Oats & Vegetable Upma is a nourishing & healthy Indian breakfast recipe, made in an Instant Pot. Loaded with veggies, this soft oats upma is very delicious.
This post has been compensated by iHerb. All opinions are mine alone.
I think, the most searched recipes are breakfast recipes. Everyone is on the lookout for a quick and easy dish that can be made on busy mornings. They say breakfast is the most important meal of the day - and that we should never skip it. But I know how difficult it is to fit in a hot breakfast on a hectic morning - the struggle is real!! However, there are many reasons why you still must make the effort. Remember, your body has not had any sustenance for the past 12 hours! Consuming a nutrient-rich breakfast gives your body that much needed boost of energy at the very start of the day. It also improves focus and productivity. When we sleep at night, our metabolism tends to slow down. Eating breakfast helps boosts it and the body starts burning calories at the beginning of the day. In my case, if I skip breakfast (it's a rare occasion but it happens), I tend to overeat at lunch (not to mention the fact that I tend to get very cranky until lunch!! :)). Therefore I do my very best to not skip the first meal of the day. Sometimes it's nice to cook something fresh and hot instead of reaching for a piece of fruit or having a bowl of cereal and milk. Being someone who tries to work smarter than harder, I prefer dishes that are quick and easy with limited prep work. If you have been following me for sometime, you would know that most of my recipes are just that! Even my party foods are super easy to make. However, I do not compromise on taste or flavor.
IMO, the time consuming part about cooking at home is shopping for the ingredients. Don't get me wrong - though I love going to the grocery store and browsing the aisles for ingredients, sometimes it so happens that I have to visit multiple stores to get what I need. For certain Indian products, I need to drive all the way to an Indian grocery store. This consumes so much of my time that by the end of it all (sometimes) I just feel like having takeout 🙁 . For this recipe, I decided to try something new - I chose to order my ingredients from an online retailer. I'll be honest - I'm not the biggest fan of ordering things sight unseen. Especially when it comes to products I use in my cooking, I prefer to know what I'm buying. In any case, I decided to take the plunge and order the ingredients online.
iHerb is an online retailer that has been in business since 1996. They have a presence in approximately 150 countries. They carry a wide selection (about 30,000) natural products. Their orders are shipped from climate-controlled distribution centers to ensure the quality of their products. I found their website very intuitive and user friendly. They have pictures of every item and allow customers to upload their own images and also review and rate the products. I found this feature most helpful. I was also able to find all the ingredients (including some products used in Indian cooking) on their website. The ordering process was very effortless and saved me a lot of time. I also received my order pretty quickly. The products were well packaged and seals were intact. The quality of some of the products like the Paprika, Turmeric and Ghee were in fact better than the products I buy in the store. Good quality spices can really enhance the flavor of a dish - and believe me, these spices were of top-notch quality! I also found the prices comparable to those of other online retailers, so I was confident the items were not overpriced. All in all I had a very good experience!
Thought I never had reason to use it, iHerb offers customer service 24 hours a day / 7 days a week in 10 different languages in case you need to reach out to their team regarding your order or have a question regarding an ingredient. Based on my experience on their website and also on the quality of the ingredients I would order from iHerb again. In fact any new (or existing) customers can get a discount on their next order by clicking here. Try it out - you won't be disappointed! It's so amazing that I managed to get all the ingredients I needed to make Oats & Vegetable Upma without having to set foot out of the house!
Since we are talking about making a simple, quick and healthy breakfast dish, I chose to make the Upma in my Instant Pot. Upma is a traditional South Indian breakfast made with Semolina and veggies and resembles a thick hot porridge. I substituted Semolina(Rawa in Indian) with steel cut Oats to make it more nutritious and balanced. I chose this variety of oats because it imparts a slightly nuttier taste than regular oats, and it has a chewy texture which is perfect for Upma.
Including steel-cut oats in your meal gives you a big boost of complex carbohydrates plus it also serves as a good supply of protein, making it an ideal breakfast choice. Without much ado, let me walk you through the recipe to make Oats & Vegetable Upma in an Instant Pot. Turn on the Instant Pot in saute mode. Add ghee and once it melts, temper mustard seeds. Once they begin to crackle, add curry leaves, Urad Dal, Chana Dal, pistachios, cashews and Cumin seeds. Fry for 15-20 seconds. Then add some ginger paste, minced green chillies and chopped onions. Saute until the onions turn translucent. Next add the veggie mix. Cook for another couple of minutes. Now add turmeric powder and paprika. Mix and add Himalayan salt, steel cut oats and water. Turn off the saute mode and close the lid. Press the manual or pressure cook button and cook on high pressure for 5 minutes. Release pressure naturally and then open the Instant Pot. Garnish with chopped cilantro.Mix well and serve hot with some ketchup on the side. You can also prepare this Upma on the cook-top by following the same steps. Oats and Vegetable Upma is a delicious breakfast that can be enjoyed anytime of the day but is best when had first thing in the morning.
Oats & Vegetable Upma | Porridge
- 1 tablespoon ghee
- 1 teaspoon mustard seeds
- 5-6 curry leaves
- 1 teaspoon cumin seeds
- 1 tablespoon white urad dal
- 1 tablespoon chana dal
- 1 tablespoon pistachios (whole or coarsely chopped)
- 1 tablespoon cashews (whole or coarsely chopped)
- 1 teaspoon ginger paste
- 2-3 green chillies (finely chopped)
- 1 onion (finely chopped)
- 1 cup mixed veggies
- ½ teaspoon turmeric powder
- 1 teaspoon paprika
- salt as required
- 1 cup steel cut oats
- 3 cups water
- cilantro for garnish
- Finely chop the onions, green chillies and cilantro. Set aside.You can also coarsely chop the Pistachios and Cashews or just add them whole.
- Turn on the Instant Pot in saute mode. Add ghee to the Instant pot.
- Once the ghee melts, add mustard seeds to the ghee. Once the mustard seeds begin to pop, add curry leaves, Urad Dal, Chana Dal, pistachios, cashews and Cumin seeds to the mix. Fry for 15-20 seconds.
- Next add ginger paste, minced green chillies and chopped onions. Saute till the onions turn translucent.
- Now add the veggie mix. Cook for another couple of minutes. Then add the turmeric powder and paprika.
- Mix well and add Himalayan salt, steel cut oats and water. Turn off the saute mode and close the lid.
- Press the manual or pressure cook button and cook on high pressure for 5 minutes. Release the pressure naturally and then open the Instant Pot. (Please refer to your Instant Pot manual on how to do this)
- Garnish with chopped cilantro, mix and serve hot with some ketchup on the side.
- You can also prepare this Upma on the cooktop by following the same steps.
I am so glad I got to know of this recipe from my cousin's wife. We had visited them in Houston a couple of months ago and she had prepared this for breakfast. Ever since we got back, I have made this dish several times, giving it my own touch. This meal is definitely worth a try!
Also another reminder to check out the iHerb website and place your first order! Remember to use that discount. I was very impressed with my shopping experience and I hope you too have a satisfying experience shopping at iHerb.