This savory porridge, breakfast fare in South Indian kitchens, is my childhood favorite. A bit like polenta but made with creamy wheat cereal, it brings absolute satisfaction during my down-and-out days.


Credit: Allrecipes

Recipe Summary

10 mins
25 mins
5 mins
40 mins
4 servings


Original recipe yields 4 servings
The ingredient list now reflects the servings specified
Ingredient Checklist


Instructions Checklist
  • Melt 1/4 cup ghee in a large skillet over medium heat. Pour in creamy wheat cereal; toast, stirring frequently, until light brown and nutty-smelling, 5 to 8 minutes. Transfer to a bowl. Wipe the skillet with a paper towel.

  • Heat remaining 2 tablespoons ghee in the skillet over medium-high heat. Add mustard seeds; cover and wait until seeds stop popping (like popcorn), about 30 seconds. Add cashews and chiles; stir-fry until nuts are golden brown and chiles blacken, 1 to 2 minutes.

  • Stir in carrot, peas, curry leaves, and turmeric; stir-fry about 2 minutes. Stir in 3 cups water and the salt and bring to a boil. Reduce heat to medium and simmer, covered, until carrots are fork-tender, 3 to 5 minutes.

  • Reduce heat to medium-low and stir in toasted cream of wheat. (It will instantly absorb liquid and begin to swell.) Cover and cook until fully softened, about 5 minutes. Remove from heat; let stand, covered, 3 to 5 minutes.

  • Stir in remaining 1/4 cup water if desired for a creamier texture. Sprinkle with cilantro and serve warm.

Cook's Note:

You can find fresh curry leaves, part of the citrus family, in the produce aisle at Indian grocery stores, health food stores, or Southeast Asian markets. They're also sometimes sold frozen or dried. People typically eat around them or remove them if they are used whole in a recipe, but they can be consumed if chopped up. There's really not a good substitute for curry leaves, so if you don't have them, just leave them out.

Editor's Note:

This is part of a special feature in our February-March 2022 magazine issue. See the magazine for more recipes!

Nutrition Facts

417 calories; fat 24g; cholesterol 49.2mg; sodium 681.4mg; carbohydrates 43g; protein 8.5g. Full Nutrition