Wednesday, January 11, 2017

Oats Upma -- when you are trying to eat healthy

After eating the totally delicious pound cake for a month, I realized I needed to stop! I mean really, really stop and do something. Of course as a fallout of all the cake eating, there was a question of the weighing scale in my bathroom groaning and complaining. I couldn't let a weighing scale ruin my life could I ? So I actually moved it in the closet and shut the door on it.

But then Big Sis declared a restriction on my eating pound cakes, saying I should only eat one slice a week. It was a difficult rule to stick to, which meant I didn't stick to it, and all slices of pound cakes in my pantry were finally finished. This is when I realized I should really stop and go back to my healthy lunches routine.

I am good with my healthy lunches usually but I have realized if I fall through the crack, the crack morphs into an abyss and I have a harder time getting back up. It had to be something simple and yet tasty to haul me back on track. So I was back at making my Oat Upma. I like my oatmeal with mangoes and yogurt but this spicy oat upma is different. It doesn't make you feel all martyr like and holy and sacrificial because you are eating oatmeal while the world besides you is chomping on a philly cheesesteak. You feel proud about it actually and it only takes minutes to make.

Now in our home, we make this with steel cut oats as that is the only kind of oatmeal we buy(unless we are making oatmeal cookies which needs rolled oats but I will not talk of cookies any more). Also the husband-man usually make the oat pulao  but my method is little different from his !!! This time I bought a quick cooking steel cut oats which cut down the time to make this dish by 1/3rd, so if you find this particular kind in your store, do get it. And no, Bob's Red Mill did not sponsor me or even cares how I make my oats.

Oats Upma

Bring 2.5 cups of water to boil in a deep pot

Add salt and 1/4th tsp paprika to it.Don't question on the paprika.

Now add 1 Cup of Quick Cooking steel cut oats. We usually always have steel cut oats at home but those take about 30-40 minutes to cook. This particular brand I got was quick cooking steel cut oats and cooked in only 6-8 minutes.

In my case the oat was cooked in 8 minutes. It might take longer for you depending on the brand you are using

In a colander or a sieve drain out the cooked oats. If you don't want to drain  that is ok too, make sure to cook the oats until the water is absorbed.

While the oats is cooking, chop these vegetables in small pieces and steam them
1/4th cup carrots, 
1/4th cup green beans, 
1/2 cup of peas
Alternately you can also defrost 1 cup of frozen vegetables and cook it in microwave

Heat 2 tbsp olive oil in a frying pan

Temper the oil with
3-4 curry leaves,
2 finely chopped green chili,
1" ginger minced

Add quarter of an onion finely chopped. If am not in the mood I skip the onion.

Add the vegetables and saute for 4-5 minutes.

Add about 1/2 tsp of bhaja masla or any other masala(garam masala is one option) you fancy. Add some red chili powder

Add the drained oats to the pan and saute for 4-5 minutes

Add salt to taste.

Add some fried peanuts or cashews

I serve it with a fried egg to pack some protein punch.

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  1. Savory oatmeal... yes yes yes. I had been thinking along this line for a long time, and now I will make it. Thanks again Sandeepa! <3

  2. the oats we get in India is Quaker Oats. That gets slimy when boiled, so what do I do?

  3. Do a search for "Steel cut oats" on You will get plenty of options to choose from. By the way, even Bob's Red Mill is available at, albeit at an obscene price :-)

  4. Lovely dish....easily made too...thank you for posting fact its so easily made ...would suggest you make the same with some rice flakes as the base item...I can get brown rice flakes locally made from a local variety of brown rice...they cook easily too..

  5. There are a lot of reasons for moms to want to stay home besides just the desire to spend quality time with their kids.

  6. I like this too, but have not made with steel cut oats yet. I hate that cooking part of steel cut oats. Since I buy old fashioned oats for my in -laws, I made it with that chirer polau style and yes, served with poached egg on top. I read somewhere that if you soak the steel cut oats in water overnight, it is less time consuming to cook. Have you tried that method?
    I know about the fallout, always fallimg out myself. My son made stuffed french toast, eggs benedict and an awesome chocolate pound cake for father’s day. While he or my daughter would not touch the “unhealthy” stuff, I had the cake even before the Father for whom it was meant.����
    Your daughter is a big support for your healthy eating!

    1. Ha ha, not a big support or anything. Maybe I was eating more slices of the cake and they were getting less of their share :-D

      This particular brand of steel cut oats (from Costco) cooks more quickly -- 8-10 mins done. It is still steel cut but smaller grains. Try it


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