Recipe: Chopped chillies for a hot start

WE seem to divide into two basic types: those who eat breakfast every day, and those who rarely touch it. The habits of those who eat it might confirm the doubts of those who do not. Joanna Kjaer, of Cambridge, offers this Mexican breakfast recipe for 'Hot Eggs'. She (along with Jane Lee who provides a recipe for muesli, below) wins breakfast for two at the Savoy. Hot eggs are, she says, an 'aid to digestion, as recommended by the Ayurveda School of Asian medicine'.

Oaxaca Hot Eggs

Serves 2

Ingredients: large knob of butter or 1-2tbs vegetable oil

4 finely chopped garlic cloves

2 de-seeded and finely chopped green chillies

1/2 sliced red pepper

2 chopped spring onions

4 large eggs, beaten and seasoned with salt and pepper

2 large ripe tomatoes, skinned and de-seeded

3tbs chopped coriander

Preparation: Gently saute chopped garlic for one minute. Add chillies, pepper and onions and cook for two more minutes. Add tomatoes and simmer gently for several more minutes for flavours to blend. Pour in eggs and move mixture around until lightly set. Stir in coriander and serve.

Mariam Hankir, of Worcester, gives this breakfast recipe from her home country of Lebanon: minced meat is sauteed in oil, then slowly cooked until the juices reduce, and flavoured with allspice or simply black pepper. An egg is slowly stirred in, then the dish is finished with lemon juice.

Some stomachs require a gentler start to the day. Jane Lee, of Fakenham, Norfolk, offers her boyfriend's recipe for muesli.

Alan Goodwin's Muesli

Ingredients: 2lb 3oz/1kg oats

1 heaped tbs sesame seeds

1 heaped tbs pumpkin seeds

1 heaped tbs sunflower seeds

9oz/250g sultanas

5oz/150g raisins

3 1/2 oz/100g chopped dates

3 1/2 oz/100g peanuts (roasted)

Preparation: Mix together and store in airtight container. A four- litre ice-cream carton is ideal.

Rosalind Grey of Ely, Cambridgeshire, gives a sweetened and spiced spin on muesli with this recipe for granola, found in a bed and breakfast in Jackson Hole, Wyoming: a syrup is made of vanilla, vegetable oil, honey and water, then poured over oatmeal, wheatgerm, coconut, sunflower and sesame seeds, and mixed well. About 1lb of this is baked at 350F/180C/gas 4 for 40 minutes, stirring regularly, then stored.

Before granola, before muesli, before porridge, came the medieval dish of frumety. Elizabeth Milner, of Skipton, North Yorkshire, found her great-aunt had recorded her grandfather's recipe in A Practical Cookery Book. It goes: 'Take three pounds of wheat. Soak in cold water for an hour. Drain water off and put into a clean sack. Lay it on the floor in the sack and beat it and pummel it well with thick sticks, flail or cudgels (sic). Then two people take hold of the sack, one at each end and shake it backwards and forwards to loosen the skin. When the skin is off . . . put the wheat on to a tray and dry in front of the fire for a time. Pour the grain gently into bowl, while the other person fans it with a tray to blow the skin off. This must be done outside. When quite clean, dry the most of it again on a tray and put the rest, about a pint, into a big stew jar, and fill with cold water and simmer in the oven for most of the day. Make a good white sauce (no butter in) and when the wheat is ready, put a few spoonsful of it into the white sauce. Add treacle and spices to taste - allspice, nutmeg or cinnamon. Serve this for breakfast, beginning on Christmas morning and continue until your wheat is finished.' Her grandfather added that they stuffed their pillows with the wheat skins.

Mary Thompson, of Inverkeithing, Fife, writes pityingly that I do not know the difference between a drop scone and a pancake, saying last week's entry was most definitely a pancake. Nevertheless, many thanks for all the breakfast recipes. Next week we begin the pizzas. Send your entries to Emily Green, Recipe, Weekend Features, The Independent, 40 City Road, London EC1Y 2DB. The prize is a 1986 Chianti Classico Felsina Berardenga from Winecellars in south London.

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