats. I even keep some of it for an evening snack. A quick pop in the microwave and this dish tastes as good as it did in the morning. It makes snacking guilt free.
If this interested you, also see my 5 Savory Oatmeal Recipes for Breakfast when you don’t like it sweet
- ½ cup Oats
- Onions finely chopped
- Green Chili finely chopped
- 6 Curry Leaves
- ¼ cup Red Cabbage
- ¼ cup Carrots finely julienned
- ¼ cup Capsicum finely julienned
- 1 teaspoons Urad Dal
- 1 teaspoon Chana Dal
- 4 cloves Garlic finely chopped
- 1 teaspoons Mustard Seeds
- ½ teaspoon Turmeric powder
- Chili Powder To taste
- ½ teaspoon Coriander Powder
- ½ teaspoon Mango Powder Raw Amchoor
- 1 ½ cups Water
- Salt to taste
- Oil for cooking
- Heat one and a half teaspoon oil in a pan. I use olive oil for cooking, but any oil is fine. Add the mustard seeds and wait for them to splutter. As they start to splutter add the Urad Dal and Chana Dal. Fry this on low flame for a minute
- Add the onions and saute till transparent. To this add the chopped garlic and curry leaves. Be careful not to burn the garlic but wait for the flavor of garlic and curry leaves to start wafting through air
- Add the remaining vegetables and saute for 3-4 minutes. You can cover the pan for faster cooking
- Once the vegetables are semi cooked, add the oats and all the masala and salt. Cook the oats on a low flame for 4-5 minutes. At this point, you have to dry roast the oats
- Once the oats have roasted for a while, add the water and increase the flame. Let the water reduce and in a few minutes you will see the oats getting a nice creamy consistency. Let the water reduce further and switch off the flame once you are satisfied with the amount of liquid. I don't like to dry this too much as oats can become a little cloggy
- Sprinkle with chopped coriander. I sprinkled some nice curly parsley that I had sitting in the fridge and it tasted yumm with the oats
- Serve hot!
- I go crazy with the vegetables and even add cauliflower, mushrooms, beets to mine. Basically whatever catches my fancy!
- You can add a sprinkle of lemon juice on top to give it a bit of tang.