Breakfast/Tiffin items

Salvaged Oats Upma

I realise every now and then I’m a big liar (Liar liar pants on fire! Oops!) and horrible at keeping my commitments. I gave my FIL’s scooter for repair more than two weeks ago, actually not for repair but for damage control. Thing is, I rammed into another motorist on the road (thankfully, he didn’t get hurt! Well, neither did I, but the scooter’s is great shape. I hope you realise that was sarcastic!) and while the scooter looks only marginally shaken, fact is, it has lived its life, well, nearly.

The frames bent, the headlight panel is gone, the rear view mirror is bent, the handles feel not-as-sturdy as before and underneath the rubber floor mats, the floorboards are hardly there! I wonder how I rode the vehicle back from the accident spot! Incidentally, the mistake wasn’t wholly mine. There are huge potholes on the road in question and while trying to get around one, the front tyre went into the other one that led to my loosing balance, ramming into the guy riding to my right and the next minute, thud! And I’m on the ground! And surprise of surprise, not a scratch on me, and look at the poor scooty!

But determined to pull it back from scooter heaven (I’m sure that’s where it’ll go for the loyal service to my FIL), I gave it to my neighbourhood two-wheeler repair garage to assess the damage (back to square one! Isn’t this where I started?). This was over two weeks ago. Make that three, actually. He got back to tell me it’ll cost close to Rs 3.5 k, but will only fetch Rs1.5 k on reselling, whether or not we repair it.

I left the vehicle with him and said I’d decide and let him know soon. “Please tell me by morning tomorrow and if you do not want it repaired, take it away. There’s hardly any space here to park unwanted vehicles!”

Rs 3.5 k! And there went my resolve to pull it back from heaven! Anyway, it is an old scooty (11-year-old now), why not give it away to the scrap yard, where they can salvage the good parts? But hubby thought otherwise. “Let us repair it and give it to the watchman or the sweeper,” he said. “Let’s think it over Ram,” I said and conveniently forgot all about it till I bumped into the garage guy yesterday.

“Madam! What do I do with the scooter? It is occupying precious space and gathering dust. Shall I repair it? If not, please take it away today!” In my embarrassment at having kept him waiting for 20 days, I asked him to go ahead and set it right. Hubby wins, yet again! So, coming back to what I started off the post with, I’m pretty forgetful and quite bad at keeping my promises.

So, although I remember, I said in yesterday’s post that I’d put up my sub recipe, I’m so waiting to talk about the oats upma I made yesterday evening, that I’m tempted to put it off for another day. And, I’m sure, a lot of you have just put to use your creative juices and come up with your own sub. Mine can wait for one more day, can’t it?

Coming to oats, I have it everyday for breakfast along with fruit and every now and then with buttermilk at night. I knew of just one way of preparing oats – porridge. That was until my friend Hema told me about how tasty oats is when made into upma. “Treat it in exactly the same fashion that you would poha (beaten rice). Wash and drain oats and proceed with the usual upma method.”

So, yesterday evening, when I felt real hungry and was wondering what to make, I thought I’d give the oats thing a shot. So, measured out a cup of Quaker oats, washed and drained it. In the meanwhile, chopped up some onions and heated oil in a pan and spluttered mustard seeds. Checked on the oats and that’s when I realised it had become absolutely lumpy!

While the angel instructed, “Do not waste even a morsel my dear. Go ahead and add this lump to the pan and the upma, nay, salt porridge will turn out just fine.” Not to be outdone, the devil took its chance, “Dump that lumpy mess and start over! Your tongue and tummy deserve much better than this!”

But my creative mind had already worked out another solution – refrigerate the lumpy mess and incorporate it into next day’s porridge and start afresh for the upma. And that’s exactly what I did.

Salvaged Oats Upma

(Serves 1)


Quick cooking oats – 1 cup

Onion (small) – 1 (chopped)

Peas – ¼ cup

Groundnuts – 2 tsp

Chana dal – 1 tsp

Curry leaves – 5-6

Mustard seeds – 1 tsp

Red/green chillies – 2 (halved)


Note: You can add any vegetable of your choice. I used whatever I had in the refrigerator!

You can use urad dal in place of chana dal and/or any other nuts. The idea is to have some nutty things to bite on


Chop onions and keep aside

Heat oil in a pan and splutter mustard seeds

Add chana dal and groundnuts

Add curry leaves, chillies and onions once the dal and nuts turn golden-brown

Them them sizzle till onion turns transparent

Add oats, sprinkle some water and cook on medium heat. Add salt and mix well

Check every now and then and sprinkle more water as required

Cook till oats are done (the colour of oats should change from the original raw white)

Transfer to a bowl and eat hot

Note: Upma turns dry and a little hard when cold. So, eat hot


7 thoughts on “Salvaged Oats Upma

  1. Pingback: Bread Upma/ Shredded Bread Salad « foodiliciousnan

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