April 21, 2013

Toasted Oats Daliya

I started using Steel-cut oats, instead of Old Fashioned (Rolled) oats for my morning oatmeal not too long ago (yes, I waited too long to try the real deal). Anyhow, one of the first things that struck me about steel cut oats is how much the flavor and texture matches that of Daliya.  

Daliya is the same thing as Bulgur. For those who haven't heard of it before, it is essentially a cereal made from the groats of different varieties of wheat, most commonly - durum. It is commonly used in cuisines across Europe, Middle East and South East Asia, especially Pakistan and North India. It has a light, nutty flavor, similar to steel cut oats, which is why I decided to try out steel-cut oats in the same recipe today. 

Oats Daliya w Spinach and Mixed Veggies
Prep Time: 20-30 min

Ingredients (Serves 2):
  1. 1/2 cup Steel-cut Oats
  2. 1 cup frozen mixed vegetables (peas, green beans, corn and diced carrots)
  3. 3 cups fresh Baby Spinach (or regular spinach leaves, coarsely chopped) 
  4. 1 tsp Onion Powder
  5. 1 tsp Garlic Powder
  6. 1 tsp Mustard Seeds (or Ground Mustard)
  7. 6 fresh (or frozen) Curry Leaves
  8. Salt and Pepper, to taste
  9. Hot Sauce (optional)
Toast the steel cut oats in a dry skillet, on medium to medium-high heat, until golden. What the toasting does is make them less sticky once cooked and also somewhat reduces the amount of water they need to absorb when cooked. Once golden, transfer oats to a pressure cooker. Allow to cool for a couple of minutes and then add half a cup of hot water (1 to 1 with quantity of dry oats). Cover immediately and cook under high pressure for 2 minutes. Allow steam to dissipate on its own. This works really well in an electric pressure cooker but a stove top should work just as well. Basically that half cup of water is just enough to soak and cook the oats (without making them mushy) and to generate just enough steam in the pressure cooker to last for 2-4 minutes. It all happens super fast!! Do not uncover the pressure cooker even after the steam has dissipated (make sure you turn off the 'keep warm' function, and move the stove top cooker to a trivet). Let it sit until the veggies are ready.  

Li'l Nikhil made my day he saw me take the box of Baby Spinach out of the fridge this morning. He asked me Leaves (Baby Spinach) and Dip (Balsamic Vinaigrette) for breakfast!! And then of course, he continued on to admonish me on using up all the leaves for my breakfast - "but I won't have any left for me for tomorrow!!" :)
While the oats are cooking, line the dry skillet used for toasting them with a thin layer of water and add onion, garlic and mustard seeds and frozen vegetable mix. Add a sprinkle of salt, and allow vegetables to thaw. Then mix in the curry leaves and saute until they release their aromatic oils (within 1-2 minutes). Then add the baby spinach and allow to wilt and mix everything together. 

Taste test for salt and pepper and once the vegetables are ready, open the pressure cooker, scrap the oats out with a wooden spatula (I've found that steel cut oats never get fluffy like bulgur but remain sticky). Add oats to the vegetables and toss everything really well together making sure to break up the larger pieces of crumbly oats. Garnish with freshly cut cilantro leaves and serve with hot sauce, or fresh mint chutney!

My Assessment: I liked this version of savory oats much better than the recipes I've posted before using old-fashioned oats. And of course, this is the whole, minimally processed, grain so it is much healthier as well. And it tasted just like wheat daliya :) so that was a great substitution that worked! 

Nutrition Facts (Per Serving): Calories 218 (Fat Calories 31)
Total Fat 3.4 g; Carbohydrates 40.1 g; Fiber 7.8 g; Sugars 4.5 g; Protein 9.0 g

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