Monday, January 27, 2014

Steel Cut Oats Upma (Spicy Oats)

Steel cut oats upma is a variation to the rava upma (spicy Farina as my friends call it) that is made in South India.  I decided to experiment one day when I cooked the steel cut oats. I did not feel like eating a sweetend version of steel sut oats that I found in a recipe book, so I decided to try something new. Always loved Upma as a child I thought let me try it with the oats.  Wow! what a hit it was with my family and friends.  My kids will only eat Steel Cut Oats spicy not sweet.  It is delicous, nutrious and easy to make.

Few Notes to simplify your task.

1. Make steel cut oats the night before and allow to cool in pot.  Remember to
    add salt to the oats. No need for refrigeration. 

2. Get your ingredients ready the night before if you are in a hurry in the morning.

3. As per salt and ghee add to your liking. I tend to be reserved with salt and ghee.

5. When ready to start the Upma use a fork to break up the oats. 


2 cups of Steel Cut oats cooked (I use Hodgson Mills and cook about 20-25 min)
1 medium red onion chopped
3-4 chillies slit in half ( use as many chillies as you like depending on your spicy preference)
4-5 curry leaves
1/2 inch of ginger grated
pinch of Hing (Asafoetida, optional - only if you like it)
1-2 tbsp of cooking oil( I use canola)
butter (ghee -clarified butter may also be used)
1 tsp of mustard seeds
1 tsp of cumin seeds (jeera)
1 tsp of Urad dal
1 tsp of Channa dal
2 tbsp of cashews
2 tbsp of chopped cilantro


1.  Cook oats in a pot with salt.  I use hot water to start the process. Takes about 20 -25 minutes.

2. Cooled steel cut oats. Will seem mushy when cooked. Do not worry.  Allow to cool.

3. In a pot, add one tbsp of oil.  Allow to heat up and then add the cumin and mustard seeds.

4. After the mustard seeds start to pop turn the stove off or move pop to another burner for a 
    moment while add the hing, urad and channa dal, curry leaves cashews and butter or ghee.
    Return to burner or turn stove on again.  This prevents the seasoning from burning.

5. Saute on low heat for a minute until the cashews start to turn a light brown.  Then add the onions,
    ginger and chillies. Fry until onions start to carmelize a bit. 

6.  Add the cooled oats that have been fluffed up with a fork to the onion mixture.

7. Mix together to incorporate all ingredients. Add salt if needed.  Shut off stove and add the cilantro.

Seven steps later you are ready eat mouth watering delicous Spicy Steel Cut Oats!