The nutty Ghana Tom Brown porridge
Nutty denotes and brings to mind all sorts of connotations. In Eddie Murphy’s nutty professor it was the epitome of a grossly obese professor who in pursuit of his dream woman, ends up developing a weight-loss drug that causes all sorts of problems for him. Nutty, however, does not always mean barking mad! The other nutty simply means a taste or flavour of nuts. Nutty in Ghana’s Tom Brown nevertheless has the dubious honour of being both – barking mad and full of that irresistible flavour of nuts. It is certainly more mundane than a Hollywood blockbuster but, no less crazy. I can guarantee you this, no Ghanaian you meet would have considered adding nutty seeds to their Tom Brown porridge until of course the day they drop in here to read and gawp at what you’re reading.
First of all, Tom Brown porridge is a big deal on this blog. Goodness knows how many folks drop by to ask all sorts of questions about it on here. How is it prepared? What are the ingredients? Is the foreign Tom Brown different to the Ghana version? These and other questions have all been answered here – Ghana’s Tom Brown porridge.
As far as we are concerned this roasted corn porridge is the acceptable face of Ghanaian breakfast tradition. It is as close to a Ghanaian breakfast and child weaning institution as you get. Packed with carbohydrate fuelled energy and the creaminess that only evaporated milk can bring to the party, no other porridge has sustained me and fellow Ghanaians as Tom Brown has. From infancy when this porridge was my weaning meal to now a fully grown adult, the flavour and aroma of Tom Brown brings back memories that go back decades!
Admittedly, the Tom Brown I grew up with was simple and unfussy. There were no toppings to go with it. Today, however, this holy grail of porridges gets a nutty makeover or perhaps an upgrade if you like. Roasted peanuts or groundnuts as these are popularly called across Africa, are added to infuse a nutty flavour.
In Europe and elsewhere where culinary nuts or seeds are more common, nuts such sesame seeds, golden lineseeds, pumpkin and sunflower seeds can be used instead to give that nutty flavour.
There is as usual a method to our “madness” and more importantly the maddeningly nuttiness to this porridge. Tom Brown is mainly 100% corn based. The addition of nuts, therefore, takes on some significance as the nuts add protein to make the porridge a more balanced meal. An added benefit no doubt and one that elevates this simple West African porridge into the higher echelons of porridge “superfood-dom”
Click to get more on Tom Brown including the recipe.