We are a long, long way from the Himalayas at the moment. We can see the beautiful blue Mediterranean from our terrace! There are a few hills, but thats it for undulations. It is winter here in Murcia though and it can get a little chilly in the mornings so this very special porridge has kept Jane and I nice and cosy.
This recipe has made it’s way to the Beach House all the way from the high Himalayas in northwest India, a tiny village set below some of the most beautiful mountain ranges imaginable. Our wonderful friend Mary is spending the winter up there with her new husband Arjun. Mary is braving -20oC weather conditions and much snow in a small traditional house. The peace and beauty of the place is truly magical.
This porridge is a recipe that they make together regularly to warm their cockles; simple, cheap and very hearty. This porridge sticks to the ribs all day and acts as central heating for the body way up there in the mountain airs.
I visited the Himalayas a couple of years ago and was blown away by the beauty, diversity and scale of this mountain range. I had the pleasure of meeting Mary in the small village that she now calls home, but luckily visited in the summertime when it is snow free!
This porridge is super high energy food and will set anybody up for the day ahead. Nuts, honey, oats and coconut mean that it’s a very tasty treat too and the spices add a very Indian flavour. Most of the ingredients must be soaked the night before, this makes them swell up and release more nutrients, it also makes them easier to digest and cook.
We didn’t have cashews for the recipe, so we used hazelnuts instead. Cashews will certainly give it more of Himalayan feel, they are freely available up there.
Remember to cook your porridge on a low heat and stir regularly. Good porridge needs good lovin’ and attention. No lumps, nice and smooth.
We have made this recipe dairy free by using soya yoghurt and milk and it is equally delicious.
Over to Mary, way up their in the rare airs……
2 mugs of organic oats, lots of whole organic milk, 1 small handful of freshly grated coconut, 4 cardamoms, 1 small stick of cinnamon, 1 full handful of organic sultanas, honey (to taste), handful of cashew nuts chopped and roasted (without using oil), live Greek yogurt
Leave all the ingredient’s (bar honey, nuts and yogurt) soaking in milk overnight. In the morning add more milk and simmer as slowly as possible (this is one for the bottom of an Arga) for 30 minutes using one of those flat metal mats to diffuse the flame.
Pour onto a dinner plate and spread evenly. Wait for 5 minutes then cover with a thin’ish layer of live curd (organic thick Greek yogurt will suffice), drizzle honey on top and sprinkle with halved roasted cashew nuts. Serve the liquid from the coconut first to aid digestion. The nuts and coconut take a number of hours to digest so it’s very satisfying for us poor sadhus!
Allow to cool (remember the three bears story!!!!) and top with more nuts and raisins.
We Love It!
Just thinking about Mary and Arjun sitting around their fire and eating this breakfast fills us with the magic of travel and the beauty of world.
Oats are a hardy grain that flourishes in the worst of soil conditions. Even though most oats are hulled this does not remove their bran and germ, this maintains their nutritional and fibre properties. If sustenance and energy is what you are looking for, you cannot beat an oat. They are also great for people suffering from diabetes or heart conditions due to some unique antioxidants.