Oats are a staple food in many places. In Ethiopia, they are called “aja”. They have five grams of protein per ounce, and contain iron and a bit of calcium. For many children, oatmeal is their first solid food. For many elders, it is part of their last meals. Soft, warm, and nutritious, it is no wonder that this grain is so loved and associated with good things.
Though it is most popular as a sweet breakfast porridge, it is also widely used as a savory food. Oats can be made into patties or used to add substance to meat or bean patties. It can be put in soups or made into crunchy snacks. They are an excellent ingredient for offerings, when one wishes to draw the abundance and prosperity and nurturing energy of many deities and spirits.
One of my favorite offerings to make is prosperity patties. They are very easy and delicious. How I flavor them depends on which deities I’m offering them to, and whether or not it will be shared with humans. When I make them for humans, I try to use less sugar in the sweet ones. Also be mindful that in some traditions, one should not add salt if one will be serving to the Ancestors. I am adding it, but just in reasonable quantities since my Ancestors like many savory foods, and almost everything has a little sodium in it anyway. Follow your family or teachers’ traditions. These recipes are enough to make about five palm-sized patties.
Sweet Prosperity Patties
You will need:
- a multiple of three raisins that adds up to about a handfull
- 1/2 cup warm water
- 1 heaping cup of rolled oats
- 1/4 cup honey
- 1/4 cup sugar
- 1/2 teaspoon five spice mix or pumpkin pie spice
- 1/2 teaspoon salt
- 1 teaspoon vanilla extract or half a vanilla pod
- enough room temperature milk or water to moisten the oats
- a small bowl of dry oats, sesame seeds, or almond flakes on the side for dredging
- cooking oil, preferably coconut, olive, or sunflower seed oil
Soak the raisins until they soften. This usually takes about 20 minutes. Discard any excess water.
Add all the dry ingredients, and then add the milk or water. If it gets too watery, add more oats.
Let them sit while you do the prayers.
Form the dough into patties, and then dredge them in the extra oats or seeds.
Fry them until golden brown.
Savory Prosperity Patties
You will need:
- 1/4 teaspoon black pepper
- 1/4 teaspoon red pepper or paprika
- 1 teaspoon salt
- 1 1/2 cups of oats
- 1/2 teaspoon basil
- 1/2 teaspoon oregano
- breadcrumbs, sesame, or almond flakes for dredging
Optionally, you can add a bit of onion, garlic, or fancy it up with cream of mushroom soup mix or really whatever your deities of prosperity, protection, and preservation like. I like to add a bit of finely shredded cheese.
The directions are about the same. Add enough water to make a dough, do your prayers, then form into patties, dredge, and fry.
Told you it was simple 🙂
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