My entries for the #BringYourTastiestBowl Challenge

I know a lot of people with a sweet tooth who always keep struggling for a balance between their palate and their calorie count. And, when it comes to festivals, no one can stop at just one! Diwali, Holi, Christmas, even Navratras have become a reason to gorge at sweetmeats .. So when I read about Quaker’s #BringYourTastiestBowl challenge  I wondered if I could try my hand at not only experimenting at healthier versions of sweets served during festivals, but also may be win 50 lakhs .. 🙂 The contest is being judged by the ever popular Chef Vikas Khanna as well as people who vote for their favourite recipes.

As we know, Oats are a gluten free, rich source of fibre, which give energy to keep you going for a long time. Hence it is healthier to make Oats based versions of popular “unhealthy” dishes 🙂

So here are my versions of 2 very popular sweets – Mango Basil Oats phirni (diwali) and Oats Til laddoo (Lohri) for the “Bring your tastiest bowl challenge”

Mango Basil Oats Phirni

Phirni is a classic Indian rice pudding, similar to kheer, that is mostly consumed in north India on festive occasions like Diwali, Karwa Chauth etc. The dish is also consumed during Ramzan and prepared for the feasts at Muslim weddings and festivals like Id, among the Muslim communities of India, Bangladesh, Pakistan, and Afghanistan. 

Here I am preparing my version of Phirni with Oats instead of rice. And I have given it a further twist by adding mango and Basil flavours to it. Without further ado, here’s the recipe.

Mango Basil Oats Phirni

Portion size : 1

Serves : 3-4

Cooking time : 30 minutes

Preparation time : 5 minutes


  • 1 litre Full cream milk
  • 1 cup oats
  • 2 Tbsp sugar or as required
  • 18-20 almonds/badam, blanched, reserve a few for garnishing
  • 6-7 cardamoms/hari elachi (crushed and powdered in a mortar-pestle)
  • 2 Mangoes for mango puree
  • Few leaves of Basil for garnishing


1. Grind the Oats in a dry grinder till it is fully powdered. Keep aside 

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2. Heat milk in a thick bottomed broad pan or sauce pan or kadai, let the milk come to a boil. Then lower the flame.

3. Add the powdered oats, stir and add sugar also.

4. On a low to medium flame cook the mixture without covering. Keep stirring at regular intevals.

5. Powder the cardamoms in a mortar-pestle. Discard the almond peels from blanched almonds.

6. When the oats are cooked and milk seems to be half the original quantity, add the almonds & cardamom powder.

7. Stir and cook for further till the phirni thickens.

8. Take out the pulp of 2 mangoes and puree in a mixer.

9. Pour the phirni in serving bowls. Pour a layer of mango puree on top and refrigerate the Phirni.

10. Once cooled, garnish the phirni with basil leaves & serve.

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Gluten Free, Vegan Oats Til Laddoo

Til or sesame laddoos are typically consumed on Lohri. These laddoos typically also have khoya or condensed milk. My version of Til laddoos is made with Oats & Gud (Jaggery). There is no need to add any ghee or oil because the sesame seeds exude enough oil for binding. The absence of white sugar makes this dish even healthier. And since there are no milk products in this, not only is it Vegan, it is also Gluten free because of Oats. So here’s the recipe.

Gluten Free, Vegan Oats Til Laddoo

Portion size : 1

Serves : 10

Cooking time : 5 minutes

Preparation time : 15 minutes


  • 1 cup oats
  • 1 cup sesame
  • 1 cup grated Gud (jaggery)
  • 3-4 cardamoms/hari elachi (crushed and powdered in a mortar-pestle)


  1. On medium heat dry roast oat.


2. Similarly dry roast sesame seeds separately until golden.


3. Cool them. Powder oats and sesame seeds in a mixer.


4. Add the jaggery & Cardamoms and again powder further.

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5. Roll into balls while the mixture is fresh.


6. Store in an air tight jar.


Do try out the recipes and let me know if they tickled your tastebuds enough. Who knows you may even stand a chance to win INR 50 lakhs by participating with a unique entry!

Oats Poha


It was with a lot of surprise that I reacted when I learnt from a friend, that there’s one brand of Oats available in India that has customised the oats to substitute various Indian staples. So when Bagrry’s India contacted me to try out some of their products, I agreed pronto. They have Oat substitutes for Atta, poha, sooji, and rice among other things like regular oats. AFAIK there’s no other Oats brand that provides “customised for India” variants. I have tried some of their products and quite liked them.

I am sharing a recipe that I tried some time back. I made the Oats Poha using the “Oats for Poha” variant of Bagrry’s



Oats Poha with bagrry’s “oats for poha”

Portion size : 2

Serves : 1

Cooking time : 20 minutes

Preparation time : 10 minutes

Utensils/Equipment – 1 large pot or saucepan for boiling peas & beans, 1 pan for making poha, knife for chopping, colander to drain veggies and Poha, 1 cutting board, 1 bowl to soak oats, 1 pan for roasting peanuts


Bagrry’s Oats for Poha – ½ cup
Plain poha – ½ cup
Onion – 1, finely chopped
Peas – ¼ cup
French beans – ¼ cup diced
Peanuts – ¼ cup
Dry Red chillies – 2-3
Curry leaves (green) – few
Mustard seeds/Rye – few
Lemon juice – 2 tbsp
Oil – 2 tbsp
Salt – to taste
Turmeric – a pinch
Chilli powder – to taste
Coriander powder – ¼ tsp


1. Soak Bagrry’s Oats for Poha in a bowl. The original recipe says 3-4 minutes, but I soaked them for 10 minutes. Drain water and keep aside

Soaked Oats

2. Wash normal poha, drain it and keep aside

Soaked Poha

3. In a pan add oil and heat it on a high flame for 2 minutes. Now add mustard seeds, dry red chillis, curry leaves. Let the mustard splutter a little bit.

4. Add onions and saute. Meanwhile boil peas and french beans till they are somewhat cooked but not fully cooked

5. After a while, drain the peas and french beans and add to the pan. Stir continuously. Simmer down the flame and cover with a lid till the vegetables are cooked.

6. Now add Oats for Poha and all the spices. Mix well.

7. Now add plain poha and mix well so that all the spices evenly coat the poha

8. Cook on medium flame for 5-10 minutes. Meanwhile roast the peanuts on a tawa for 4-5 minutes and then let them cool.

9. Once cooked, add the lemon juice to the poha, sprinkle some peanuts and serve

Oats Poha is ready!

Here’s the recipe in recipe card format.

I must say it was quite tasty unlike what I really expected. It was very filling as well. I felt less guilty because of replacing at least some part of my white grain consumption with oats. 🙂 Go ahead and try the recipe and let me know how yours turned out!