What if your favourite plate of food gets a healthy twist? Here’s a recipe that you have always savoured on Sunday mornings. Upma, uppittu or uppumavu is a dish originating from the Indian subcontinent, most common in Kerala, Andhra Pradesh, Tamil Nadu, Karnataka, Maharashtra, Gujarat and even Odisha.
Traditionally upma is cooked as a thick porridge from dry-roasted semolina or coarse rice flour. Various seasonings and vegetables are often added to this luscious dish, depending on individual preferences.
Oats upma is an easy and delicious recipe perfect for brunching. Made with quick-cooking oats and mixed veggies, this healthy vegetable oats upma recipe is ready in just 30 minutes.
I make this recipe the same way I make rava upma, but with finely chopped veggies. The vegetables add to the nutritional value, taste and texture. Thus it’s recommended to include them while you cook this recipe.
1 cup quick cooking oats – 100 grams
½ teaspoon oil – any neutral oil
¼ cup finely chopped onions – tightly packed
¼ cup finely chopped carrots
¼ cup finely chopped french beans
¼ cup green peas – fresh or frozen
7 to 8 curry leaves
1 teaspoon mustard seeds
1 teaspoon cumin seeds
1 teaspoon chana dal (split and husked bengal gram)
1 teaspoon urad dal (optional)
8 to 10 cashews or roasted peanuts
½ teaspoon ginger – finely chopped
1 or 2 green chilies – chopped
1 to 2 tablespoon chopped coriander leaves
1.25 cups water
2 tablespoons oil – any neutral oil or coconut oil
salt as required
How to make oats upma
First, heat ½ teaspoon oil in a shallow frying pan. Then add 1 cup of quick cooking oats. After that, stir and roast/toast on low heat until the oats become crisp. Continue stirring so the oats do not become brown from the bottom. Stir for about 3 to 4 minutes.
There is no need to brown the oats. You really just want a bit of crispness.
Next, remove the oats and set aside in a spare mixing bowl or plate. Take a pan and heat 2 tablespoons of oil. When the oil is hot, add 1 teaspoon of mustard seeds. Stir and fry until the mustard seeds crackle on a medium-low heat. Add 1 teaspoon of cumin seeds, 1 teaspoon of chana dal, 1 teaspoon of urad dal (optional) and 8 to 10 cashews. Continue to stir and fry the mixture until the chana dal becomes golden brown.
Add ¼ cup of finely chopped onions.Then stir and sauté until the onions become translucent. Now add ½ teaspoon ginger, finely chopped, 1 or 2 green chilies, chopped, and 7 to 8 curry leaves. Stir and sauté for half a minute. Then add ¼ cup finely chopped carrots, ¼ cup finely chopped french beans and ¼ cup green peas, fresh or frozen. Stir and saute for 2 minutes.
You can add your favourite veggies like baby corn, capsicum (bell pepper), broccoli and cabbage. You can also add steamed corn if you savour them.
Add 1.25 cups of water. Simmer the mixture and cover the pan with a lid. On medium heat, cook this mixture for 8-9 minutes until the veggies are almost cooked. Then add the roasted oats and stir lightly. Add salt to it and stir very well.
Then cover the pan again with its lid and on a low heat, steam for 7 to 8 minutes. The oats upma is done and steamed well. If the mixture looks very dry, then you can sprinkle some water and stir again.
Garnish and serve
Add 1 to 2 tablespoons chopped coriander leaves to garnish. Mix and serve.
Serve oats upma drizzled with some lemon or lime juice or with a side of coconut chutney. You can also have them as an evening snack or breakfast with a cup of hot tea.
Try this healthy quick recipe and savour the dish!