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Indian Style Savory Oats – Oats Upma

The powerhouse breakfast of Oats gets an indian twist in this Indian Style Savory Oats dish.

Breakfast is one of my favorite meals of the day! As are lunch and dinner…and snack and dessert. What can I say friends – I love to eat! No but seriously – how do you feel about breakfast? If you are not a breakfast person or are bored with the everyday cereal and milk routine, I have got you covered with these Indian Style savory oats also known as oats upma.

Vegan and Gluten free Indian style savory oats - Oats Upma The Kitchen Docs
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I grew up with the concept of “Breakfast is the most important meal of the day”. But I was surprised by the fact that many people don’t eat breakfast. Actually, I was most surprised while enrolled in a wellness course as part of our medical insurance incentive program. The course suggested that when you wake up in the morning you are dehydrated and not hungry. So eating breakfast is adding unnecessary calories to your body when you should only be drinking water. I almost gave up on the course at that point.

To me, breakfast sets the stage for rest of your day. It is important for me and everyone in my family to “break the fast” not too long after waking up so that the body can take up important functions of metabolism and detoxification. Most days we try to make our breakfasts nutritionally sound by making smoothies (that I share regularly on my Instagram page).


We eat eggs for breakfast almost everyday (recipes here and here) along with some fresh fruit and dairy component. But I constantly try to break the monotony and add something new to the breakfast routine. Weekend mornings are for trying and perfecting recipes that I can include in our crazy weekday morning routine. I am happy to report that this recipe of Indian style savory oats meets all the TKD recipe testing standards. Easy, quick, flavorful and above all, healthy and nutritious.

Vegan and Gluten free Indian style savory oats - Oats Upma The Kitchen Docs

Oats are an excellent source of soluble fiber, which gives a feeling of fullness and satisfaction and balances blood sugar. These Indian style savory oats have all the benefits and nutrition that is inherent to oats. Beta-glucan, the soluble fiber found in oats, also promotes heart health and boosts immunity. Have I made the case for Oats Upma – Indian style savory oats yet? I think so! Here is a healthy, nutritious savory dish to fill your family’s tummies and get their day off to a great start.

Recipe run down

Begin by soaking the rolled oats. Though not necessary, I feel like soaking quickens the cooking process. Heat some olive oil in a skillet, add mustard seeds, curry leaves, onions (optional), carrots and peas (or any other veggies you like) and cook a bit. Drain the soaked rolled oats, add and mix with rest of the ingredients, add water, and cook uncovered for 8-9 minutes. Sprinkle with chopped cilantro and that is all.

Here is the handy dandy printable:

Vegan and Gluten free Indian style savory oats - Oats Upma The Kitchen Docs
5 from 6 votes

Indian Style Savory Oats

Course Breakfast
Cuisine Indian
Keyword Savory Oats
Prep Time 10 minutes
Cook Time 15 minutes
Total Time 25 minutes
Servings 4 people
Author Vaishali


  • 1 cup rolled oats See notes
  • 1 tbsp olive oil
  • 1 tsp mustard seeds
  • 1 sprig curry leaves leaves stripped
  • 1/2 cup sliced onion optional
  • 1 cup frozen carrots and peas
  • 1/4 tsp ground turmeric powder
  • 2 tbsp chopped cilantro
  • 1 tsp lime juice
  • Salt to taste
  • Water


  1. Start with soaking the oats in sufficient water. This step is not necessary but I feel like it cuts down the cooking time substantially. You can soak them for the duration when the recipe calls for them, so 5-6 minutes. If you soak them longer, the oats might get soggy.

  2. Set a heavy bottomed pan on medium high heat and add olive oil to it. Once the oil is hot and shiny, add the mustard seeds and curry leaves. Stand back as the curry leaves might splutter and mustard seeds will start to pop.

  3. After about 30 seconds, add the onions (if using), carrots and peas and cook for about 5 to 6 minutes.

  4. Drain the oats and add to the pan along with turmeric powder and salt. Add about 1.5 cups of water. If you like your oats a bit mushy, you can add 2 cups water. Mix well. Once the water starts to boil, lower the heat and cook, uncovered for about 8-9 minutes or until the oats are tender. Keep stirring in between.

  5. Taste and adjust salt if needed. Squeeze the lime juice in, garnish with chopped cilantro and serve warm.

Recipe Notes

Make sure you buy gluten free oats if you want to make this dish gluten free.

Curry leaves add a very distinct flavor and aroma to this dish. You can find them at most Indian grocery stores. If you cannot find fresh curry leaves, you can use dried curry leaves too.

You can add fried/roasted peanuts or cashews to the oats as a garnish to add crunch.

You will be surprised how great these savory oats taste. Serve with fresh fruit and you have got yourself a healthy and tasty breakfast. So give them a try and let me know how you like them. I love hearing from you so please get in touch here (leave comment), Facebook, Instagram or Pinterest.

Love – Vaishali!

Other similar recipes:

Easy chickpea and turmeric lemon rice

Vegan rice dish made with leftover rice. Add chickpeas, turmeric and lime juice for a flavorful and nutritious meatless dish

Namkeen Sewiyan – Savory Vermicelli

Namkeen Sewiyan or savory whole wheat vermicelli with carrots and peas

Quick Savory Daliya – Cracked Wheat with Carrots and Peas

Supplies you might need for Indian Style Savory Oats Recipe:


  1. Cendu

    March 5, 2019 at 10:31 am

    I’m from sri lanka and we also make upma but i’ve never had it this way before. It looks so hearty and delicious. I can’t wait to try this.

  2. dar deals

    March 5, 2019 at 10:32 am

    looks amazing ! will give this recipe at home.

  3. Danielle

    March 5, 2019 at 10:52 am

    Looks good! Thanks for sharing!

  4. GiGi Eats

    March 5, 2019 at 12:18 pm

    I actually REALLY LOVE this idea. LOVE IT. I am going to make this but with cauliflower “rice”! Sounds amazing!

  5. Ashli

    March 5, 2019 at 9:42 pm

    I never eat breakfast really but this all looks amazing. I am gonna have to try this and start eating breakfast haha

  6. Elizabeth O

    March 6, 2019 at 9:40 am

    This one looks perfect and delicious breakfast. Thanks for sharing the recipe and all the ingredients. I will try it.

  7. Jolie Starrett

    March 6, 2019 at 9:41 am

    5 stars
    Very nice presentation. Looks yummy!

  8. Hackytips

    March 6, 2019 at 2:07 pm

    Oats Upma is my favorite & Lifesaver. If I’m not in a mood to cook & wanted to eat something then I will prepare this. It is easy and quick.

  9. Yonnah M

    March 6, 2019 at 6:41 pm

    Looks delicious. Always looking for vegetarian recipes.

  10. Samar

    March 6, 2019 at 9:40 pm

    5 stars
    Oats and Maggi’s are the life savers.
    Thanks for sharing.

  11. Maysz

    March 7, 2019 at 2:15 am

    5 stars
    All of these are yummy I would try to do this someday YUMM <3

  12. Monidipa Dutta

    March 7, 2019 at 6:13 am

    5 stars
    I am eating upma right now actually. I’ll try this recipe sometime later.

  13. aisasami

    March 7, 2019 at 6:31 am

    This looks amazing. In some countries, you tend to eat oats with something sweet like milk, sugar, or fruit. But you did something different!

  14. ALEX

    March 7, 2019 at 10:55 am

    Your Oats are the best ever and i guess tastier too by the look of it, thanks for share

  15. JK Darling

    March 7, 2019 at 3:50 pm

    This is an interesting twist to oats. I should try this. 🙂

  16. Niña Nichols

    March 8, 2019 at 10:20 pm

    Not a fan of oats but it looks so yummy!

  17. Glorious Heights

    March 9, 2019 at 12:35 am

    5 stars
    Yummy looks delicious and healthy too 👍🏻

  18. Sheena Moncatar

    March 9, 2019 at 1:38 am

    Every time I look at your posts, I just go hungry. I really love your “Easy Chickpea and Turmeric Lemon Rice”. Thanks for sharing. I want to do this like really soon! LOL.

  19. Bunmieshealthychoices

    March 11, 2019 at 12:05 am

    Looks really good. I need to try this!

  20. Jasmeet Singh

    March 11, 2019 at 2:06 am

    5 stars
    This looks so delicious but healthy at the same time. I m hungry now

  21. Dan @ Style High Guy

    March 12, 2019 at 11:10 am

    I swear everyone is on an oats craze atm. This looks so unique though, fancy giving it a try!

  22. Lonna

    March 5, 2021 at 12:35 pm

    Great read, now following!

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