World Porridge Day 2023: Around The World In Porridge Dishes

From "arroz caldo" of the Philippines to "kayu" of Japan, explore the most delectable porridges on World Porridge Day
For representation purpose only
For representation purpose onlyUnsplash

Porridge, a simple dish made by boiling grains or legumes in water or milk, has been a dietary staple for centuries. Its origin can be traced back to ancient Africa and Asia, and over time, it has evolved to include a variety of grains and regional flavours.

Celebrated on October 10, the World Porridge Day is an event held since 2009 dedicated to the unique and delectable dish that porridge is. The event aims to raise funds for Mary's Meals, a charity based in Argyll, Scotland, that helps feed starving children in developing countries.

Explore our curated list of the top 7 most famous porridges from around the world on World Porridge Day 2023.

1. Kayu, Japan


Kayu, also known as okayu rice porridge, is a popular comfort food in Japan, especially for those feeling under the weather due to colds or fevers. This simple dish is made of soft rice and water, often seasoned with dashi stock or miso for added flavour. Kayu is known for its mild taste, making it a top choice for those looking for a light breakfast. It is also a tremendous weight-loss-friendly meal due to its high water-to-rice ratio. In fact, some hotel breakfast buffets even serve kayu as a healthy breakfast choice.

2. Khichdi, India


Something not to miss on World Porridge Day is Khichdi, a beloved Indian dish that has been around for thousands of years, originating in ancient texts such as the Vedas. The word "Khichdi" refers to the Sanskrit word "Khiccha," meaning a portmanteau of rice and legumes. Initially, it was just a simple mix of rice and lentils. Over time, it has evolved into a versatile dish with regional variations, including spices, vegetables, pulses, and even meat. Khichdi holds cultural significance and is often served during festivals and ceremonies. In India, it is celebrated with "National Khichdi Day" on November 4. Its harmonious simplicity and nourishment reflect India's diverse culinary heritage, and it continues to be a universally cherished comfort food. Additionally, Khichdi is believed to be the inspiration behind the Anglo-Indian dish "Kedgeree," which consists of cooked, flaked fish, boiled rice, parsley, hard-boiled eggs, curry powder, and butter.

3. Kasha, Russia


Russian cuisine revolves around kasha, a porridge that has been a staple meal in the country for centuries. It is made with various cereals such as wheat, rice, millet, and pseudocereals like buckwheat and quinoa. The grains are boiled in water and milk to create a spectrum of flavours ranging from sweet to savoury. Kasha is a versatile dish that can be enhanced with ingredients like fresh or dried fruit, preserves, cheese, butter, vegetables, nuts, or honey. Traditionally, it was slow-cooked in cast iron pots and baked overnight in the oven, preserving the rich culinary heritage of Russia.

4. Congee, China


Congee, also known as "jook" in Cantonese, is a beloved Chinese dish that has been around for over a thousand years. Its history dates back to the Zhou Dynasty, and it is made by simmering rice in water or broth to produce a creamy porridge. The versatility of congee is evident in its many regional and ingredient-based variations, which include ginger, scallions, soy sauce, meats, seafood, and vegetables. Congee is delicious, easy to digest, and has therapeutic properties, making it a popular choice for medical and social occasions. As an enduring symbol of Chinese cuisine, congee is an excellent example of culinary heritage and comfort food.

5. Oatmeal, Scotland


Scottish porridge, oatmeal, is a staple of Scottish cuisine with a history that dates back to the Roman era. It is a hearty dish made from oatmeal cooked with either water or milk until it forms a creamy and comforting porridge. It is traditionally served hot and adorned with salt, sugar, honey, cream, or even whiskey. Scottish Porridge has remained popular due to its ability to provide sustenance to people living in a challenging climate who value hearty and nutritious meals. Today, it represents Scotland's culinary heritage and is cherished for its simplicity and warmth, often enjoyed on special occasions such as New Year's Day.

6. Pirao, Brazil


Pirão is a popular side dish in Brazil. It is consistent with watered-down porridge or polenta of Italy and is prepared by blending manioc flour into meat or seafood broths. The dish has many regional variations but has remained a staple of Brazilian cuisine for centuries. Its origins are believed to be rooted in indigenous Brazilian cultures. Pirão is typically served as a hearty accompaniment to rice and various meat and seafood dishes, showcasing its enduring importance in Brazilian cuisine.

7. Arroz Caldo, Philippines

Arroz Caldo
Arroz Caldochiieelovestoto/instagram

Arroz caldo is a Filipino version of a popular Asian dish, congee. This thick rice porridge is unique because it includes chicken and is cooked in a ginger-infused broth. It is served with various accompaniments and seasonings. Although congee originated in China, the Filipino version was created to cater to the Spanish community's tastes during colonial times. It is a comforting and hearty rice dish that people typically enjoy for breakfast or a filling midday meal. It showcases the fusion of culinary influences in the Philippines.

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