Savory Porridge

savory porridge
Photo: Bobbi Lin
4 to 6 Serves

Martha's Arabian Gulf-style porridge swaps out the usual wheat berries for cracked wheat and adds tomatoes, a handful of aromatics, and a spicy roasted eggplant topping.


Spicy Roasted Eggplant

  • 2 eggplants (1 pound each), cut into 1-inch cubes

  • 1 cup extra-virgin olive oil

  • teaspoon cayenne pepper

  • Kosher salt and freshly ground black pepper


  • 2 tablespoons extra-virgin olive oil

  • 1 medium onion, diced small

  • 4 cloves garlic, minced

  • 1 tablespoon finely chopped fresh ginger

  • 1 ½ teaspoons ground coriander

  • 1 ½ teaspoons ground cumin

  • ½ teaspoon ground turmeric

  • Pinch of red-pepper flakes

  • 4 fresh or canned whole peeled tomatoes, roughly chopped

  • 3 tablespoons tomato paste

  • 1 ½ cups cracked wheat, washed well and drained

  • 6 cups homemade or store-bought low-sodium chicken stock

  • Kosher salt and freshly ground black pepper

  • 2 cups roughly chopped arugula, for garnish

  • 2 jalapeno chiles, sliced into thin rounds, for garnish


  1. Make the spicy roasted eggplant: Preheat oven to 475 degrees. On a rimmed baking sheet, toss to combine eggplant and oil. Add cayenne and season with salt and black pepper. Spread eggplant in an even layer and roast until golden and tender, about 25 minutes. Transfer to a wire rack and let cool.

  2. Make the porridge: Preheat oven to 350 degrees. Heat oil in a medium deep pot over medium-high. Add onion, garlic, and ginger and cook until beginning to soften, 2 to 3 minutes. Stir in coriander, cumin, turmeric, red-pepper flakes, tomatoes, tomato paste, cracked wheat, stock, 2 teaspoons salt, 1/2 teaspoon black pepper, and 2 cups water. Bring to a simmer, then transfer pot to oven. Cook until wheat is soft and liquid has reduced by one-third, about 2 hours.

  3. Remove pot from oven and use a large spoon to vigorously beat the porridge until the mixture is thick, 1 to 2 minutes. Season with salt and pepper. Serve in shallow bowls, topped with eggplant and garnished with arugula and jalapeno.

Cook's Notes

This porridge is delicious served alongside grilled meats or with rice or bread.

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