Oats for dinner is a nourishing bowl of oats cooked with ginger, chillies and loads of seasonal vegetables, topped with a protein of your choice, to make a fully balanced meal in a bowl
This post was first written in May 2007. I’m surprised that I was eating bowls of oats for breakfast, lunch or dinner even in the days before oatmeal bowls (or meals in bowls in general) became trendy.
Oats, like most other grains is hugely versatile, moving from breakfast to a main meal with much ease. For breakfast, I like my oats made into a thin, runny porridge with milk, some cardamom and powdered jaggery. Thin enough to pour into a mug and sip at leisure. You’ll find a bunch of oats breakfast recipes further down in the post…
For a heavier meal such as a late breakfast / early lunch or dinner, I prefer it like the bowl in this post. This oats for dinner recipe combines oats with 4-5 times the quantity of vegetables. Toasting the oats before preparing this dish ensures that it still retains a texture after cooking and doesn’t turn slimy. Use all the seasonal vegetables you can find in the fridge. You can use a bag of mixed frozen vegetables as a substitute. I insist that you chop up the green chillies, ginger, onion and tomatoes fresh, because these will add a ton of flavour to your nourishing bowl of oats for dinner. Oats can do with that flavour boost to make it appealing to the tastebuds.
As a bonus, I sometimes go ahead and top it with pan fried cubes of paneer (vegans can use tofu). A fried egg on top is also a good option for those who eat eggs. This adds a dash of extra protein to the bowl, keeping you full for longer.
Sprinkling a spoonful of sunflower, pumpkin or chia seeds adds the nourishing element of healthy fats to your bowl, making it a complete meal.
This oats for dinner recipe is very handy when you have to make dinner for one or two people. It is also perfect for a weeknight dinner when you come in tired and are in no mood to make anything elaborate. A regular oats porridge for dinner is not something that floats my boat. Hence this nutritious, filling, Indianised oats porridge, made along the lines of oats upma is my favourite. Trust me, this will end up becoming your go to dinner on busy weeknights.
Some topping ideas for savoury oatmeal bowls
- Pan fried paneer / tofu / halloumi
- Pan fried golden mushrooms
- Fried egg
- Boiled egg, halved and seasoned with salt and pepper
- Chia seeds
- Toasted sesame seeds
- Sunflower / pumpkin seeds
- Pan fried spinach or any other seasonal greens
Oats breakfast recipes
- Healthy breakfast meal planning for the week using oats
- Pumpkin Oats Porridge
- Oats Banana Buttermilk Pancakes
- Spiced chocolate oatmeal
- Savoury baked oats
- Overnight oats – 3 ways
Oats for dinner
- 1 cup quick cooking oats
- 2 tsp coconut oil
- 1/2 tsp mustard seeds
- 1 tsp urad dal
- 2-3 green chillies finely chopped
- 1 tsp finely chopped ginger
- 2 sprigs curry leaves
- 1 medium onion finely chopped
- 1 medium carrot finely chopped
- 1/4 cup green peas fresh or frozen
- 8-10 green beans finely sliced
- 1 medium tomato finely chopped
- 3 cups water
- 3/4 tsp salt
- 100 grams paneer cubed
- 1/2 tsp coconut oil
- 2 tsp chia seeds or sesame seeds
- 4 Cherry tomatoes halved
- To prepare these bowls of oats for dinner, start by lightly toast the oats in a frying pan for about 4 minutes, on a medium flame until fragrant. Remove into a dish and keep aside.
- In the same pan, heat 2 tsp coconut oil and add all the tempering ingredients - mustard seeds, urad dal, chillies, ginger and curry leaves. Fry for 1-2 minutes on medium flame until urad dal turns golden brown.
- To this, add all the vegetables except tomatoes and stir on high flame for 2-3 minutes. Add tomatoes, 1/2 tsp salt and fry for another minute or so.
- Pour in 3 cups water with remaining 1/2 tsp salt and bring this to a boil. Once the water is boiling, reduce flame and simmer for 3-4 minutes until vegetables are nearly cooked.
- 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 minutes until the oats is cooked and creamy. Divide between two bowls.
- In a small pan, heat 1/2 tsp coconut oil and pan fry the cubes of paneer or tofu until golden on all aside. Remove and divide between the two bowls of oats.
- Sprinkle the seeds over the prepared oats. Serve hot.
- Instead of the toppings, serve with a cup of yogurt to make a complete meal.
- These bowls of oats for dinner are best eaten hot. They don't taste good cold.
- You can get this ready even faster if you use one and half cups of frozen chopped mixed vegetables instead of the ones mentioned.
Originally published on May 01, 2007. Updated with new photos and text.
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