Mr Porridge’s Jamaican Porridge

‘You have to use your inner instinct and taste to say what it is that you want’. This is the advice of Mr Porridge, famed in Kingston, Jamaica, and Brixton, London, for his wonderful concoctions. I met him in Brixton about 15 years ago but knew about him before, such is his fine reputation. Everyone in Jamaica grows up on porridge in the morning. Often It’s made with cornmeal, but here I’ve used oats, with some of the flavourings that Mr Porridge uses to make his version so delicious.


  • 500 ml (18 fl oz) milk
  • 2 × 400 ml. cans coconut milk
  • 100-200 ml (3½-7 fl oz)
  • condensed milk
  • good grating of nutmeg
  • 1 tsp vanilla extract
  • 1 cinnamon stick
  • 240 g ( oz) rolled (porridge) oats
  • large pinch of salt
  • ½ tsp rosewater

To Serve

  • 1 banana, sliced
  • handful of pecans, chopped (optional)
  • light or dark muscovado sugar (optional)


  1. Put 800 ml (a scant pints) water in a large saucepan and pour in the milk, coconut milk and condensed milk. Add the nutmeg, vanilla extract and cinnamon stick. Bring to the boil, then reduce the heat, cover and simmer for 5 minutes.
  2. Add the oats and salt, stir, bring back to the boil and simmer for a further 5 minutes, or until thick. Sprinkle in half the rosewater, stir and taste. Add more if you like. Remove the cinnamon stick.
  3. Put the porridge in bowls. Top with the banana and, if you like, some chopped pecans and a sprinkle of muscovado sugar.