In India, upma is synonymous to quick meal. With oats and tons of vegetables, this one pot meal is not only easy, but healthy and delicious. With little seasoning, this dish gets its flavor from vegetables only. I have always used steel cut oats for this upma. Although rolled oats can be used, please avoid using instant oats. The chewy texture of steel cut oats makes all the difference.Vegetable Oats Upma
(serves 2)IngredientsSteel cut or rolled oats (not instant) – 1 cup
Mixed vegetables like carrot, green beans, potato, peas, etc – 3 cups, cubed
Onion – 1, small, chopped (optional)
Green chillies – 2, slit lengthwise
Ginger – 1 tbsp, chopped
Sambar powder or combination of red chilli powder+coriander powder+turmeric powder – 1 tsp
Oil – 1 tbsp
Water – about 2 cups for steel cut oats or 1½ cups for rolled oatsSeasoningMustard seeds – 1 tsp
Chana dal – 1 tbsp
Urad dal – 1 tbsp
Curry leaves – few
Oil – 1 tbsp Method
Heat 1 tbsp of oil in a large, deep skillet. Splutter mustard seeds, and roast urad dal, chana dal and curry leaves. I usually remove the seasoning from the pan in this stage and add towards the end. This way the dals stay crunchy. You may leave it in the pan and proceed further.
In the same skillet, heat remaining oil, sauté onion, green chillies and ginger. When onion turns soft, add all the vegetables and sauté briefly. Add water to the vegetables and bring to a boil. Add sambar powder (or the combination of spice powders), salt and oats, and mix thoroughly. Cover and cook over a medium flame for 15 minutes. When done, oats should be soft, but chewy. If oats is not cooked through, sprinkle some more water, mix, cover and cook for additional 5 minutes. Add seasoning at the end (if reserved as mentioned previously) and serve hot with a dollop of yogurt.