Savory Indian-Style Oats or Oats “Upma” is my version of South-Indian twist to a humble breakfast staple.
This recipe has all the ingredients of “Savory Upma” (South Indian Porridge) but I swapped “Rava” or ‘Semolina’ or ‘Cream of wheat’ with Quick cook steel cut oats.
Click to read about Rava Upma on my blog.
The basis of Indian cooking is to master the technique of ‘tadka’ or oil tempering. This technique draws flavor from spices and carries it to the main ingredient in the dish.
Tempering can vary from one recipe to another. Here I am going to talk about the ingredients for this recipe only.
What consists of Oil tempering
- Oil – Olive oil, Avocado oil, Coconut oil, Ghee (I like using Good fats)
- Lentils – Chana dal (or split bengal gram) & Urad Dal ( or split black gram)
- Mustard seeds
- Cumin seeds
- Dried whole red chili
- ‘Hing’ or Asafoetida
- Curry leaves – it’s a herb and not related to curry powder!
- Red Chili Powder – a pinch
Most of the above ingredients are available at Indian grocery stores or speciality stores.
A special mention about Curry leaves: This herb belongs to citrus family and a staple in most Indian oil tempering. It’s not easily available in most grocery stores outside India. You will have to make a trip to your local Indian store to purchase them. These days it’s also available on Amazon.com. If you don’t have this herb at hand, it’s best to omit it from the recipe. Curry powder wouldn’t be its substitute.
Other Ingredients that can be added
Peanuts and cashews to extra crunch and nutrition.
Vegetables: Carrots, Green beans and Green peas to add fibre
Breakfast is the most important meal of the day but is often neglected by a majority of us. To ensure it’s not missed, I meal prep! This is one way to avoid skipping meals or unnecessary high sugar treats or take-outs.
Not to forget my love of experimenting. This recipe is from one such instances….
Oats was on my weekly breakfast rotation schedule, but I wanted to try something savory and Indian. This made me create this simple and nutritious breakfast recipe that easy to store and reheat.
Add a seasonal fruit like an apple or pear and voila your weekday breakfast is sorted 😀
This recipe tastes best when served hot and leftovers can be safely refrigerated for up to 3 days.
Savory Indian-Style Oats
- Cast Iron Skillet or Cooking Pan
- Measuring Cup
- 1 tsp Ghee or cooking oil of your preference
- a pinch asafoetida or 'hing'
- 1/2 tsp Cumin seeds
- 1/2 tsp Mustard seeds
- 1/2 tsp Chana Dal or split Bengal gram
- 1/2 tsp Urad dal or split Black gram
- 1 whole dried red chili
- 4-5 curry leaves omit if not available
- 1/2 cup Red Onions chopped
- 1/2 tsp Ginger garlic paste or 1 garlic clove and 1/2 inch ginger minced
- 1/4 tsp Red chili powder based on your preference.
- 1/2 tsp Turmeric
- 1 cup water
- 2 tbsp lemon juice or 1/2 lemon
- 1/2 cup Quick cook steel cut oats
- Salt to taste
- 1 tbsp Cilantro
- 1 Green chili chopped (optional). Use deseeded Jalapeno instead, if desired.
- Start by soaking measured oats in water for 15-30 minutes.
- Heat a cast iron skillet or a pan and add ghee.
- Now add a pinch of asafetida, cumin seeds & mustard seeds. Let them sputter for 30 seconds.
- Next add lentils: chana dal & urad dal and cook for 30 seconds.
- Add dried whole red chili and curry leaves. Cook for additional 30 seconds.
- At this time add onions and saute until they turn transluscent and pink. Add ginger garlic paste followed by red chili powder (if using) and turmeric powder.
- Give it a quick stir and gently pour measured water. Add lemon juice and salt and bring it to a boil.
- Now add the soaked oats (by discarding the water in which oats was soaked in the beginning).
- Stir well and let it cook for 5-7 minutes. Stir in between to ensure uniform cooking.
- Once the water is absorbed, remove from heat and garnish with cilantro and green chili (optional, use deseeded jalapenos if desired).
- Serve this warm and comforting dish with a fresh fruit. Enjoy!
- I used quick cook steel cut oats. The cooking time may vary based on the type of oats used. Check package for cook times.
- Most of oil tempering ingredients are easily available at an Indian grocery store or on Amazon.com.