masala oats vs normal oats

Comparing the Flavors and Health Benefits of Masala Oats and Normal Oats

Indian cuisine oftens adds spices to bland dishes to make them taste better. And it doesn’t get blander than normal oats. We covered masala chai vs chai in a previous article which explores the same phenomenon. Today, we’re covering everything you need to know about masala oats vs normal oats. 

Masala Oats Vs Normal Oats

Normal oats don’t have a lot of flavor. However, they are super healthy. To get more people to eat these nutritious snacks, people have made two versions of it: packaged flavored oats and homemade masala oats. The latter looks a lot like a typical Indian masala dish and has bold flavors. 

What is masala oats?

Let’s start the masala oats vs normal oats comparison by defining each type of oatmeal. 

There are two types of masala oats: packed ready-to-eat oats with a lot of flavor enhancers and homemade masala oats. These spices used in both make them taste better than normal oats. However, the packaged oats are considered less healthy and can be bad for people with blood pressure issues. 

What is normal oats?

Normal oats are rolled oats cooked in milk with no added flavorings. Sometimes people add fruits. They’re a go-to breakfast option for people globally. They keep you full, are rich in antioxidants, vitamins, and minerals and promote weight loss. However, they are quite bland which can put people off.


Oats are said to have originated in Asia Minor. However it is now most extensively grown in Europe. Homemade masala oats originated around the same time.

Packaged masala oats are a new story entirely. 

The oat making company Quaker launched savory (or flavored) oats, an adaptation of their regular or normal oats, around 2010 in India. It was an attempt to make the healthy plain oats more palatable. 

Taste and smell

Normal oats don’t smell or taste of anything, really. If you add fruit, they’ll taste of the fruit. There might be a hint of milk. So it’s possible your oats will taste milky. 

Masala oats have a richer taste and smell. The palette itself depends on the kind of masala you make. But you can generally expect the typical Indian cuisine masala smell. The kind you’d expect when cooking chicken masala powder


Regular oats aren’t super popular in India outside of fitness focussed groups. They’re some of the healthiest grains but don’t taste great. 

On the other hand, homemade masala oats are quite popular in India because they can be customized to Indian recipes and may replace some of the grains traditionally used. For instance, recipes for homemade masala oats look a lot like recipes for regular salans with masala. 

Instead of eating these dishes with rice or chapati to provide carbs, oats are mixed into the dish to provide the same nutrients.

Read our article on curry vs masala to understand what we’re talking about. 

Packaged masala oats are also quite popular since they’re easy to make and taste good. 


Homemade masala oats and normal oats are a healthy option. They have a lot of minerals, vitamins, etc., which boosts your immune system and protects you against several health problems. 

However, packaged masala oats have several additives which make them unhealthy. Dietitian Mac Singh says that some of the most harmful ones include maltodextrin sugar and hydrolyzed vegetable protein. 

Consuming such chemicals regularly can lead to obesity, hypertension, and diabetes. 

Health benefits/Side effects

We’ve talked a lot about how oats are great for you, that they are healthy. But we haven’t really gotten into any details yet. So let’s do that. 

Here are 3 great benefits

  1. Reduces blood sugar levels and keeps your heart healthy 
  2. Boosts energy level due to their high carb content
  3. Flushes out bad toxins from your body as they’re rich in antioxidants 

Fun fact: You can also eat masala oats or plain oats for weight loss. 

Watch this video to learn more about the benefits of eating oats in detail. 

About the recipes

Packaged masala oats don’t have a recipe as such. So this section will only focus on normal oats and homemade masala oats. 


Masala oats vs normal oats; let’s look at the recipes.

Normal oatsMasala oats
Rolled oats or steel-cut oatsRolled oats or steel-cut oats
MilkOlive oil
Bananas (optional)Cumin seeds
 Ginger garlic paste 
 Green chillies 
 Vegetables of your choice 
 Chili powder
 Garam masala 
 Coriander leaves (optional)
 Cashews (optional)

Being able to order Indian grocery online means that you can get all of these ingredients with just a few clicks. 

Methods of preparation

Making normal oats is simple. All you have to do is heat some milk, add rolled oats, stir your mixture, and garnish with a fruit of your choice. Adding sliced fruit can help make normal oats sweet and tasty. 

Homemade masala oats have a longer recipe. You start by making a masala with onions, oil, and spices. Then add in vegetables and a few more spices. Top it off by adding rolled oats and some water. Cook the mixture for 10 minutes and then serve. 


Normal oats are soggy and soft. The mixture is like a lumpy paste. 

Homemade masala oats have almost the same texture. However, since they have a lot of other vegetables and ingredients in the recipe, it is quite different. It’s a lot stiffer than normal oat dishes and doesn’t get as soggy. 

Serving suggestions

Serve normal oats with fruits to keep the dish healthy while also adding flavor. If you’re not particularly concerned about the healthiness, you can sprinkle some sugar on top for additional flavor. 

Homemade masala oats are best served with yogurt or a light wine. You can also serve it with an apple cucumber salad. 

Preservation techniques

Both types of oatmeal have to be covered and refrigerated when you’re not eating them. This can preserve them for several days. 

The rolled oats themselves can be kept in a dry cool place for up to a year without going bad. 

How To Make Masala Oats With Normal Oats?

Click below to learn how to make masala oats at home with normal rolled oats:


  • Masala oats is a term used to refer to packaged flavored oats and homemade masala oats.
  • Normal oats are just plain old rolled oats cooked in milk served with sliced fruit. 
  • Oats and homemade masala oats originated in Asia Minor. 
  • While normal oats are quite bland, homemade masala oats are packed with flavor since there are a lot of spices and vegetables in them. 
  • All kinds of oats are popular in and out of India.
  • Normal oats and homemade masala oats are considered nutritious while packaged oats are not since they contain preservatives and additives. 
  • The healthy kind of oats can benefit you by cutting weight, reducing blood sugar levels, boosting energy levels, and flushing out bad toxins. 
  • Masala oats have a lot more ingredients than normal oats and so take longer to cook.
  • The method for cooking masala oats is quite simple but it still takes longer than cooking normal oats.
  • Normal oats are a bit soggy and soft while homemade masala oats have a texture similar to that of a regular Indian cuisine masala dish.
  • Normal oats can be served with fruit while homemade masala oats can be served with an apple cucumber salad. 
  • Both kinds of oats can be stored in a fridge for several hours if they’re packed in an airtight container.

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