Friday, January 20, 2012

Start your day with a bowlful of healthy Oats ganji

One of the things BH & I have been consciously working on is making our eating habits healthier, we are not a family that eats outside a lot. At home I try to frequently stir fry, boil, steam as alternatives to deep frying. Nammamma's cooking does not have a lot of oil in it, her taste enhancer is the fresh coconut, she loves her coconut so much that she will put it into coffee if she had her way :-) and since my cooking is heavily influenced by her style, I tend to use less oil naturally and do not miss anything. I completely understand that many health issues are genetically pre determined but I am more of the 'prevent than cure' person. You will be pleasantly surprised to find that you won't find a lot of difference in taste by making small changes in your cooking pattern. I also firmly believe that the taste is induced primarily by the freshness factor of the ingredients you use in making a dish.

Growing up, we had a routine at home, since Anna (my father) used to leave for college around 9ish, he would eat a meal that was the usual Kannadiga fare with rice, saaru/huli and vegetables, come back in the afternoon and eat what is called 'Tiffin' with coffee and have dinner at 9.15pm sharp. He had a mechanical wrist watch that needed winding every day and he would match it to the 9pm English news beginning on radio since it was reliable (unlike TV programs). We would be ready with the plates, water and wait for him to finish the 15 minute news and come for dinner. Since nammamma would be busy in the morning getting the meal ready for father, anyone that needed to leave earlier for school/college will have mosaranna with uppinakayi (curd/yogurt rice with pickle). We will have our full meal later in the day. It changed once anna retired from work though.

I have for many years skipped breakfast during college and working days, grabbed a banana to go instead but I realize it is not a good start to the day. I prefer the weekday breakfast to be something I can prepare in a jiffy in addition to being tasty and healthy. If you noticed the dishes I have so far on my blog I am partial to the 'hotness' coefficient in my meals, I cannot eat a sweet for an early morning breakfast, oat bars, cereals, granola is ok once in a while, I don't like them on a regular basis. The tingling taste of curd (yogurt) I ate for years for breakfast is still fresh and so I have made my own yummy weekday breakfast now with some changes.

I am not going to bore with the health benefits of regularly eating oats, abundant information on the topic is available just a mouse move away. Quick facts are: eating oats on a regular basis is helpful to a healthy heart, it spreads the rise & fall of blood sugar in the body and is rich in its fiber content.

Oats is surprisingly very adaptable to Indian cooking, I have used it in dosas, appams/paddus, upmas with finger smacking results. We didn't like it in idli since it made the idli collapse and become mushy. So, here is a delicious healthy start to your day.
What do you need to make Oats ganji? 
1 cup of oats (I used old fashioned oats)
4 cups of water (adjust water since you need a flowy consistency)
1 Tsp salt (adjust to taste)
3 green chilies (cut into small pieces)
6-8 curry leaves (chopped fine)
1 small red onion (chopped fine about 2 Tblsp)
1 inch piece of ginger root (chopped fine)
1 Tblsp of yogurt (whisked smooth)
1 Tsp mustard seeds
1 Tsp cumin seeds
1 Tsp of cooking oil
Oats in a bowl ready to be microwaved
How do you make Oats ganji?
Preparing Oats - follow cooking instructions on your oats package, I put it in a microwave safe bowl, add water and microwave for 3 minutes to get soft oats ready. 
  • Heat oil in a pan, add mustard & cumin seeds.
  • Once mustard crackles, add the green chilies, curry leaves and ginger.
  • You want the green chilies to roast crisp so you can bite into it.
  • Add the chopped onion and salt, let the onion sweat a little.
  • I like a little crunch to the onions, so I don't wait until it softens completely, it is a matter of preference.
  • When your onion is sweating, cook the oats (see instructions above)
  • Pour the cooked oats into the pan, add water if needed to get the consistency
  • Let it come to a boil, add the whisked yogurt, mix and switch off.
Onions turning pink
 Microwaved oats
 Oats ganji starting a slow boil

Your 'Good Morning Healthy World' bowl of oats is ready to be relished


kitchen queen said...

healthy and informative post.thanks for sharing the same. you have a nice can visit my blog and give ur valuable comments.
indu srinivasan

Nagashree said...

@kitchen queen, thanks!

NamsVeni Pothas said...

oats is a very healthy and stomach fill dish. thanks for the recipe

Vardhini said...

Nicely explained and oats kanji looks yum. Healthy way to start the day .. thx for linking to the event.

Event: New "U" - Healthy Eats
Event: Healing Foods - Cauliflower

Nagashree said...

Thanks Vardhini!