Medieval Tuniso-Andalusian Porridge

This simple recipe for a millet flour porridge (حسو من دقيق البنج, hasw min daqīq al-banij) comes from a 13th-century collection. It is made by dissolving millet flour in water and then cooking it in water and salt until the water reduces and the porridge has reached the required consistency.

Although wheat was considered the best for making bread, the Andalusians also used millet flour when the former was not available. However, according to the author, ‘of all the non-wheat breads, millet bread is the most prized among Andalusians and they eat a lot of it when it is millet harvesting season in their country.’

The porridge here is a savoury, but a sweet version probably also existed, and its closest modern descendant, the Tunisian dru‘ (درع) is a sweet sorghum porridge, made with milk and sugar. So, feel free to sweeten the Andalusian dish with some honey, and why not add some nuts, to make it a wonderful alternative to your morning oatmeal porridge. Remember to eat it hot!

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