Oats for dinner

The Indian population is becoming more health conscious by the day. How else do you explain products like whole wheat biscuits, sugar free cookies, fat free tea whitener, fat free real fruit yogurt - flooding the markets? Bagrey's oats, muesli and other cereals were the ones to hit the market early on, some 4 years ago. Between Bagrey's quick cooking oats and Quakers (Lays) Instant oats, I prefer the former, making sure I never run out of it.

A heaping into a bubbling soup or for a 2 minute breakfast, it is the best we can have. Oats being rich in fibre and low in Glycemic index, it is one of the most healthiest foods for weight watchers, diabetics or simply health conscious.

My two minute breakfast with oats goes like this - 1/4 cup oats + 1 cup water + 1/4 tsp salt + handful of frozen peas --> Microwave at HIGH for 1 and half minutes, stirring once inbetween. Remove and add a dollop of fresh yogurt - serve HOT!

Oats is best for dinner if you have only yourself to feed or if you have come in after a tired day and in no mood to make anything elaborate. A regular salt and pepper seasoned porridge might sound quite boring though. Hence this nutritious, filling, Indianised Oats porridge.

Oats for dinner
Category - Quick dinner, dinner for one
Serves - 2
Time taken - Under 20 minutes

1 tightly packed cup quick cooking oats
1 tsp oil
1 onion, finely chopped
1 medium carrot, peeled and finely chopped
1/4 cup fresh or frozen green peas
1/4 cup green beans, finely chopped
1 tomato, seeds removed and chopped finely
2 cups water plus some more
1 tsp salt

For tempering
1/2 tsp mustard seeds
1 tsp udad dal
2 green chillies, finely chopped
1 tsp finely chopped ginger
1 sprig curry leaves

In a wok, lightly toast the oats for about 2 minutes, on a medium flame until fragrant (yes, they do get fragrant) and remove onto a plate.

In the same wok, heat 1 tsp oil and put in one by the one the ingredients for tempering in that order. Saute until the udad dal (split deskinned black gram dal) turns golden.

Put in all the vegetables with a pinch of salt. On low flame, saute them until somewhat soft, for 3-4 minutes.

Add 3 cups of water to the wok, remaining salt and close with a lid. Turn the flame on high, cover with a tight fitting lid, bring the water to a boil and once it starts boiling, let it simmer for 3-4 minutes, until the vegetables are almost done. At this point, add the toasted oats, give it a stir to break any lumps, keep the flame on medium to low and cover it with the lid. Let this cook for 5-7 minutes, until the oats are cooked thoroughly to make a creamy porridge.

  • This can be eaten with a bowl of yogurt and it makes a complete meal, without too much effort.
  • You can get this ready even faster if you use one and half cups of frozen chopped mixed vegetables instead of the ones mentioned

A-Z of Indian Vegetables

Ok- here's what! I did do my bit of thinking for O of Indian Vegetables at Nupur's - Omelette would have been too common, for the pumpkin curry Olan, i would have to go the market and Onions - I have left it for the others to attack LOL - so when I blogged about Oats quite coincidentally, I asked Nupur if I could send this to her and she obliged.

O is for Oats, this one has plenty of veggies and it is made in true Indian style, tadka and all - so it does fit in a way doesn't it?


junoesque said...


how does it taste ???

Sreelu said...


This looks delicious, I for one cannot handle oats, but this variation is very tempting.
Will surely surely try and let you know how it goes

ankurindia said...

being health conceous is always good

Anonymous said...

I have oats often for breakfast (Quaker Oats, not the instant kind, widely available in the Bay Area). Hre are a few additions that work for me:
a) Sliced fruits. I add apples and such but if I were in India, it'd be bananas, guavas, papayas, etc., esp something that has some crunch.
b) Nuts. I use walnuts and would think (toasted) peanuts would go well too.
c) Some folks add a spoon of honey and/or brown sugar and/or a spoon of butter. Thought of avoiding the salt you add?
d) I also add some ground flax seed and/or lecithin and/or...

Anonymous said...

Ooops. I just realised you cook the oats differently than I do. We do it differently here. I just add some water to the oats and microwave it for about 3.5 minutes until it cooks. I then add the (soy)milk, nuts, fruits, etc. outlined in my last comment.
Cooking and spicing it up per your recipe will probably produce something closer to upma than what we have customarily. Worth trying though it seems a lot of work. Perhaps weekends can be the Indian style and weekdays the quick kind, either way it's healthy...

Priya said...

That sounds perfect...I have got soo bored of my usual cooking with milk and adding some sugar...nuts..fruits..none of them held my interest for more than 2 months ! I am going to try your version..it will surely make a yummy light dinner ! Will try your breakfast tip tomorrow.

Roopa said...

awesome recipe, wonderfull to try something like upama porridge would love this with this i could avoid the sweet intake with the oats too!

Thanks Nandita!

Raaga said...

I tried the upma recipe on the Quaker carton and then made this variation myself. We're thinking on the same lines :) hubby and I both love this oats upma as my husband cannot eat the plain porridge :)

Nandita said...

Anon- thanks for the variations list

Juno- it tastes yummy, trust me and make this once!!

Raaga - i forgot to mention that the inspiration did come from the quaker pack :)

Nupur said...

Nandita, Oats for dinner with veggies, that is a great idea! With your permission, I'd love to include this in the "O of Indian vegetables" this weekend.
P.S: My favorite variation of oatmeal: with a touch of honey and a dollop of peanut butter mixed in (idea from Alanna of veggie venture blog).

DEEPA said...

very different one ..very health dinner .Will surely try it soon

Elsi said...

Now this version of oats is something I might could manage in the morning. My hubby eats oats 3 mornings a week, but he puts milk & sugar or butter & sugar on them. I only like savory foods in the morning instead of sweet ones, so I avoid oats. I think I need to try this style of cooking it.

Raaga said...

Hmmm... I made some stuff last night... and tried to take some pictures too :) but realized too late when most of the stuff was already in the tummies of hubby dear and my friend from Chennai :) I'll still put them up :)


hi ur blog looks so cool....nice recipes and healthy too...u have lot of information on ur blog...ur blog name "saffron trail" is simply superb.keep going..

Urban Vegan said...

What a great idea. We eat savory crepes for dinner--so why not oats?

Sig said...

Oats for dinner, that is so innovative sweety, I don't normally eat oats, too bland for me, but this sure sounds delicious.

Manisha said...

This is like an oats upma! I have to try it!

A year ago, I tried coming up with an oats chivda, along the lines of the kachha chivda but it failed miserably. I also think I used the wrong kind of oats. If you have a recipe for oats chivda, please share it!!

Raaga said...

When will I take pictures like the ones you do?

Sandeepa said...

First you make gorgeous cheesecakes to die for and then next put us on a health route with oats ..good one

Sukanya Ramkumar said...

Nice dinner.....Colourful one..

Chinni said...

hi ur blog looks so cool....Ill try this....

Anonymous said...

Hey Nandita,
I am typing this as I am digging into my bowl of oats. Wonderful recipe! Hats off! I am very health conscious and do appreciate your wonderful blog. I topped mine with homemade lime pickle and microwaved sago pappad. Absolutely delicious. I will be making this often. Thanks much and keep up the great work.
- Krithika

Pooja said...

really a healthy and quick dish ! loved it :)
thanks for sharing

marriedtoadesi.com said...

Wow Nandita, a spectacular idea. I will definitely try it out!


Sheela said...

HI Nandita, first, thanks for stopping by - you are too kind, very encouraging... i liked this post of yours - Oats is so underestimated and ignored - as you noted, i think it is a great breakfast food. But who has time for breakfast, right? Oats for dinner is wonderful - some tired nights, I either serve oats with veggies porridge-style, or poha with veggies - feels like a sumptuous meal usually :)

Pavithra said...

Hey Nandita.... oats cooked with vegetables sounds really nice. Will definitely try this, especially when i have only little time to prepare dinner.

Dancing Fountain said...

Hey Nandita :

I tried your OATS idea for breakfast. It was awesome. I always have trouble coming up with healthy breakfast ( mainly cos I hate cereals or anything sweet for breakfast)and have little time for making rotis or dosas in the morning. This OATS , frozen peas , in buttermilk was too good. I also added a pinch of hing and had with vadu mango . :) Thank you !

Spicelover said...

Hi Nandita
Absolutely awesome recipe. I never thought of oats in a upma. always thought of oats in sweet breakfast category. I make upma this way with semiya or wheat rawa. will try with oats next time.

Ekta said...

Hi Nandita,

Nice recipe, I am one who cannot stand milk and sugar, so def the standard version of oats with milk and sugar never even tried. I always make oats with water and salt, then add spicy chutney which ever is available[I guess for me spicy is the the way to go] for breakfast. Will def try the pulao.


Shalaka Tarkar said...

Hi Nandita,
I regularly visit your blog for recipes and have tried some. They have turned out really good. We usually have soup for dinner and hence I tried this one last night. It was a big hit in my family. My elder one who is an oats fan instantly loved it.

Thanks for your healthy recipes!

Vpat81 said...

omg! i do this in half measure for breakfast often! and yes yogurt gives it the zing, or maybe a dash of lemon juice and fresh coriander ! 

Sid said...


I'm a student in London and I miss my home food form Mumbai!
So, tired and hungry at nights, I often look for indian recipies. I am never short of the blunt oats, but this indian style to it is AWESOME! I can't wait for tomorrow morning! :)

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