Porridge is a popular breakfast option in many cultures around the world. It is also a good meal for weaning babies, convalescing adults and anyone struggling with a solid food diet.
There are many ways and options for making porridge. In our culture, we like it fresh but also fermented . We call it “ucuru wa mukio. You can read more about it here.
I love fermented porridge, it is full of good bacteria, as well as nutrients. It is usually served on festive occasions and also to breastfeeding mothers, as it is believed to boost milk production. I remember when I got my first born, my grandmothers as well as my mother in law made me some. At one time I had three full jerrycans of fermented porridge. That’s almost 100 litres! I loved it.
I am yet to try making some fermented porridge for myself from scratch, but it is definitely on my to do list.
Porridge is a great breakfast option. It is usually rich in carbohydrates, making you fuller for longer, regulating your appetite as a result. It is rich in fibre, boosts immunity, and abundant in various minerals and vitamins too. For example, did you know finger millet is one of the richest plant sources of calcium, as compared to other cereals? Porridge is a great way to indulge in our whole grains and get all the amazing benefits in one go.
I have attached a video below of how I make my oatmeal sometimes.
This was a decadent, delicious bowl. Yum!
If using porridge flour, I usually boil 3 cups of water on the stove top. In a small bowl, I mix 6 tbsp of the porridge flour with another cup of cold water to get a thick, smooth paste. I then add the paste to the boiling water and stir with a wooden spoon till it thickens to my liking. I let it simmer on low for about 10 or so minutes then add some milk or peanut butter, if using. This makes enough porridge for 3-4 people.
I sweeten my porridge with honey though sugar also works well, but when using sugar I add it in while still on the stovetop so it can dissolve completely.
Porridge bowls are quite versatile so you can play around with your preferred flavours and toppings.
Other add ons once I pour some porridge into my bowl are chia seeds, baobab powder, black seed powder, desiccated coconut, chocolate flakes, moringa powder. Nuts and seeds work well too, as do chopped fresh fruit or dried fruit. Banana, raisins, passion pulp, mango cubes add yummy flavours, interesting texture and added colour and nutrients to your porridge bowl. Work with what you like and have on hand. 🤗
Porridge is a perfect comfort food to me, especially on cold, dull mornings, during the rainy season and anytime I feel I am missing home. A bowl of thick porridge works wonders in lifting my mood.
Here are other delicious breakfast ideas worth checking out.
I am a big fan of savoury / seasoned breads. Such as these yummy cheese and herb rolls.
I like using this recipe from half-baked harvest, though I usually make a few changes here and there.
These rolls are so soft, fluffy, buttery, well seasoned, herby, cheesy and great to have with some soup on the side or even on their own.
Let’s get started.
1. 3-4 cups of all purpose flour.
2. 1 small packet of instant yeast (about 2 1/4 tsp).
3. 2 tbsp honey.
4. Small pinch of salt.
5. 1 cup of warm milk.
6. 2 tbsp of melted butter. Have some extra butter on hand to brush on the rolls once out of the oven.
7. 2 eggs.
For the herb and cheese filling our ingredients are:-
1. 2 tbsp chopped coriander.
2. 2-3 cups cheddar cheese and mozzarella cheese (grated).
3. 1/2 cup of softened cream cheese.
4. 1 minced garlic clove.
5. Salt and freshly ground back pepper.
6. Mixed savoury spice seasoning.
7. 2 heaped tsp mixed herbs (mine had thyme, oregano and basil).
8. 1 tbsp sesame seeds.
Let’s get started.
1. In a large bowl, add the flour, yeast, salt, and mix well. Add the sugar, milk, beaten eggs and butter. Mix with a wooden stick then once its kind of a shaggy dough, knead with your hands till it is soft and smooth.
2. Cover with a cloth and let rest for about one hour in a warm place, or till the dough is doubled in size. I usually keep mine in the oven with the light on.
3. For the filling, chop your coriander, which can be alternated with parsley too and set aside in a bowl. Add the grated cheddar and mozzarella, mixed herbs, salt and pepper, and the savoury spice and mix well.
4. In another small bowl, add the cream cheese, a little bit of salt and pepper and the minced garlic and mix well.
5. Get a baking tin and line it with parchment paper.
6. Once dough is ready, punch and knead a bit to deflate it. Roll it out to a rectangle shape, but not too thin.
7. Spread the cream cheese mixture on the dough generously, then sprinkle the cheddar and Herb mix.
8. Roll it tightly into a log shape, same way we do with cinammon rolls, then slice into 12 pieces.
9. Place the cut pieces in the baking dish, cover and let rest for half an hour.
10. Preheat oven.
11. Sprinkle the sesame seeds on the rolls and bake fo 25-30 minutes at 170°C. You can let them brown a bit and you will smell and see the cheese bubbling on top. They smell so good!
12. Once out of the oven, brush generously with some melted butter and let rest for about 10 minutes.
13. Serve warm as a brunch side, or with soup on the side.
They are fluffy, soft, well seasoned and so tasty.
We have had them here on their own, with some roasted tomato soup and some pumpkin soup.
I’m a big fan of various Indian delicacies. And this is how I make one of my favorite chicken curry dishes.
Let’s get started.
1. 1 whole chicken, cut into 8 large pieces.
2. 2 bunches of spinach (Swiss chard)
3. 1 bunch fresh mint. chopped.
4. 1 bunch coriander, stems and leaves separated.
5. Salt and pepper to taste.
6. 1/2 cup of unflavoured yoghurt.
7. 3 ripe tomatoes, pureed.
8. 1 large onion, chopped.
9. 1 tbsp ginger and garlic paste.
10. A small knob of grated whole turmeric.
11. 1 tbsp garam masala
12. 1 tbsp tomato paste.
13. 1 tsp mixed spice blend (see picture for what I used).
14. 1 tbsp kasuri methi.
15. Whole spices: cumin seeds, bay leaf, cinnamon stick, a few cloves and cardamom pods.
16. 2 tbsp ghee.
• Chop and clean your chicken, and pat dry.
• Mix the yoghurt with half of the ginger, garlic and turmeric paste, the chopped mint, garam masala, mixed spice blend and salt and pepper.
Marinate the chicken in this mixture overnight or for a couple of hours if pressed for time. (Reserve a bit of the mint though).
• Heat your pan, add ghee and the whole spices. Let them release aroma then add onion.
Let the onion cook till soft and a bit browned. Add the remaining ginger garlic, turmeric paste, coriander stems and mix well.
• Next go in the tomato paste and pureed tomatoes. Lower heat and let them cook till you see the oil leaving the sides of the pan, then add the marinated chicken. Cover and cook for about 15-20 minutes.
• As the chicken cooks, blanch the spinach, cool in icy cold water to preserve the bright green colour then drain and puree together with the mint and coriander leaves you had set aside.
• Add the pureed greens to the chicken and mix in well. Cover and cook for about 10-12 minutes. Or until chicken is cooked through. Remember to check on the seasoning.
The dried methi leaves go in last. Switch off heat and let sit a bit.
Serve the curry with jeera rice and some naan or chapati.
As with all curries, It tastes better once it sits a bit so keep some aside for lunch the next day. The flavours will be even better!
A colourful, delicious, healthy and filling curry that is easy to make, and does not take too long either.
You will need:-
1 cup already boiled chana dal.
About 300g of ground beef.
3 tbsp of cooking oil.
I large chopped onion.
2 tsp coriander seeds.
1 heaped tsp smashed ginger, garlic and some turmeric.
About 2 cups chopped pumpkin cubes.
I small bunch of coriander, leaves and stems separated and chopped.
1 green pepper, sliced.
I cup homemade tomato sauce. Can be alternated with 3 tomatoes, peeled and pureed.
2 tsp curry powder.
Salt and pepper to taste.
To begin, heat your oil in a pan and the onion.
Once onion is soft and getting a bit browned, add your ginger, garlic turmeric paste and the roughly crushed coriander seeds.
The green pepper and coriander stalks will go in next. Then the curry powder. Mix in well and let cook a bit but make sure it doesn’t burn.
Followed in my the beef mince. Let the meat cook on high heat till it is no longer clumpy and has began to brown.
Once the meat is cooked down well and dried out, add the tomato sauce or tomatoes and a small pinch of sugar. Cover and let them cook down, before adding the already boiled chana dal.
Look at how colourful it is. If using tomatoes, you can add a cup of water so the curry does not become too dry. If using tomato sauce, add water if needed and remember to check and add your seasoning (salt) as you go.
Add the pumpkin last as it will not take too long to cook and you do not want it to turn mushy. You want the cubes cooked, soft but still firm. This should simmer for no more than ten minutes as the mince was already fully cooked before adding the lentils.
Once done, add in the coriander leaves and switch off the cooker. The curry is pleasing in terms of how it looks, the aroma and how it tastes.