Porridge is universal comfort food; every culture seems to have some variety of it.
“Haleem is one of the most perfect foods I can imagine,” says JungMann of the version found across a large area of Asia stretching from Iran to Bangladesh. “Wheat and lamb are cooked together with spices until their flavor and texture mingle in one soft union. It can be a very rich dish when laden with ghee, and was one of my favorite wintertime dishes growing up.”
LauraGrace‘s favorite porridge is grits: “Cheese grits topped with poached eggs is a favorite weekend breakfast,” she says. “Shrimp and grits is probably in my top ten favorite foods of all time. Creamy grits with fried apples is a tasty dessert and a filling breakfast.”
luckyfatima loves chao, which is Vietnamese rice porridge. “Very, very delicious. I still have chao when I am sick as my chicken soup substitute,” she says, before adding that Indian khichri (rice and lentils cooked together until soft) is also delicious and comforting.
“Seasoned North American–style oatmeal with cinnamon, sugar, and a touch of maple syrup plus lots of butter” is universally appealing, says luckyfatima. But some folks, including joonjoon, like their oatmeal savory. “I had a piece of Italian sausage lying around, so I chopped it up and browned it, threw in just a touch of tomato sauce, and sweated some chopped garlic with it,” says joonjoon. “Add oatmeal and water. Finish with parm.”