Sunday, May 15, 2011

Simple Comforting Brown Rice Porridge

I love porridge. It has been one of my favourite foods since young. Though for most people porridge is associated in a negative way - i.e. falling sick, I love porridge as we often have it during the fasting month and it is meant to be consumed to break fast. Despite the blandness associated with porridge, this dish can be tasty, delicious and filling with the addition of spices, vegetables and pulses. Rice porridge takes on different tastes in different cuisine. For my mum, following the Indian Muslim tradition, she adds a bit of garam masala in the porridge together with slices of garlic, ginger, fenugreek, chana dahl and  coconut milk. For the chinese, I do understand that the porridge itself is just made with rice and water and usually served with an assortment of sides like preserved vegetables, century eggs, chili is soy sauce etc. Whichever way you have it, porridge is most comforting on a cold day or when you are feeling under the weather.

Simple Brown Rice Porridge (Serves 2 or 1 hungry person)

100g brown rice of your choice
800ml - 1 litre water
1/4 teaspoon fenugreek
2 cloves garlic, sliced thickly
1/2 inch thumb size ginger, sliced thickly
salt or soy sauce to taste


1) Wash the brown rice in water until the water runs clear.
2) Soak the brown rice in some water for about 1 hr (the longer you soak the faster it cooks)
2) In a heavy bottomed pot, add the brown rice, measured out water (800ml - 1litre), garlic, ginger, fenugreek and salt if necessary.
3) Cook over low heat until it starts to boil. If the pot is closed, remember to hang around there as the porridge might overflow. Continue simmering until it becomes thick and the rice disintegrates*
4) Season to taste and serve

* If you have time on your hands, once it comes to a boil, off the fire, cover the pot and let it sit in the heat until it softens. Reheat again to make it thicker.

* Add whatever root vegetables like carrot, potato, even sweet potato you have on hand. Hard vegetables like corn and celery are also nice additions. 

Crunchy Onion in Oil

1 onion, sliced
As much oil as needed to cover the onion for frying


1) In a small wok, add sliced onion and cover with oil. Fry over low heat until it browns evenly. Be careful that the onions can burn quickly once it turns browns.
2) You have made crunchy onion bits in oil :)

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