Yeah, but I’m trying to avoid high-glycemic things.
Here, cross-posted from eGullet, is my report on my first try at masala “oatmeal”:
I’m currently eating my masala oatmeal, but it isn’t really that, exactly. On the first attempt, it was a smashing success, although it took a long time to cook and I think next time, I’ll use my wok.
About 1 inch of fresh ginger, chopped
3 cloves of garlic, chopped
1 large white onion, chopped
3 plum tomatoes, chopped
3 scallions, sliced (optional)
4 mushrooms, chopped
About 5 tablespoons steel-cut oats
3 tablespoons urad dal
3 tablespoons or so of roughly crumbled “raw” cashews
2 dried curry leaves, crumbled into small bits
1 heaping teaspoon cumin seeds
1 teaspoon garam masala
1 teaspoon ground turmeric
1/6 teaspoon ajwain seeds
1 teaspoon amchoor powder
1 teaspoon ground cinnamon
1/3 to 1/2 teaspoon cayenne pepper
1 flat teaspoon sweet paprika
3 organic free-range eggs
about 1 1/2 cups full-fat yogurt
juice of 1 lemon, seeds removed
a neutral oil (I used canola) as needed
Put a bit of oil into a wok or pan. Add the ginger and garlic, stirring until they are mostly cooked.
Add the onions and more oil as needed. Cook until the onions are close to done, then add the scallions if you like and repeat the process.
After that, add the spices and mix thoroughly. Then add the oats, urad dal, cashew pieces and curry leaf bits. Again add more oil as needed.
When the cashews seem cooked, add the tomatoes. You will probably need to raise the heat a little, but be careful not to burn the oats or dal.
When the tomatoes are mostly cooked and the liquid is somewhat reduced, add the mushrooms.
Wait until the mushrooms are cooked to add the eggs, but it is not necessary to wait until the water evaporates. Mix, making sure to coat everything with egg.
When everything is thoroughly mixed and the eggs are cooked, add the yogurt, mix thoroughly, and add the lemon juice. Simmer a bit to reduce the liquid somewhat and cook the mixture.
The result should still have a good deal of liquid - indeed, the texture should be something like oatmeal, but crispier. Distribute it into bowls for eating.
Thoughts on this improvised recipe: First, it was delicious. However, I couldn’t taste the scallions, so I think I’ll use them in something else. The ginger was somewhat present, but I think I’ll at least double the amount next time to taste it more. I used few ajwain seeds because when I opened my newly-bought bag, they smelled strong, but I couldn’t taste them much, so I’ll put at least 1/3 of a teaspoon in next time. I also will use an entire container of mushrooms if I have one handy next time (I had only half a container left). The quantity of tomatoes seemed good; I didn’t really taste them separately, but they were part of the mix and also helped add water to it.
But more worked than didn’t work. The texture of the oats was pleasant, in this combination. The lemon juice was great, and I don’t think vinegar would be as good. The spices all came through except for perhaps the paprika and to a large extent the ajwain (and turmeric just gives food a subtle earthiness, so I’m sure it helped, but the taste wasn’t that present even with a whole teaspoonfull), and the curry leaves were especially nice. The cashews also really helped. By the way, the cayenne was definitely present and the large amount of yogurt cooled it off some, but if you are sensitive to chili, decrease the cayenne or omit it, then taste it to see if any should be added.
Next time, I may try using some mustard oil. I thought I had some, but I couldn’t find it. I also would love to add some really substantial green vegetable to this like kangkong (water spinach), adding it before the tomatoes (or possibly in lieu of them, for a different variation).
Final comments: The urad dal and oats form a paste, so be careful of that. If you prefer, add more oil (but I wouldn’t have wanted more than I used, which I’m guessing was perhaps 1/8 of a cup in total at most). Some people might prefer using less oats, but the result was very good. Also, for those who like it (and aren’t trying to avoid them because of their glycemic effect), you could easily add some raisins to the combination of urad dal, oats, cashews and dried curry leaves. And finally, I’m not sure what role the eggs had in this dish. I suppose they could be omitted, and I don’t know what it would have been like if I had used 5 instead of the 3 I had left.