Sindhi Porridge: Bhutt

Some food experiences have the ability to transport one back to one’s childhood. This porridge is one such preparation for me. Going by Kishore’s reaction to it, I can add that even if one hasn’t been connected to it for great many years, when had hot for breakfast on a wintery morning, it acts as a soul-comforting breakfast for many.

The original recipe calls for a tempering of whole peppercorns–I remember them causing me much trouble to pick out as a kid that as an adult, I’ve simply avoided them. Adding oats is another change I’ve made to the original recipe to add to its creaminess.

Ingredients (serves 2-3):

Daliya (broken wheat): 1 cup

White oats: 1 tablespoon

Jeera (cumin seeds): ½ teaspoon

Cardamom: 4-5 grains finely ground

Almonds: 5-6 broken in big pieces

Desi ghee (clarified butter): 2 teaspoons

Water: 1 cup

Milk: 3 cups

Sugar: 4 heaped teaspoons

Here’s the way to work these items:

Melt Desi ghee in a pressure cooker.

Add jeera to it and soon enough add Daliya (without letting the jeera cook too much).

Add oats and cardamom powder.

Give it all a mix.

Roast this Daliya on a medium flame by stirring it till it acquires a light brown colour. The house by now should be smelling of it pleasantly too.

Add water while keeping some distance from the cooker and keeping a low flame.

After a stir, add 1 cup of milk and sugar.

Shut the cooker. After the first whistle, let the daliya cook for 5 min on a low flame.

Switch off the flame and open the cooker once the pressure has released.

Add 2 cups of milk at this stage, mix it well with daliya (which would be mostly dry by then).

Add almonds and add more sugar only if needed.

Let the daliya cook on a low flame till it looks creamy (10 min). Pour in some more milk if it appears too thick.

Bhutt (pronounced with ‘u’ of ‘cut’) is ready to ladle into bowls as it cools a bit.

It’s had hot but not piping hot.

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