I have always hated eating porridge for breakfast. I don’t know why, but I’m not usually a breakfast eater, except when it comes to bagels, fried eggs, Mannaya Kasha or Cream of Wheat. While the rest of the family ate porridge, I ate my Mannaya Kasha. It’s better known in the US as Cream of Wheat or farina, but I’m not sure if that was the brand name or not.
Cream of Wheat or Mannaya Kasha is a popular breakfast in Eastern Europe and Russia. It’s basically semolina cooked in milk to make a hot breakfast porridge, usually served with jam or fruit. Use milk! Don’t cook Cream of Wheat with water, that is just disgusting and shouldn’t even be an option (like suggested on the back of the Cream of Wheat box).
As a kid, I was the only person in my class that ate this for breakfast, I suppose maybe it was just a cultural difference. Boy, how I wanted my parents to buy me Fruit Loops, good thing they didn’t! The Russian way to prepare Mannaya Kasha adds salt, sugar and butter at the end. You end up with a semi-sweet, slightly salty breakfast kasha. I always add 2 teaspoons of brown sugar, which gives it a caramelised flavour. My son loves it so much that this is the first meal he learned how to cook on the stove by himself.
Mannaya Kasha (Манная Каша) or Cream of Wheat
- 3 cups milk
- 1/2 cup semolina
- 1 teaspoon butter
- 1 tablespoon sugar
- 1 teaspoon salt
- 2 teaspoons of brown sugar optional
Pour the milk into a medium saucepan and bring up to a boil.
Slowly add the semolina into the hot milk, while stirring rapidly and continuously. If you add the semolina too quickly, it will clump up into small balls, ruining the consistency of your porridge. Keep rapidly stirring whilst adding more semolina.
Continue to stir until porridge starts to thicken to your desired consistency.
Add the sugar, salt and butter and stir until mixed through out.
Serve. I add an extra knob of butter to my bowl, plus 2 teaspoons of brown sugar.