This 8p Porridge Upgrade Was Hiding In My Kitchen Cupboard

I'm never going back.
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If you know me, you’ll know that I’m absolutely obsessed with porridge. As in, I wrote a whole article about how a spurtle (a traditional Scottish cooking tool) helped to deliver my best oats yet.

Now that the mornings are dark and cold, porridge has become my go-to breakfast. And while I was pretty happy with my usual recipe (cinnamon, nutmeg, a tiny bit of salt, oat milk, oats, and a bit of honey), I’ve recently discovered the gently warming ingredient that truly makes my porridge sing.

I chucked a couple of cardamom pods into my porridge a couple of weeks ago, and have become obsessed with the combo ― since then, I’ve turned my porridge into a chai latte-inspired delight.

So, I thought I’d share how I make my chai latte-inspired porridge (spurtle optional, I suppose).

It’s all in the spices

Let’s start with the basics; pour 300ml (ish) of milk per serving into a pan to get the party started. You don’t have to use oat milk ― other dairy alternatives, skimmed, semi-skimmed, or full-fat dairy milk, and even water are all great options.

I get the best results from whole milk or nut milk, as the fat content helps the flavour of the spices to bloom ― I’m just too lactose-intolerant to commit to a full bottle.

Then, I like to use my regular half-teaspoon of nutmeg along with about 3/4 of a teaspoon of cinnamon and a half-teaspoon of ginger (per serving) into the pot.

I also add four cracked cardamom (if you can bash them once with a pestle, that’s great; I press on them gently with the side of a butter knife) and about a tablespoon of soft brown sugar per serving to the milk. The additional spices and sugar come to about 8p altogether for my portions and brands.

Your oats aren’t going in yet, and don’t skip the cardamom splitting ― the pods won’t be in the pot long, so we need to get as much flavour out of them as possible.

Cook the milk on medium heat and stir until the sugar’s dissolved. Then, strain the milk and pour it back into the pan via a jug (I know it sounds like a hassle, but I promise it’s both not as fiddly as it sounds and 1000% worth the effort).

Gently pour in 60g or so of oats, and heat on medium heat (stirring often) until the porridge is boiling. Then, lower the heat and set it to simmer for five to ten minutes.

Add whatever toppings you like (I love it with flaked almonds and even more brown sugar) ― or, to be honest, you can just eat it as-is. And while some hate it, I like to chuck in the odd raisin or so to the mix after I strain the milk (they get soft and plump).

Of course, not everyone has time to make the milk separately ― in that case, I recommend just tossing the spices in the porridge as it cooks and removing the cardamom pods after cooking. Add brown sugar as a topping in this case, rather than putting it in the porridge, as it risks running gritty otherwise.

Still, even if it’s only on one weekend, I recommend trying the full-on method at least once; I’ve never looked back.