This South Indian porridge is typically made with semolina (sooji) and eaten for breakfast and as a snack. The flavorful seasonings of black mustard seed, fresh curry leaves and ginger also take well to oats.

You can make this with dried steel-cut oats and 3 cups of water; they’ll take about 13 minutes to cook.

The original recipe called for 1 teaspoon of urad dal and 1/2 teaspoon of roasted chana dal (both available at Indian markets). If desired, add the urad dal after the mustard seed begins to sputter, then cook for a few minutes before proceeding with the recipe; add the roasted chana dal when you add the cashews and raisins.

Curry leaves are available at Indian markets, Mom’s Organic Markets and online. Black and brown mustard seeds are available from well-stocked grocery stores, spice stores, Indian markets and online.


2tablespoonsvegetable oil

12teaspoonblack or brown mustard seed (see headnote)

3fresh curry leaves (see headnote)

12teaspoonground turmeric

12teaspoonpeeled, minced fresh ginger root

12cupchopped shallots (2 ounces; from about 2 lobes)

14cupfinely chopped carrots (1 1/4 ounces; from 1 small, scrubbed carrot)

14cupfinely chopped fresh green beans (1 1/4 ounces)

1tablespoonroasted, chopped cashews (salted or unsalted)

1tablespoongolden raisins (may substitute dried cranberries)

1cupdried rolled oats (do not use instant; may also use steel-cut, see headnote)

2cupswater (see headnote)

12teaspoonkosher salt, or more as needed

Lemon wedge, for serving (optional)


Step 1

Heat the oil in a large nonstick skillet over medium heat. Add the mustard seed; as soon as it starts to pop and sputter, add the curry leaves and reduce the heat to low (the spices will continue to spit and pop). Add the turmeric and ginger; cook, stirring, for 30 seconds, then add the shallots, carrots and green beans. Increase the heat to medium-high and cook for about 2 minutes, stirring frequently, until the shallots have softened.

Step 2

Add the cashews, raisins and oats. Cook for 2 minutes, stirring frequently, until the oats are lightly toasted and the mix smells quite fragrant.

Step 3

Add the water and salt. Cook, uncovered, for about 9 minutes, stirring often, until the water has mostly evaporated and the vegetables are tender. Squeeze with a little fresh lemon juice, if using. Taste and add more salt, as needed.Serve warm.

Based on a recipe from Washington chef-restaurateur K.N. Vinod.

Tested by Kara Elder; email questions to voraciously@washpost.com.

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For a printer-friendly and scalable version of this recipe, view it here.

The nutritional analysis is based on 3 servings.

More savory oats:

(Stacy Zarin Goldberg for The Washington Post; food styling by Amanda Soto/The Washington Post)

Oatmeal With Bacon, Cheese and Pickled Jalapeños

(Stacy Zarin Goldberg for The Washington Post; food styling by Amanda Soto/The Washington Post)

Steel-Cut Oats With Kimchi


Calories: 240; Total Fat: 13 g; Saturated Fat: 2 g; Cholesterol: 0 mg; Sodium: 200 mg; Carbohydrates: 28 g; Dietary Fiber: 4 g; Sugars: 6 g; Protein: 5 g.