Breakfast recipe: Chef Vikas Khanna shares easy-to-make Oats Arancini Balls with Cranberry and Dates Sauce

On a leisure day, Vikas says that he experimented with oats and created a fusion dish, which is easy-to-make and is also delicious.
Oats arancini balls with cranberry and dates sauce
Oats arancini balls with cranberry and dates sauce

New York-based chef Vikas Khanna is mostly on the go — shooting for commercials, cooking up meals and directing films. With busy schedules, the Michelin star chef tries to have a wholesome breakfast. “Convenience and a sustainable way to stay healthy is important. No matter what, you’ve got to be fit. I always suggest nutritious breakfast options like a bowl of good quality oats, like say Quaker Oats,” he shares. On a leisure day, Vikas says that he experimented with oats and created a fusion dish, which is easy-to-make and is also delicious. He shares the recipe of oats arancini balls with cranberry and dates sauce with us.

Ingredients:
Chicken stock 3 1⁄2 cups | Unsalted butter 4 Tbsp | Chopped medium onion 1 no | Sliced Garlic cloves 2 nos | Arborio rice 1 cup | Salt to taste | Finely grated Parmesan1 cup | Heavy cream 1⁄4 cup |  Finely grated lemon zest 2 tsp | Lemon juice 1 tbsp | Ground black pepper 1 tsp | Mozzarella 1 cup | Breadcrumbs 2 cups | Quaker oats 2 cups | All-purpose flour 1⁄2 cup | Oil for frying 
For the sauce
Dates (seedless) 1/2 cup Fried cranberries 1/2 cup | Cumin Powder 1/2 tsp |  Salt to taste

Method:
Arancini:
■     Bring stock to a simmer in a pot over medium heat.
■     Heat butter in a saucepan. Add onion and garlic.
■     Stir in rice. Season with salt and stir often. 
■     Add oats and cook, until the pan is almost dry.
■     Ladle in warm stock, bring to a simmer and stir often. 
■     Ladle in another stock (1 cup) and continue to cook. 
■     Add remaining stock and cook. Remove from heat.
■     Stir in Parmesan, cream, lemon juice, pepper and butter. Season risotto with salt.
■     Scoop 1⁄4 cup risotto into your hands and form into a patty. 
■     Place 2–3 pieces mozzarella in the centre of the patty. 
■     Carefully pinch and shape risotto so it completely encases the cheese. Then roll into a 2” ball.
■     Repeat with remaining risotto and mozzarella. Freeze them for 10 minutes.
■     Meanwhile, mix remaining oats and breadcrumbs in the bowl. 
■     Make a batter using water and flour in another bowl.
■     Working one at a time, dredge balls in flour, letting excess drip back into the bowl. Coat with breadcrumbs and oats mixture, pressing gently to adhere. 
■     Transfer to a parchment-lined rimmed baking sheet. 
■     Heat oil in the kadhai and fry the rice balls until deeply golden brown.

Sauce
■     Soak dates and cranberries in hot water for 10-15 minutes.
■     Grind them into a fine paste using water. Transfer this mixture to a pan.
■     Add 1/2 cup water and cook for five minutes.
■     Then add cumin powder and salt.

Excerpts from the interview:
Can you share what are some of the healthiest recipes or Oat recipes that people should
follow for a healthy lifestyle?

One thing which I have figured out in my kitchen counter in my kitchen in New York and in my mom’s counter and in my brother’s counter who lives in Gurgaon, we have Oats powder, from ground Oats which I think can be used in any recipe whether that’s a Khichdi or a Curry, you can always add some into it. It’s not just adding a nice aroma and taste to it, it is also adding a benefit of health to it and I feel that is something so necessary today that we have to keep that voice going about consuming things which are healthy. 

Tell us about your visit to the Bigg Boss house. How did you plan the task and what was the experience like?
I absolutely love the power that house has and we decided that we can use that power to our benefit and to reach out to people, talking about healthy sustainable eating which is convenient. While we were discussing the creatives of my presence there in the Big Boss, first thing that came to our mind was that lets give them recipes with Oats and they have to cook with it because I actually wanted to go into the Big Boss house and being a chef that you can’t just go to anybody’s house like that and who are living in those conditions and not take some food with you. I said we’ll do the Quaker Oats task and later I’ll show them what I can make with Oats. So, we had a huge spread of food for them, for the winning team where everything was made with a base of Oats. And when you’re going to see that food, you’re actually going to feel the possibilities what you can use the Oats for.

Any specific healthy breakfast recipe out of Quaker Oats that you would want to share?
I’m going to share a very simple recipe which I do, so what I do is I lightly dry roast the Oats and then I add little bit of Oats milk to them and I put lot of nuts and fruits and just consume it. That’s my typical go-to meal and you can have a small container and pack it and that just to let you know that stays well covered in a clean container for off to two days.

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