Oats upma is an Indian style savory oats. A quick, healthy breakfast to start the day. Make it with steel cut or rolled oats, recipe for both versions included in the post. To jazz up the upma, use green peas or/and nuts.
Breakfast is the most important meal of the day and I spend the least amount of time preparing it. Usually I am alone for breakfast, hence use quick ideas to fix breakfast. And oats or oatmeal is one of my go to breakfasts.
With instant oats, I make one of these Instant savory oatmeals and for a sweeter version, I add milk, fruits, nuts and choco chips. Since I started using steel cut oats, I cook a big batch and prepare the savoy or sweet versions as I would with instant oatmeal.
Second, steel cut oats are chewier, nuttier and, I like it better than rolled and instant oats. Steel cut tastes a lot like porridges with godhuma rava.
When in mood for a variation to above, oats khichdi, oats pulihora and upma come into picture. These are a bit time consuming compared to above mentioned recipes but are easy to prepare and tasty as well.
When it comes to upma, rolled oats are quick to prepare, in 10 minutes but steel cut oats are grainier and tastes a lot like the classic godhuma (wheat) upma. Since these oats take longer to cook, oats upma instant pot recipe is my go to recipe.
Table of contents
Iron Rich Food
Oats have protein, fiber and iron, along with few other nutrients. One serving of steel cut oats has 1mg iron. Daily recommended value is 8-18mg depending on gender and age.
A-Z iron rich food is a series where I post a recipe with an iron rich ingredient for each alphabet. For letter 'O', it is oats and an upma recipe with it. Here are a few recipes from the series.
- Oats - Depending on the oats, cook time varies. Steel cut oats are grainy and tastes better than the other varieties. It also takes longer to cook. For a quicker version use rolled oats and cook on stovetop.
- Chilies - I use small green chilies similar to Thai chilies. When using other varieties adjust to your heat tolerance level.
- Nuts/Veggies - Use peanuts and/or cashew nuts. When using rolled oats, I prefer adding green peas and/or green beans and carrots for additional nutrition.
- Tadka/Tempering - Basic tadka ingredients such as cumin, mustard, curry leaves, onion and ginger.
- Oil - I use oil but you can use a combination of oil and butter/ghee. To keep it vegan, use vegan butter or skip butter/ghee.
- Check recipe card below for more details.
Step by Step Instructions
Chop onion, ginger and chilies. When preparing steel cut upma, I use both onion and ginger. You can skip these with rolled oats. Use an Instant Pot (IP) for steel cut oats and a saucepan on stovetop for rolled oats.
How to make oats upma in Instant Pot?
Select sauté setting on your IP. Heat oil in inner pot. Add cumin, urad dal and mustard seeds.
Toast the seeds in oil until seeds splutter.
Add chopped green chilies and ginger to tadka or tempering.
Saute chilies and ginger until lightly roasted in oil.
Add curry leaves and peanuts.
Once peanuts are lightly roasted, add onions.
Once onions are soft, add steel cut oats.
Roast for a minute or two.
Cancel saute setting. Add salt & water to inner pot; 1:2 oats to water ratio, close the lid and pressure cook for 5 minutes on manual / pressure cook setting.
Let the pressure release naturally, about 10-12 minutes, open the lid, sprinkle cilantro, mix and serve hot.
How to make rolled oats upma?
Instructions for rolled oats is similar to steel cut upma and cooks really quick, 5 minutes maximum. Hence you can easily prepare this on stove top. Heat oil in a pan, add tempering seeds, let seeds pop, add green chilies and curry leaves.
You can add nuts or veggies now, if you are using and saute for few seconds. Add rolled oats, saute until light brown, add salt, 1:1 ½ oats to water ratio and cook on medium flame until done.
Serve this savory Indian oats as is or with some pickle on the side. Lime pickle or lime juice pickle goes well with it.
Store left overs in an air tight container in the refrigerator. Reheat in the microwave and serve.
For a tangy flavor, add some tomatoes. After sautéing onions, add chopped tomatoes, salt and saute until soft. Then add oats and continue with rest of the preparation.
Steel Cut Oats Upma
- 1 Cutting board & knife
- 1 Instant Pot 3 qt
- 1 Spoon or a Spatula
- 2 teaspoon Oil
- ¼ teaspoon Cumin Seeds
- ¼ teaspoon Mustard Seeds
- ½ teaspoon Urad Dal
- 4 Curry Leaves
- 2 small Green Chilies cut into ½” pieces adjust to taste
- 2 tablespoons Peanuts
- 2-3 tablespoons chopped Onion
- ½ teaspoon Salt adjust to taste
- ½ cup Steel Cut Oats check notes if using rolled oats
- 1 cup Water
- Cilantro / Coriander Leaves to garnish
- Wash, chop onion and ginger, and cut green chilies. Wash curry leaves and if the leaves are big, tear the leaves to two.
- Set instant pot on sauté setting. Add oil and once hot add Urad dal, mustard & cumin seeds. Follow the same steps even for Indian cooker.
- When the seeds splutter, add green chilies, ginger and sauté for a few seconds.
- Add curry leaves, peanuts and continue to sauté for another ½ a minute or until peas start to change color.
- Then sauté onions, then Add salt, oats and roast until oats are light brown. This takes about a minute.
- Add water and give a good stir.
- Cancel sauté setting.
- Close the lid, vent in the sealing position.
- Pressure cook for 5 minutes on manual or pressure cook setting. With Indian cooker, 4-5 whistles.
- Let the pressure release manually, about 10-12 minutes.
- Open the lid, give a good stir, sprinkle cilantro and serve.
- Ghee - Use a combination of ghee and oil or only ghee for more flavor. It tastes good even with oil but ghee increases the taste quotient to another level.
- Indian Pressure Cooker - I prefer cooking steel cut oats in IP. With Indian pressure cookers, do 4-5 whistles/hisses. I avoid these cookers as oats tend to get stuck in the pressure vent or spills out.
- Variation - For a tangy flavor, add some tomatoes. After sautéing onions, add chopped tomatoes, salt and sauté until tomatoes are soft. Then add oats and continue with rest of the preparation.
- Rolled Oats - Follow above instructions but on stovetop in a saucepan or a sauté pan. You can skip onion and ginger, if you wish. You can replace peanuts with green peas or veggies now. Cook oats with 1:1 ½ oats to water ratio and cook on medium flame.
- Nutrition - Values listed are approximate calculations.
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This post was originally published in Aug 2012. Republished with new content and images.