This simple Masala Oats recipe is a savory meal that can made in just 20 minutes! With Indian spices, and fresh vegetables, it’s full of fiber and nutrients. Enjoy with a side of roasted vegetables, lentils, or a light salad!
Typically when I think of oats I think of sweet breakfast recipes topped with fresh fruits.
But oats are a versatile grain you can use in a variety of recipes. They don’t have to take on the sweet flavor of cinnamon and sugar.
They can easily be transformed into a main course simply by adding different spices, and lots of vegetables.
Indian cuisine is one of my favorite ethnic foods to prepare at home! When you follow a vegan diet, cooking Indian food means tons of flavor, and nutrients!
This masala oatmeal recipe is one my new favorites! It can be enjoyed for breakfast, but it also makes a quick fix dinner! It’s a warm bowl of hearty goodness, full of aromatic flavors.
This Indian recipe is also called oats upma, or curry oatmeal!
I like it on the creamy side, and so do the kids! But it can also be served dryer, more like rice.
Why This Recipe Works
- An easy recipe for a quick dinner or breakfast!
- A savory plant-based healthy breakfast recipe.
- Kid friendly and approved!
- Rich in fiber and high in vitamins and nutrients.
- A one bowl meal!
- Adjust the spice to suit your preference.
- Add your favorite vegetables.
- It’s filling, warm, and comforting!
Recipe Ingredients and Notes
Indian Spices: This recipe uses a combination of Indian spices including black mustard, cumin, and coriander seeds, with a touch of turmeric powder, and salt and pepper. It’s what gives this recipe it’s aromatic flavor! It’s very important to use the mustard, cumin, and coriander seeds, rather than the ground spices because they produce a rich flavor!
Vegetables: I add chopped onion, and chopped tomatoes, plus a quarter cup of frozen peas. You can add additional vegetables here such as carrots, green beans, or bell pepper. Use what you have in your fridge. Another good option is to add a half cup of frozen mixed vegetables that includes peas, carrots, and green beans.
Rolled Oats: I prefer using rolled oats in this recipe as compared to instant oats or steel-cut oats. Rolled oats are the most versatile in my opinion. They cook quickly, yet still hold their shape.
Tools and Equipment
- A medium pot for sautéing the vegetables and cooking the oats.
- A cooking spoon, or spatula for stirring the ingredients together.
- A large bowl for serving.
- I also like to use these herb scissors for quickly chopping the cilantro to add on top!
How to Make this Masala Oats Recipe
Sauté the seeds: Heat oil in your pan. Add the mustard, cumin, and coriander seeds to the pan. Sauté for 2-3 minutes on medium heat until seeds crackle and pop!
Add the onions: Add in the chopped onions. You can use white or red onions here. Sauté until translucent. About 2 minutes on medium heat. Add in the chopped tomatoes. Stir to combine. Cook an additional 1-2 minutes.
Pour in the Oats and Water: Now it’s time to add in the oats. Pour in one cup of rolled oats, and 2 cups of water. Stir to combine. Reduce heat to low.
Add Spices: Sprinkle in the turmeric, salt and pepper. Stir to combine. Allow the oats to thicken, stirring occasionally.
Add Frozen Peas: Just before you’re ready to serve, stir in the frozen peas. You don’t want to do this earlier as the peas will turn a dark green if added too early. Stir the peas into the oats. Now you’re ready to serve.
Serving Suggestion: This makes two large servings of masala oats, or 4 smaller servings. Top with chopped fresh cilantro, fresh lemon juice, and a few tablespoons of plain vegan yogurt for extra creaminess.
Yes! Masala oats are a nutritious meal full of vitamins, nutrients, and low in calories and fat. One serving of this recipe comes in at 236 calories, 7 grams of protein, and 6 grams of fiber. Oats are an excellent source of fiber which helps you feel fuller longer, and improves digestion. The added spices provide flavor without adding calories, and the small amount of olive oil added is high in healthy fats that are necessary to help absorb vitamins such as vitamin A, D, and E.
Yes, this recipe is kid friendly. My kids don’t like foods that are too spicy, and these oats have a mild flavor. They are naturally creamy, with added veggies, that make for a simple weeknight meal.
Yes! If you do not have turmeric, you can add your favorite curry powder instead. It will have a slightly different flavor, but one that is still mild (if using a mild yellow curry powder).
If your goal is to lose weight, adding oats to your diet is an excellent way to get valuable nutrients in a low calorie and low fat meal. This recipe is very satisfying and will leave you feeling full without the need for snacks between meals.
Expert Tips for the Best Results
- Use mustard, cumin, and coriander seeds rather than ground spices.
- Wait for the spices to pop and crackle before adding any other ingredients.
- Use a small amount of oil to toast the seeds. Alternatively, you can dry roast the seeds if you’d like to skip the oil in this recipe.
- Use rolled oats, not quick oats. Rolled oats will keep their shape and texture, while quick oats will be more mushy in consistency.
Variations and Substitutions
Add Omega-3s: Make this recipe even healthier and nutrient rich by adding a teaspoon of chia seeds on top before serving.
Increase Serving Size: To serve more people simply double the recipe. It will then serve a family of 4.
Make it Spicy: For more spice, finely chop green chillies and add with the onion. It will give this recipe a nice kick!
Additional Spices: If you’d like to add even more flavor, feel free to add a touch of these other Indian spices such as garam masala powder, and fenugreek leaves.
Fresh Herbs: I like to use cilantro because I always have it in my fridge, but you can add mint leaves, parsley, or even basil if you like!
Add More Veggies: If you’d really like to amp up your veggies. Chop additional vegetables and add them when you add the tomatoes. Sauté until softened.
Store, Keep, and Reheating Instructions
Store and Keep: Allow to cool completely. Transfer to an airtight glass container. Store in the refrigerator for 2-3 days.
Reheat: When ready to reheat, transfer to a microwave safe bowl. Add 2-3 tablespoons of water. Stir, and heat for one minute, or longer to achieve desired temperature.
More easy vegan Indian inspired recipes!
- Vegan Curry with Sweet Potatoes
- Cauliflower Curry
- Butternut Squash and Chickpea Curry
- Vegan Curried Lentils
If you’ve tried this recipe, please leave a star rating and let me know how it turned out. You can also follow me on Facebook, Instagram, and Pinterest for more plant-based family recipes your whole family will enjoy!
- 2 tsp olive oil extra virgin
- ¼ tsp black mustard seeds
- ¼ tsp cumin seeds
- ¼ tsp coriander seeds
- ½ cup onion diced
- ½ cup tomatoes diced
- 1 cup rolled oats
- 2 cups water
- ⅛ tsp pepper
- ¼ tsp salt
- ½ tsp turmeric powder
- ¼ cup frozen peas
- fresh cilantro chopped for serving
- Add olive oil to your pan. Add the mustard, cumin, and coriander seeds. Sauté for 2-3 minutes on medium heat until seeds crackle and pop!
- Add in the chopped onions. Sauté until translucent, about 2 minutes. Add in the chopped tomatoes. Stir to combine. Cook an additional 1-2 minutes.
- Pour in one cup of rolled oats, and 2 cups of water. Stir to combine. Reduce heat to low.
- Sprinkle in the turmeric, salt and pepper. Stir to combine. Allow the oats to thicken, stirring occasionally. This will take about 3 minutes.
- Once oats have thickened, stir in the frozen peas.
- Top with chopped fresh cilantro.