Mulgi porridge is a potato and barley porridge with bacon crisps. The recipe originates from Mulgimaa in southern Estonia, and the porridge got its name from the region. The porridge is very filling and therefore is more of a winter food. Today Mulgi porridge is known all over Estonia, and many people consider it to be a national dish. However, the dish has a special meaning for the local inhabitants of Mulgimaa. It is considered to be something of one's own and therefore important. Most of the local children learn to make this porridge at home, but the process is also taught in cooking classes. During big public events in Mulgimaa this dish is usually served to underpin the regional identity. There are different recipes for Mulgi porridge. Everyone usually makes it according to his or her grandmother's recipe.
One of the possible options is as follows (recipe by Ülle Jukk):
0,2 l barley groats
Wash the barley groats and let them soak for a couple of hours. Peel the potatoes, cut them into pieces and boil in salt water. After a couple of minutes add the soaked barley groats. Let the porridge simmer gently until the groats are soft. Add milk and mix the porridge with a big wooden spoon or mash it with a potato masher until it achieves consistency. Dice the smoked ham and fry it with chopped onions until golden brown. Make a little hole in the centre of the porridge to put the onions and bacon in or mix everything together.