Over the summer I visited 26 Grains in Covent Garden and tried a bowl of savoury porridge – though it seemed strange when the oats arrived with sautéed kale and an egg perched on top, it was delicious. And why wouldn’t it be? We eat rice as a sweet or savoury dish, and in many cusines, pasta and other grains are used for both sweet and savoury means.
I’ve since started making savoury porridge at home and am sold on the sheer simplicity. It can be ready in under 15 minutes – less faff than rice, or even pasta, and it works as a blank canvas to add veggies, cheese, whatever takes your fancy. Plus if nothing else, it’s very cheap, and if you have oats in the cupboard and some leftover veg, you have a meal.
This recipe was inspired after reading news that a daily teaspoon of turmeric added to your food can positively influence genes linked to cancer and low mood.
The addition of black pepper or dietary fat with turmeric boosts the absorption of curcumin, the anti-inflammatory agent in the spice, so this recipe a great way to get maximum benefit, plus the gorgeous bright hue adds a brilliant colour.
Ingredients – serves one
- 1-2 tsp coconut or olive oil
- 0.5 white onion or a couple of shallots, finely sliced
- 1 fat garlic clove, grated
- 1 thumb size piece of fresh ginger, peeled and grated
- 1 large carrot, peeled and grated
- 50 grams old fashioned (steel cut) porridge oats
- 300-400ml vegetable stock – a little extra water may be needed
- 1 tsp powdered dried turmeric
- salt and pepper to taste
- 1 egg
- handful chopped coriander
- Heat the oil in a deep sided frying pan and then add the onion and garlic and fry for 1-2 minutes until starting to colour
- Add the grated ginger and carrot and cook for another couple of minutes until the carrot has wilted down
- Tip in the oats, turmeric and vegetable stock and stir. Bring to a simmer and cook for 10 minutes, stirring occasionally to stop it sticking. The oats will start to release their starch towards the end of the cooking time so the liquid becomes more like a sauce. You may need to add a little more water.
- A few minutes before the oats are almost done, bring a small pan of water to a simmer and add a pinch of salt to poach your egg. Stir the water with a spoon so it starts swirling and then break in your egg – leave to poach in the water for 3-4 minutes or until the white is set. If you prefer, you can fry the egg.
- Season the porridge with plenty of black pepper and a pinch of salt to taste. Spoon the porridge into a bowl and then top with the poached egg and a handful of coriander. A good sprinkle of Parmesan is also delicious.