I did not grow up eating sweet breakfasts. While a bowl of Mohan Meakins cornflakes soaked in honeyed hot milk was just for the weekends, buttered up parathas either stuffed with vegetables or rolled up with leftover curry from dinner were breakfast most of the week. The only sweet note to ours was that tall glass of cold, hand churned lassi which badi mummy (my grandma) prepared, sitting in the sun-lit veranda.
When she read too many health magazines, mom would make namkeen daliya for weeks. Refusing to eat it was not an option here, so after a while we adapted ourselves to relish it. That runny, warm daliya studded with vegetables was no less than a magic potion, not only it helped with bettering scores in exams but made you the strongest of all the kiddos in the neighborhood. Maybe true or so said mom. Each day she added a different set of vegetables, lentils,nuts or beans but never forgot to top it off with a big dollop of ghee. It was her way of telling, I love you.
My mornings still start with a savory something and the sugar frenzy is reserved for the weekends.
‘Daliya‘ is hindi for dry or wet , sweet or savory porridge made with any kind of whole/broken grains - millet, wheat, oats, barley.
I was introduced to steel-cut oats few years back and was hooked instantly. In addition to the better nutritional facts, they were my foray into recreating recipes from childhood when I could not find indian style daliya. Steel cut oats, barley or bulgur wheat or any variety of robust grains is a better choice for this pilaf like recipe. I sometimes mix in buckwheat groats or quinoa too. If you want to use the indian style daliya, use the most coarse variety you can find.
This is an extremely delicious, diabetic friendly recipe since steel-cut oats have a far lower GI than the instant ones. The nutty oats with vibrant colored, crunchy vegetables lend it a rich texture and there could not be a better way to start your morning. Once made the oatmeal keeps good in the fridge for 1-2 days, either serve at room temperature or warm.
Ingredients ( Serves 2-3)
- 1/2 cup steel-cut oats
- 2 tbsp quinoa
- 1 tsp olive oil
- 1/4 tsp salt
- About 1.5 cup of water (or as required to cook the oats)
For the Oatmeal
- 3 tbsp olive oil
- 1/2 tsp cumin seeds
- 1/2 cup green peas
- 1/2 cup corn
- 1/2 tsp minced fresh ginger
- 1-2 Thai green chillies (adjust to tolerance)
- 1/4 cup cauliflower florets, cut very small
- 3/4 cup tomatoes, diced small
- 1/2 cup cabbage, fine shredded
- 1/4 cup bell peppers, cut into small batons
- Cooked oats & quinoa (from above)
- Fresh Lemon juice to taste
- 1-2 tsp of ghee /butter on top – optional
- Salt to taste
- Chopped cilantro for garnish
- Optional – Any kind of nuts you like, raisins, dried apricots, dried berries etc for a sweet/crunchy note.
One Night before
Lightly dry roast the oats & quinoa in a warm cast iron skillet on low to medium heat for 3-5 minutes till you smell a nice aroma. Set aside to cool down completely.
In a pressure cooker, tip in the roasted oats & quinoa along with water, salt and oil. Put on the lid and cook on medium heat till the first whistle blows off. Immediately switch off the heat and let sit to cool down. Do not stir the boiled oats till they are completely cold. Using a fork fluff them up, transfer to a bowl and refrigerate overnight. You need cold, cooked oats for this recipe else everything will be a sticky mess.
You can also cook the oats & quinoa in a pot with a lid till they are thoroughly cooked and all the water is absorbed. Adjust time as required.
Tip – While the oats are cooking, you can cut up all the vegetable before hand so as to save more time in the morning.
In a wide, heavy bottomed pan, heat up the oil on medium heat. Add the cumin seeds and wait till they splutter. Add the peas and corn next, also add the ginger and chillies. Stir around for 1-2 minutes till they look shiny. Next, add the cauliflower, add a pinch of salt and continue to cook for 2-3 minutes till the florets soften a bit.
Add the tomatoes next, stir around and reduce the heat to low, cook for 2-3 minutes till the tomatoes soften and the skin starts separating , increase the heat to medium and add cabbage and bell peppers at this point and mix up everything. Cook for another 1-2 minutes till the vegetables soften a bit but retain the crunch.
Next, add the cold oats to the pan, lightly break up/fluff either using a fork or wooden spoon so as to combine with the veggies. Cook for not more than 1-2 minutes on low heat and switch off the stove. Add the lemon juice,roasted nuts etc and give it a final stir.
Before serving, add a dollop of ghee(optional) on top and garnish with chopped cilantro.
Enjoy & Thanks for stopping by!