Savoury Oats Porridge in Buttermilk

Savoury Oats Porridge with Buttermilk
Savoury Oats Porridge with Buttermilk

I came upon oats very very late in life (in my early 30s) and honestly, thank god for that because I am not too fond of oats even now! It was a time when I had joined a Gym and sought a dietician’s advice to knock of the weight I had put on after my mother’s passing.

As is wont with dieticians in India (or at least in Mumbai), the first thing the dietician told me to do was switch to oats for breakfast. Switch I did, but having oats cooked in milk first thing in the morning was not something I looked forward. I think it stemmed from the fact that I like savoury breakfasts and prefer not to have any sweet element early in the morning.

I soon started experimenting with different oats recipes (oats upma, oats dosa etc etc.). However, the unintentional side-effect of that was that the rest of my family had to eat these too and they protested; much too loudly, me thinks. 😛

Then I hit upon the idea of having oats with buttermilk and the the porridge became palatable. Then one day, as I was having Veppilakatti (a spicy, dry chutney with lemon Leaf) with some Curd Rice, inspiration struck!  If the combination tasted so good, could I not somehow use Veppilakatti with Oats and Buttermilk and so was born this recipe. 🙂

Serves: 1

Time: 10 Minutes

Ingredients

  1. Oats – 2 tbsp
  2. Veppilakatti – 1 Large Pinch
  3. Dahi or Yogurt – 1/2 Cup
  4. Water – 1 Cup
  5. Salt to Taste

Method

  1. Beat the yogurt till it is smooth.
  2. Cook the oats in 1/2 cup water with Veppilakatti and salt.
  3. Turn off the heat.
  4. Let the oats cool slightly and add the yogurt and mix well.
  5. Add enough water to bring it a porridge consistency.
  6. Enjoy savoury oats porridge while it is warm.

Nimmakaya Majjiga (Buttermilk with Lemon)

Nimmakaya Majjiga or Buttermilk with Lemon
Nimmakaya Majjiga or Buttermilk with Lemon

Summer is here and how! Mumbai is a scorching 40°C at the start of summer.  Who know what heights of temperature we will scale in the days to come?

We always drink a lot of Majjiga (Chaas/Buttermilk) to stay cool. Given that summer stretches for four long months, we have variations of majjiga that add spice to life and keep stave off boredom.

Nimmakaya Majjiga is a personal favourite of mine! 

Time: 10 Minutes

Serves: 4

Ingredients

  1. Curd – 1.5 Cups
  2. Water – 3 Cups
  3. Lemon Juice – 4 tbsp
  4. Grated Ginger – 1 tsp
  5. Curry Leaves – A Few
  6. Fresh Coriander – A Little
  7. Salt to Taste

Method

  1. Blend curd and water together to make a smooth liquid.
  2. Add lemon juice, grated ginger, torn curry leaves, slightly crushed coriander leaves and salt.
  3. Mix well.
  4. Serve chilled.

Simple as that!!

Tips

  1. Preferably use rock salt.
  2. Use black salt (kala namak) instead of sea salt and taste the difference. Be warned, black salt has a distinct sulfurous taste. 🙂

Kadhi Pakoda

Kadhi Pakoda
Kadhi Pakoda

Kadhi is the North Indian version of the South Indian Mor Khuzhambu or Majjiga Pulusu. Kadhi Pakoda with Moong Dal Khichdi is one of my favourite combinations. The first time I had this combination was at friend’s home and ever since, I have been hooked on this combination.

Ingredients for Kadhi

  1. Slightly Sour Dahi or Curd – 2 Cups
  2. Besan or Gram Flour – 2 tsp
  3. Ajwain or Carrom Seeds – 1/2 tsp
  4. Jeera or Cumin Seeds – 1/2 tsp
  5. Methi Dana or Fenugreek Seeds – 1/4 tsp
  6. Red Chillies – 2 or 3
  7. Turmeric – 1/8 tsp
  8. Curry Leaves – 5 or 6
  9. Oil – 1 tsp
  10. Salt to Taste

Method to Make Kadhi

  1. Make a smooth paste by whisking together 2 tbsp of water to the gram flour.
  2. Blend together the curd, gram flour paste, turmeric, and 1.5 Cups of water into a smooth liquid.
  3. Set aside.
  4. In a heavy bottomed vessel, heat the oil.
  5. Add the fenugreek seeds and stir-fry till it just starts to change colour.
  6. Add cumin and carom seeds.
  7. Stir-fry for a minute.
  8. Add split red chillies and curry leaves.
  9. Stir-fry for a minute.
  10. Lower the heat.
  11. Add the buttermilk and salt.
  12. Bring to a boil.
  13. Let the kadhi simmer over low heat for 30 minutes.

Ingredients for Pakodas

  1. Besan or Gram Flour – 2/3 Cup
  2. Turmeric – A large pinch
  3. Red Chilli Powder – 1/2 tsp
  4. Soda Bicarbonate (Cooking Soda) – 1/8 tsp
  5. Ajwain – 1/4 tsp
  6. Salt to Taste
  7. Water as Required
  8. Oil for Frying

Method for Making Pakodas

  1. Sieve together the gram flour, turmeric, red chilli powder, and soda bicarb.
  2. Add ajwain to the flour mix.
  3. Slowly add water and make a batter of dropping consistency.
  4. Add salt and mix well.
  5. In a kadhai or a wok, heat the oil till it is hot.
  6. Make pakodas by adding one teaspoonful of pakoda batter at a time to the oil.
  7. Fry till the pakodas are golden brown.
  8. Remove from the oil and set aside.

Putting Together the Kadhi Pakoda

  1. Use a fork to prick some holes in the pakodas.
  2. Add the pakodas to the simmering kadhi.
  3. Let them cook together for about 30 minutes.
  4. Turn off the heat.
  5. Cover and let it sit for 30 minutes.
  6. Serve warm with hot moong dal khichdi.