Spice Oatmeal Porridge

There’s nothing more nourishing than a hearty breakfast of oatmeal. High in fiber, low in sugar, this heart healthy whole grains breakfast make you feel more energetic to take on the day. I prefer steel cut oats to instant or old fashioned rolled oats. They are least processed and love the way they taste and the texture they have. They remind me of ‘meetha dalia’ my mother used to make for breakfast. Dalia (दलिय़ा) is a hindi term used for cracked wheat. It is similar to steel cut oats and a traditional breakfast food on cold winter mornings. Oats were unheard of while I was growing up but in last few years it became part of Indian breakfast repertoire and now oats are widely used in sweet and  savory recipes.



I cook oats porridge with warm spices, the same way as my mother cooked meetha dalia, without milk (it was added after), but you can cook it in milk or take equal parts water and milk. Steel cut oats take longer to cook than dalia, hence some folks soak it prior to cooking or they use slow cooker. But as it reheats perfectly by adding little water or milk, I cook  at night for next day’s breakfast. Regardless of what method you use for cooking, make sure to toast the oats in desi ghee or butter before adding any liquid. This really gives a yummy toasted flavor to oats and help reduce foaming while the pot is covered.



Spice Oatmeal Porridge

Prep Time: 5 minutes

Cook Time: 40 minutes

Total Time: 45 minutes

Yield: 5-6 servings


  • 1 cup steel cut oats
  • 4 cups water (or milk, whatever you prefer)
  • 1-2 black cardamom, shell discarded
  • 2-3 cloves
  • 1" cinnamon stick
  • 2 tbsp desi ghee ( or butter)
  • 1/4 cup raisins
  • 1/4 cup chopped almonds (toasted)


  1. Heat desi ghee in a saucepan.
  2. Sizzle cloves, cinnamon stick and cardamom seeds.
  3. Add oats, toast them for a minute or so.
  4. Add water (or milk). Bring it to boil. Reduce the heat, cover and simmer gently until the oats are tender.
  5. Give it a stir once to make sure the bottom is not burning.
  6. After 35 minutes it should be considerably thicker. Turn off the heat, stir in raisins and leave it covered for few minutes. Remove cinnamon stick before serving.
  7. Divide the oatmeal in bowls, top it with honey and nuts and serve with a glass of milk for a balanced breakfast.
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30 thoughts on “Spice Oatmeal Porridge

  1. Totally agree with you, Balvinder. My hubby takes that every morning, but I don’t fancy oatmeal from young. Will show him your post later. I’m sure he’ll like it!

    • Sometimes it takes a long time to love oatmeal. Steel cut oats have wonderful chewy bite, I am sure you will love it with toppings of fresh fruit, little cream, maple syrup or whatever you fancy.

  2. I don’t usually eat oats during summertime but come winter , I eat it more and more , sometimes twice a day :D I haven’t tried steel-cut oats though :P I love how you spiced up your oats , me , more like with milk and raw sugar combo and sometimes with condensed milk , I know , I know lol

    • Oh no I am the same! If there is a can of condensed milk or cream open in the fridge, I do the same. Just to fool myself I add some skim milk. SSShhh.. No one know this in my house ;-)

  3. I am a huge fan of oatmeal. I used to eat slow-cooked oats but then discovered steel cut and fell in love with the chew and texture! I have a bowl at least 3-4x a week, sometimes as part of dinner (need to balance out all the sweets!). I never thought to warm it up with spices. I love the sound of yours. I would really relish a big bow of it – thanks for the idea!

    • Steel cut oats are the slow cooked oats. isn’t it? I love oatmeal but can not imagine myself eating it 3-4 times a week. Oats and spices taste wonderful in this cool weather, you can also add pumpkin puree to it.

  4. I like oatmeal, but can’t handle it everyday! I love it’s versatility and how lately, we have taken to making it in savoury form too, almost like a haleem.
    Your steel cut oats look great, I need to get some of those, I am sure I would like them better too. I like the warm spices you’ve added, almost like a healthy dessert.

    • Thank you Nazneen, I do eat it as a dessert by topping with caramelized fruits. and also i agree about its versatility, it can be customized to suit sweet or savory tastes.

  5. What a great idea of spicing up the oatmeal. I am not a big fan of oatmeal but my kids eat it almost everyday whether they like it or not. I know they will like this version, so this will be given to them tomorrow. I especially love that you toasted them in ghee..yummy!

  6. Shy to admit that breakfast is also missed. I am rushing in the morning, like on a roller blade. Its the weekend when we start with brunch. I adore this spicy version. I somehow have started liking oats very much and when the time is fine, will make your recipe and I am sure my other half will appreciate it.

    Btw, my domain is still missing and have been sitting up until 5am, sorting it with Google. They fumbled and now are trying to rectify it.

  7. The daliya was cooked in the same fashion, as your Mum cooked, in my house too. However, my Mum also used to add fruits chopped in it besides the nuts. I like the addition of cloves and cinnamon in this recipe.

    • Well I am sure there will be more mums like yours who cook daliya in the same fashion, after all it is northindian way of cooking. We loved eating fresh fruits with daliya instead of adding into it.

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