Oats, as many of us know, are a powerhouse of health benefits. These include nutrient richness (protein, carbohydrates, calcium and fiber), low in sugar, low in fat, good for cholesterol and diabetes control, and most of all satiety. In fact, research from the World Health Organization has shown that the protein content of oats is nearly equivalent to soy, meat, milk and egg protein.
It is a good idea to learn the basics of Oats before you cook, so that you can choose the Oats most suitable to your recipe. So, here goes – Oats start out as oat groats, which are then processed into different formats such as steel cut, rolled, instant/quick oats and oat flour/bran. When oat groats are cut using a sharp blade, that makes steel cut oats. These take the longest to cook and have a chewy texture. On the other hand, rolled oats are are created when the oat groats are steamed (to make them pliable) and then rolled to make them flat. These take less time to cook (compared to steel cut), and manage to retain their size and texture after cooking. Finally, instant oats are made when the rolled oats are steamed and further rolled to make them thinner. This allows them to absorb moisture more quickly and therefore, cook instantly. Because of this, they don’t retain a shape of texture and end up mushy. Clear as mud?
In my quest to find a breakfast that would satisfy my monstrous morning hunger and keep me full, I made the transition from cereal to oats. However, the store brought oats are either plain or flavored, and therefore loaded with sugar. The serving size and quantity just does not justify the amount of sugar that comes with it. Plus, being Indian, my palate is always looking for something savory, even on a breakfast occasion. That led me to the discovery of Oats Chilla, courtesy Shilpa Shetty’s cooking channel.
A Cheela is basically a savory pancake made out of a grain based flour. A lot of Cheela recipes that I found were besan (gram/chickpea flour) based. My stomach does not do very well with besan, so I avoid it as much as possible. Therefore, this Oats Cheela recipe, that I adapted from Shilpa Shetty’s recipe, is a wholesome and nutritious breakfast. And of course I decided to experiment on my husband, and he loved it. But what made it a super, duper hit was when my husband’s 6 year old niece, who is generally a very picky eater (as any other 6 year old), gorged on 6 Cheelas!!! Now, these can be very heavy because of the Oats, but she loved them, and I was beyond excited. I have been getting my mum to eat Oats forever, but she finds the mushiness of Oats to be repulsive. Yet, this recipe was a hit with her too, which means the world to me. And thus began my love for Cheelas that I continue to share with family and friends.
|Prep time||10 minutes|
|Cook time||10 minutes|
|Serves||2 (2-4 medium sized Cheelas)|
- Onions – 1/4 cup, finely chopped
- Carrots – 1/4 cup, shredded or finely chopped
- Oats – 3/4 cup
Spices and Herbs
- Roasted Jeera Powder (Cumin) – 1/2 tsp
- Black Pepper – 1/2 tsp
- Chaat Masala – 1/2 tbsp (Add more as your taste)
- Salt as per taste
- Cilantro – 2 tbsp, finely chopped
- Ginger – 1 tbsp, crushed
- Green Chillies – 1 tbsp, finely chopped (or as per your taste requirement)
- Milk – 1 cup (Add extra as needed to adjust the consistency)
- Cooking Oil – 2 tbsp
- In a pan, toast the oats until they are slightly brown and release a nutty aroma
- Grind the toasted oats to make a fine powder
- Add milk and blend until the batter has a smooth consistency. The ideal consistency should not be too smooth and nor too grainy. So adjust the amount of milk to achieve the desired consistency. Transfer the batter to a mixing bowl
- Add the vegetables, spices, herbs and mix well
- Adjust consistency with more milk, if required
- Heat a pan, add 1tbsp oil, and use a brush to spread the oil on the pan
- Add the batter and slowly spread it evenly. You may not able to spread with a spoon, so lift the pan and turn it in a circular motion to spread the batter
- Cover with a lid and cook on medium heat for 45-60 seconds
- Remove the lid, drizzle 1 tsp oil on the cheela and flip it to cook the other side. You will know that it is cooked when it has brown spots on it, just like a roti
- Transfer to a plate and serve with your choice of chutney
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