C+G Kitchen: Shaila Aunty’s Granola
Breakfast for me was always something hot. Toast and eggs and parathas and porridge. The idea that one could eat an entire bowl of cold yogurt with some toasted oats and nuts was completely foreign to me. But in college, I was left at the mercy of dining halls, and granola became a quick and easy bite before I ran to class.
A lovely human, Shaila Andrabi, changed my understanding of what oats could be when she left a jar of her homemade granola outside my dorm room in California. I have been hooked ever since. Her recipe infuses this American breakfast classic with traditional Pakistani flavors like cardamom and cinnamon. It is such a flavorful, wonderful surprise.
I try to make large batches of it to share with friends and family, and have received a lot of requests for the recipe. A great source of complex carbs, fiber and good fats on its own, this granola is even better coupled with a serving of yogurt (preferably Greek) full of protein and probiotics.
You can customize this basic recipe with your choice of seasonal fruits and nuts. Dried mangoes, peaches, apricots, strawberries and bananas are all wonderful additions in my experience. Add them to the granola once it has completely cooled to prevent it from becoming sticky.
- 3 cups (300 grams) rolled oats
- 1 cup (130 grams) hulled raw pumpkin seeds
- 1 cup (140 grams) hulled raw sunflower seeds
- 1 cup (60 grams) unsweetened coconut chips
- 1 ¼ cups (125 grams) almonds
- ¾ cup honey
- ½ cup extra-virgin olive oil
- ½ cup packed light brown sugar
- ½ cup raisins
- ¼ cup flax seeds
- ¼ cup sesame seeds
- 1 teaspoon coarse salt
- ½ teaspoon powdered cardamom
- ½ teaspoon powdered cinnamon
- Preheat the oven to 150 C.
- Put all the dry ingredients (except almonds) in a large bowl.
- Add honey and olive oil. Mix well till all the ingredients have combined.
- Spread the mixture on a rimmed baking tray. Make sure it’s rimmed! Otherwise you’ll be cleaning out your oven for a month with stray granola smoking up the house. (I don’t have a rimmed baking tray so I use a deep dish pizza pan instead.)
- Place in the oven. Stir every 10-15 minutes to prevent large lumps or a burnt bottom.
- At the 40 minute mark, add the almonds and bake for another 5 minutes. Remove from the oven after 45 minutes.
- Cool the granola. Sprinkle more salt if desired. Voila! You’re done.
- Snack away.