Piles of snow means working from home, and working from home means fresh hot lunches! As you can see from the photo, in this case the opportunity for fresh hot lunch meant a heaping bowl of savory oat porridge, once again based on the recipe from Mahanandi that I discussed in my last post. (My own version is written out below.)
It's a lovely combination of hearty, flavorful, and robust with soothing, gentle, and soft -- as Indira says, "a spicy, feed me more kind of mush."
As far as I know, combining the flavorings and methods for upma with oatmeal is her innovation, and S. and I agree that it is a very happy one. I'll surely be glad to make it just this way at the very least until we've used up our current bag of Bob's Red Mill thick rolled oats. But the degree to which I enjoy this dish has got me thinking about savory porridges, and the many that are native to the subcontinent and East Asia -- proper upma, congee, jook, okayu, what have you. I really should investigate these a great deal more than I have to date. Anyone have any favorite vegetarian recipes and flavor combinations in this vein?
PS. My little spam-preventing captcha thingy (the image with a number that the comment form asks you to enter) is broken at the moment, but should be fixed by the weekend. In the meantime (a) I'm getting spam on older posts, which is my own problem, but (b) you won't see any image. As long as that's the case, just leave the field where you would enter then number blank, and everything should go through OK.
SPICY OATMEAL, UPMA STYLE, AS I MADE IT
Makes two VERY substantial servings.
1. Toast 1 cup of good quality rolled oats in a dry pan, then transfer to a bowl.
2. Heat 1 tablespoon oil or ghee in the pan over medium heat. Add one teaspoon each of cumin seeds, mustard seeds, urad dal, and chana dal; several curry leaves, torn into pieces; and a clove of garlic, minced. Heat gently until the dal is golden and the mustard seeds begin to pop.
3. Add 1 small onion, chopped fine, a small piece of ginger, grated, and some other vegetables of your choice: similarly chopped carrots, perhaps a red or green sweet pepper, a handful of peas or frozen corn. Also be sure to include minced hot green chile or (as I did today) 1/8 - 1/4 teaspoon of ground cayenne. Saute.
4. Add 1 3/4 c. water and half a teaspoon of salt. Cover pan and turn heat up. Wait until water is boiling, then add the oats, stirring as you go, along with a small handful of chopped roasted nuts, if you like. (I used toasted chopped hazelnuts (!) because I had them in the house -- worked fine.) Turn heat down to a simmer, cover, and cook 5-8 minutes.