#QuakerBowl, held at the J W Marriott Mumbai Juhu, was my fourth Indiblogger meet but I was as excited about it as I was for the first one! This certainly has something to do with the fact that the Indiblogger team knows how to make us bloggers feel welcome, encourages us to present our thoughts freely and ensures everyone’s participation in the event to make it an overwhelming success every time.
Planned on a Sunday morning, I bet this meet managed to get many lazybones give up on their pretty, beloved, beauty sleep! By the time I reached there a lot of bloggers had already arrived and were busy getting their caffeine and sugar kick. Ditching them both, I registered myself and rushed to find a comfortable table in the front to get a better glimpse of, ahem, someone special! 😉
Our not-by-design ‘Ladies only’ table brought together bloggers from all ages and genres. Not only did we get well-acquainted with each other in no time, but also shared our blog urls and contact numbers happily. To name a few, there was Tina (also my travel buddy), sisters Prachi and Richa, Savitha and Sunita. No one had mentioned anything upfront, but there were hushed whispers on who the promised celebrity chef was going to be! 🙂
Anoop, as always, took to the mic and within moments had the complete attention of the whole audience. Again, as always, he made everyone get up from their seats and do some sort of warm-up to loosen their limbs and shake off the last remnants of sleep. The real surprise was however Vineet, who for once took the stage, complete with a gown et al and had Tahir Shah playing in the background. 😀
No Indiblogger meet is complete without an introduction from bloggers, and this was no exception. However, before curiosity killed the whole gang of cats there, soon the strikingly handsome Vikas Khanna was called upon in a deafeningly loud round of applause! He smiled heartily, accepting it all graciously and joined in. With this, the meet began.
Vikas has agreed to be a part of the PepsiCo team as their brand ambassador and stressed on the need for concentration on health and nutrition in India. Quaker Oats has been around for a long time, but with this association, together they’re aiming at creating awareness about proper nourishment and healthy options.
To insist upon the ease with which other ingredients can be replaced with oats in our everyday diet, Vikas involved us in interesting games and contests. The Q & A session and Taste the soup and guess the ingredients game had the audience in splits. The lucky winners got these beautiful gift hampers!
The best part of the morning was the Create-your-own-recipe (name created by yours truly) contest. The audience was divided in teams and the teams had to prepare a dish using oats and the other ingredients provided along with. The dish was to going to be judged on two levels, obviously the taste and its Instagram-friendly appearance.
Everyone did a good job. Our team would’ve won had there been a second prize.This one got the first prize.
By the time everything wrapped up, it was well past 2 and the dense cooking aroma had many a stomachs growling. Over many more conversations everyone had a hearty lunch. Oats was used as the main ingredient in some of them too. Our takeaway was this totally useful cookbook and an oats packet.
Lovely ambience, wonderful bloggers, talk on health and nutrition, interesting contests, and, the awesome Vikas Khanna! This should be enough to summarise the whole experience, isn’t it? 🙂
That’s not all though! With so much inspiration, how can I not indulge myself in some creative experimentation and prepare a signature Oats recipe, Varsh style!? 😉
Here it is! 🙂
Oaty Fruity Pancakes
1 bowl oats
Pulp of 2 ripe Alphonso mangoes
A bowl of finely chopped mixed-fruits (I used kiwi, banana, apple, black grapes, pomegranate and orange)
A pinch of salt
1 teaspoon powdered or castor sugar
1 teaspoon ghee
1 teaspoon honey
Dark chocolate syrup and grated white chocolate for garnish
1. Soak the oats in warm water for around 15 minutes and then make a fine paste of it in the mixer. Take this paste in a mixing bowl.
2. Add the mango pulp, salt and powdered sugar to it and make a smooth batter of flowing consistency.
3. Heat a pan, grease it with ghee and make small pancakes with the oats batter. Allow them to turn brown from both sides.
4. Take the serving plate and decorate it with dark chocolate syrup. Place the first pancake on it and arrange all the fruits on it. Cover with the second pancake.
5. Pour a spoonful of honey on the pancakes and garnish with grated white chocolate.
Voila! Your tasty, colourful, healthy and tempting pancakes are ready! You can have them for breakfast or at hi-tea. From experience I know that kids of all ages will absolutely love it!
I’m delighted to a part of this healthy initiative taken by @QuakerIndia in my own small way and wish them the best!