Oats upma is an easy and delicious breakfast recipe perfect for quick mornings. Made with quick-cooking oats and mixed veggies, this healthy vegetable oats upma recipe is ready in just 30 minutes, start to finish.
About This Recipe
This delicious oats upma is easy to prepare and takes only 30 minutes to cook, from start to finish. I make this recipe the same way I make Rava Upma, but with finely chopped veggies.
You can technically have oats upma without the vegetables, but the taste and texture the veggies add is just so good (not to mention the nutritional boost) – I definitely recommend including them.
Oats in general have become very popular lately, which is exciting because we love Oats Recipes! Here are some of my favorite oats recipes on the blog:
- Oats Idli – Soft instant idli made with oats flour.
- Oats Khichdi – Savory, spiced mung lentils and oats porridge.
- Oats Dosa – Crispy crepes made with oats flour, spices and herbs.
How to Make Oats Upma
Roast the Oats
1. First, heat ½ teaspoon oil in a shallow frying pan. Then add 1 cup of quick cooking oats (100 grams).
2. After that, stir and roast/toast on low heat until the oats become crisp. Continue stirring so the oats do not get browned from the bottom. Stir for about 3 to 4 minutes.
NOTE: There is no need to brown the oats. You really just want a bit of crispness.
3. Next, remove the oats and set aside in a spare mixing bowl or plate.
Fry Spices and Nuts
4. Now, in the original pan, heat 2 tablespoons 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.
5. Next add 1 teaspoon of cumin seeds, 1 teaspoon of chana dal, 1 teaspoon of urad dal (optional) and 8 to 10 cashews.
6. Continue to stir and fry the mixture until the chana dal gets golden browned.
7. Now add ¼ cup of tightly packed, finely chopped onions.
8. Then stir and sauté until the onions become translucent.
9. Next 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.
NOTE: You can also add deseeded broken red chilies or a mixture of both green and dry red chilies.
Cook the Veggies
10. Then add ¼ cup finely chopped carrots, ¼ cup finely chopped french beans and ¼ cup green peas, fresh or frozen.
NOTE: Other veggies you can add are baby corn, capsicum (bell pepper), broccoli and cabbage. You can also add steamed corn or canned corn kernels.
11. Stir and saute for 2 minutes.
12. Then add 1.25 cups water.
Simmer Veggie Mixture
13. Now cover the pan with its lid.
14. On medium heat, simmer and cook this mixture until the veggies are almost cooked. About 8 to 9 minutes.
15. Then add the roasted oats.
16. Stir lightly.
17. Add salt as required.
18. Stir very well.
Simmer Oats Upma
19. Then cover the pan again with its lid and on a low heat, steam for 7 to 8 minutes.
20. Here 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
21. Then add 1 to 2 tablespoons chopped coriander leaves (cilantro). Mix and serve.
Storage and Leftovers
Oats upma is best had hot or warm. If you have any leftovers store in an airtight container or jar in the refrigerator for a day only. Reheat in a microwave oven or steam in a pan or in the Instant pot for a few minutes.
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.
- Leave out the veggies – The addition of veggies is optional, but I definitely suggest to add them. They provide great flavor, make the dish more filling, add delicious texture, and also result in more health benefits.
- Or add even more vegetables – This oats upma recipe can be customized to include your favorites! You can add veggies like carrots, french beans, green peas (fresh or frozen), capsicum (bell pepper), broccoli, baby corn and cabbage. You can also add steamed corn or canned corn kernels.
- Oil: Make your oats upma in any neutral tasting oil or coconut oil. You can make it with ghee (clarified butter) as well.
- Serve hot or warm – Oats upma is best served hot or warm. Drizzle it with a bit of lemon juice and enjoy with your morning cup of tea.
To make this recipe you can use any variety of oats, like rolled oats or steel cut oats or instant oats. The upma made with rolled oats (old fashioned oats) or steel cuts oats will have more texture and chewiness than the one made with quick-cooking oats as used in my recipe. That said, rolled oats and steel cuts oats are a better choice as they are healthier. Note that both rolled oats and steel cut oats will take a longer time to cook and will need more water.
Instead of cashews, you can also use roasted peanuts.
You can easily double or triple this recipe to serve a larger group.
Yes, you can. But to maintain the flavor and a bit of heat, I recommend adding some crushed black pepper or crushed red chillies in its place.
South Indian Food
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For roasting oats
- 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 (cilantro)
- 1.25 cups water
- 2 tablespoons oil – any neutral oil or coconut oil
- salt as required
- Heat oil in a pan. Add 1 cup quick cooking oats.
- Stir and roast on a low heat until the oats become crisp.
- Keep stirring continuously so that the oats do not get browned from the bottom. No need to brown the oats. You really just want a bit of crispness.
- Remove oats in a plate or tray and set aside.
Sautéing onions and veggies
- In the same pan, heat the oil. Add mustard seeds. Stir and fry until the mustard seeds crackle.
- Then add cumin seeds, chana dal, urad dal (optional) and cashews.
- Stir and fry until the chana dal gets browned.
- Add tightly packed finely chopped onions. Stir and sauté until the onions turn translucent.
- Next add finely chopped ginger, chopped green chillies and curry leaves. Stir and sauté for half a minute.
Making oats upma
- Then add finely chopped carrots, finely chopped french beans and green peas, fresh or frozen. Stir and sauté for 2 minutes.
- Add water. Cover the pan with its lid.
- On a medium heat simmer and cook this mixture until the veggies are almost done. About 8 to 9 minutes.
- Then add the roasted oats. Stir lightly. Add salt as required. Stir very well.
- Then cover the pan again with its lid and on a low heat, steam for 7 to 8 minutes.
- Once done, then add chopped coriander leaves.
- Stir and serve oats upma drizzled with some lemon or lime juice.
- Oats upma is best served hot or warm. Drizzle it with a bit of lemon juice and enjoy with your morning cup of tea. You can also serve it with a side of coconut chutney.
- You can also have oats upma as a brunch or an evening snack.
- Oats upma is best had hot or warm. If you have any leftovers, store in an airtight container or jar, in the refrigerator for a day only. Reheat in a microwave oven or steam in a pan or in the Instant pot for a few minutes.
- Veggies: The addition of veggies is optional. But I suggest to include them as they provide great flavor, makes the dish more filling and gives a nutritional boost. You can also customize by adding veggies like carrots, french beans, green peas (fresh or frozen), capsicum (bell pepper), broccoli, baby corn and cabbage. You can also include steamed corn or canned corn kernels.
- Oats: You can use any variety of oats like rolled oats or steel-cut oats or instant oats. Do remember to add water according to the type of oats you are using. Both rolled oats and steel-cut oats will take a longer time to cook and need more water.
- Oil: Make oats upma in any neutral tasting oil or coconut oil. You can make it with ghee (clarified butter) as well.
- Cashews: You can omit cashews entirely or replace them with roasted peanuts.
- Spicing: You can skip the green chillies. For a bit of heat and spice, add crushed black pepper or red chili flakes.
- Scaling: The recipe can be doubled or tripled easily.
Nutrition Info Approximate values
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This oats upma recipe post from the archives (April 2015) has been republished and updated on 15 March 2021.