Speedy steel-cut oats upma (savory snack with vegetables)

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When you think of steel-cut oats, the first thought that comes to mind is the oatmeal for breakfast and anything sweet that would go into it. Here’s an easy whole grain savory snack made with it for those who don’t have a sweet tooth 🙂 Fiesta Fridays #14 (hosted by Saucy of SaucyGander and Sir Johnny of Kitschnflavours and Flours n Dainty Buns), here I come, with this savory snack to spice up your taste buds, so you can eat more of the cakes and sweets that others bring!

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‘Upma’ (‘U’ pronounced as in the word ‘butcher’) is a south-Indian term for a savory snack made of curried grain (or vermicelli) and vegetables. I often make this particular snack for the kids in the evening, since it takes very little planning and time to cook, especially if a pressure cooker is available. This is a ‘saatvik’ version (sans onion and garlic), but adding onions to this mixture will only make it even more delicious.

A few days ago, a dear blogger friend of mine, Sonal of SimplyVegetarian777 posted a savory poha/upma with quick-cooking oats. It is a wonderful recipe and works well; I make that often too, just using a different form of the whole grain.

 Ingredients:

steel-cut oats- 1 cup

water- 1 1/2 cup

vegetables: carrot- 1, green bell pepper- 1/2 (other vegetables such as green beans, peas, potatoes, corn would go well with this too)

ginger (peeled)- small piece

Thai green chilly- 1

curry leaves- few (optional)

mustard seeds- 1/4 tsp.

to temper:

urad dal (black gram)- 1/2 tsp.

asafoetida powder- a pinch

canola oil (or other neutral oil)- 1 1/2 tbsp.

turmeric powder- a pinch

salt- to taste

Method:

* Add water to oats in a steel vessel and cook in the pressure cooker. Let the whistle blow 3-4 times. Allow the pressure to release from the cooker. The oats may look a little mushy, but it will not have any remaining water. If any excess water is present, drain it. Stove top cooking would also work, but may take more time than a pressure cooker. Even if it looks mushy now, trust me, in the end, it will acquire a non-gooey and crunchy texture 🙂

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* While oats is getting cooked, chop vegetables, green chilly (slit lengthwise, for lesser heat) and ginger into small pieces.

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* In a shallow pan, heat oil, add mustard seeds, urad dal, asafoetida powder. When the seeds sputter, add green chilly, curry leaf, vegetables.

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* Add salt, turmeric powder and cook covered till veggies are tender.

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* Add cooked oats, turn off the heat and toss to combine. Garnish with cilantro and serve warm.

Here’s a printable version:

steel-cut oats upma

  • Servings: 4
  • Difficulty: easy
  • Print

Ingredients:

steel-cut oats- 1 cup

water- 1 1/2 cup

carrot- 1

green bell pepper- 1/2

ginger (peeled)- small piece

Thai green chilly- 1

curry leaves- few (optional)

mustard seeds- 1/4 tsp.

urad dal- 1/2 tsp.

asafoetida powder- a pinch

canola oil- 1 1/2 tbsp. (or other neutral oil)

turmeric powder- a pinch

salt- to taste

Method:

* Add water to oats in a steel vessel and cook in the pressure cooker. Let the whistle blow 3-4 times. Allow the pressure to release from the cooker.

* While oats is getting cooked, chop vegetables, slit a green chilly lengthwise and chop ginger into small pieces.

* In a shallow pan, heat oil, add mustard seeds, urad dal, asafoetida powder. When the seeds sputter, add green chilly, curry leaf, vegetables.

* Add salt, turmeric powder and cook covered till veggies are tender.

* Add cooked oats, turn off the heat and toss to combine. Garnish with cilantro and serve warm.

Note:

A few drops of lime juice can be added in the end to get a tangy flavor.

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45 responses to “Speedy steel-cut oats upma (savory snack with vegetables)

  1. Looks delicious, Aspara! How wise of you to bring something a little healthier to Fiesta Friday! I, for one, am happy to be offered a little balance in my diet. 🙂

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    • thanks, Savvy sis! The urad dal is to add crunch, you could use peanuts in its place. Asafoetida adds a unique flavor to Indian dishes and promotes digestion, you could look for it in an international market if you plan to cook more Indian food. Or, it can be left out too!

      Liked by 1 person

  2. Which pressure cooker do you use? I just use the big bulky one I have to cook lentils…would love to get a small one that I can use more frequently…

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    • I have a 6-litre and a 4-litre pressure cooker that I got from India. The small one is very handy for this, releases pressure quickly 🙂

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  3. We need these healthy dishes to keep us in check this fiesta friday! We make something similar with Dalia (cracked wheat), Apsara so I can imagine how delicious this must have been!

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  4. Pingback: Fiesta Friday #14 and Fiesta Friday Challenge #1 | The Novice Gardener·

  5. I love your idea of using the steel cut oats as a snack. You are right as I have only eaten them as oatmeal with some fruit and nuts. Thanks for sharing a new way for me to use these healthy oats 🙂

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  6. This looks fantastic!! And it’s great to get your tip about substituting black gram, as I haven’t been able to find it in grocery stores. Would love to try this for a weeknight dinner, and thank you for bringing this to Fiesta Friday!! We have lots of cookies and cakes (as usual, haha), and it’s always good to have a few savoury options as well. 😀

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  7. Gosh, I’m really curious about this for two reasons. I’ve always loved oats but have never, ever cooked with them apart from porridge! And I love spices. Will have to try this. On the hob/stove top as I don’t have a pressure cooker. But I do have several types of oats in my baking cupboard – sadly neglected.

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  8. Oh how ironic, I was planning to make oats upma this week and am impressed at how light and fluffy yours looks. I don’t use a pressure cooker though, so slow heat for me x

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