The moment you tell people (a significant number i.e.) that a particular dish was made using oats, they seem to get put off by it, almost immediately! Most people I have come across eat oats like it is a medicine or a punishment (because the doctor told them to) since it helps manage their cholesterol. I agree, oats have no particular taste but that does not imply that a dish made using oats, will also be just as a blah. Give it a chance people! I am not trying to hard sell this post to you but seriously, oats are not all that bad if you pep them up a little, in your porridge or have them in cookies. In fact, they taste so fabulous in cookies that if you eat them blindfolded, you won’t be able to tell you are eating oats cookies. Yes, that good.
And because they have no particular taste, it makes them a raw canvass to add whatever flavour you want to give them! After having enjoyed the oats upma (savoury porridge) and oats idlis (savoury steamed semolina and oat mini cakes), I thought of making a healthy and tasty oats pudding using the local produce, i.e. Alphonso mangoes (basically finding any excuse to have mangoes). And the first attempt was an awful one. The pudding tasted raw and the texture was way more thicker than I had desired it to be. So I reworked the recipe, tweaked the amount of ingredients and also made some tweaks in the cooking process. It worked beautifully well and it tastes almost like a delicious mango kheer with a rich creamy texture. So here is a seemingly decadent, yet a very healthy dessert 🙂
¼ C Water
4 tbsp Quick Cooking Oats (use gluten free, if desired)
1 ripe Alphonso mango
1 ripe Alphonso mango, chopped (for topping the pudding)
1½ to 2 tbsp Almond meal (optional)
1 tbsp Sweetener of your choice (amount will depend on sweetness of mangoes)
1 pinch Saffron strands
½ tsp Cardamom Powder
1 – 1½ tbsp Assorted Nuts of your choice, for garnish
Dry roast the oats in a pan on medium flame stirring continuously for two minutes or till the oats change the colour and give a toasty smell. (be careful not to burn the oats) Remove the pan from heat and transfer the oats on a metal plate to cool. Grind the oats to powder.
Take water in a medium sized bowl and add the powdered oats. Stir well to make a kind of slurry and set aside. (just like you would do for making custard)
Peel the mango and dice it. Blend it to a smooth consistency. Set aside.
Pour the milk in a saucepan and place the pan on medium heat. Add the soaked saffron. Once you see bubbles around the edges of the pan, gently add the oats-water slurry, stirring continuously. Keep cooking and stirring. We don’t need to really ‘cook’ the oats since they are already roasted. The idea is to only thicken the mixture. It should take approximately one to one & a half minute (depending on the heat) and also depending on the kind of consistency you like. If it looks too thick, add some more milk, tablespoon by tablespoon.
Once it is done, switch off the heat and stir in the cardamom powder. (taste the pudding and only if the sweetener is required, add it at this point) Cool the oats completely. Decant the cooled contents into a mixing bowl and whisk well (I almost always blend the mixture to have a smooth consistency, that of a pudding)
Pour the pudding into individual glasses and chill for at least 3 – 4 hours. Served chilled, topped with diced mangoes and garnished with nuts of your choice. Enjoy!
Serves – 4
Note – Use any variety of mango that is not fibrous such as Dasheri or Kesar or any other that you enjoy.