Living in Consciousness ~ Indi(r)a’s Food and Garden Weblog

Oatmeal with Old~Fashioned Oats

Old-Fashioned Oats
Old-Fashioned Oats

Oatmeal tests convictions. Its taste, appearance, origins, the varieties available, and the uberhype surrounding its health benefits – oatmeal was a big challenge to this Indian palate. To like or not to like? I wanted to like it.

First, I had problems with its blandness and gooey texture. Overcoming these two traits was the biggest hurdle for me in appreciating oatmeal. Next I had to make a choice. Instant, old-fashioned or steel cut. Steel cut definitely tasted better but it made a steep cut in my budget and the instant tasted too artificial. Finally I settled on old-fashioned oatmeal. The type which takes at least 10 to 15 minutes to cook. I experimented in several ways while trying out the different versions of oatmeal. I tried adding cinnamon, cardamom, apples, nuts, raisins etc. The wisdom I gained was that trying to jazz up oatmeal is like putting makeup on a pig. Oatmeal is oatmeal. No amount of flavorings can change the basic texture and blandness of oatmeal.

Somehow over the years this gooey gruel grew on us. The rest of our day may be filled with flavors and spiciness but we start the day plainly. Oatmeal now forms our breakfast for at least four mornings of the week. Wake up in the morning, put two pots filled with water on the stove. One for oatmeal and one for tea. Brush teeth, get the newspaper. By this time the water will be boiling. Add oatmeal and tea powder. Let them simmer for five to ten minutes. Have them while reading the paper. Vijay likes it plain and I usually add a teaspoon of honey. All of this may sound unglamorous, but comfort is in the ritual of routine, said our elders. I am used to things changing frequently around me and my way of dealing with change is to practise a comforting routine in militant fashion. Even though oatmeal is still a classic case of food I do not eat for the taste, I am glad I choose to like oatmeal and to make it a part of my daily routine.

Steaming Cup of Oatmeal
Steaming Cup of Oatmeal ~ Our Morning Mini Meal

(For two)
Bring three cups of water to a rolling boil on high heat. Add a cup of old-fashioned oats. Simmer for about five minutes on medium heat. Turn off the heat and cover the pot. Let it sit for another five minutes. Serve to a cup and stir in honey to taste.

Posted by Indira©Copyrighted in Oats (Wednesday February 21, 2007 at 11:29 pm- permalink)
Comments (71)

The New Home of Mahanandi:

Oatmeal Upma

I love my spicy version of oatmeal. Just by adding the traditional Indian ingredients of upma, the bland oatmeal transforms into a spicy, feed me more, kind of mush. Add pickle or podi, you won’t believe how good it tastes.


Dry roast oats (I usually buy Quaker brand – old fashioned oats) in an iron skillet, until they leave their white color, for few minutes.

Finely chop one small onion, three green chillies, one garlic clove and 10 paisa size ginger.

Add one tsp of oil or ghee to a hot pan, do the popu or tiragmata, then add the finely chopped vegetables, saute to soft for few minutes.

For one cup of oats – add two cups of water and quarter teaspoon of salt. Close the lid and on high heat, bring the water to dancing stage (boil).

Now remove the lid and add oats, stirring continuously. Reduce the heat, let the oats cook, covered for about 5 to 8 minutes or until the oats absorb all the water. If you want, you can also add roasted peanuts or cashews at this stage, to make it more wholesome.

Serve the oatmeal upma warm. Best combination is Oatmeal upma and spicy dhalia powder (pappula podi).

Oatmeal Upma
Oatmeal Upma

Posted by Indira©Copyrighted in Dhanyam (Grains),Oats (Wednesday June 8, 2005 at 8:55 am- permalink)
Comments (68)

The New Home of Mahanandi: