How to Make South African Pap (Porridge) (With a Twist) - Recipe and Method

I think pap (porridge) is one of South Africa's most iconic dishes. Or it is one of those dishes that everyone in Africa eats, but no one outside of Africa. (When I visited my brother in the UK we could not find "mielie meel" or course maize flour.) Today, I want to write up the recipe I use to make a variation of the original pap which is so good and delicious. It is versatile as I will show at the end how we eat it.



4 cups of water
2 cups of flour
2 teaspoons salt
1 can condensed milk (optional)
1 can sweet creamed corn (optional)


Step 1

I use two different coarseness of maize flour. The normal maize flour we get is the standard coarseness, but we also get what they call "braai pap" which is much courser. I use 1 cup of each and blend them.

(In the image below you can see the difference in coarseness.)




Step 2

In the second step, you boil the water with the salt. Very easy step. It is important the water boils.


Step 3

This step might be a bit tricky but once you master it, it is really easy. To get a smooth texture you will need to slowly add the flour bit by bit constantly stirring the porridge. (See the photograph below.)


Step 4

Now you cook the porridge with the lid on for 40 minutes the lowest the stovetop will go. I use gas, so it took some figuring out how to get the flame so low that it does not burn the porridge, but you will get there. (See the image below of the porridge after 40 minutes of cooking.)


Step 5 (Optional)

The recipe for original pap or porridge stops at step 4. If you want to a sweeter version which can still be enjoyed with savoury dishes, add a can of condensed milk and a can of sweetened cream corn at the end of the 40 minutes cook time. Mix it in well.




Step 6 (Optional)

Also optional, is if you want to enjoy the porridge with food or on its own. We normally eat porridge with either a tomato and onion sauce (without the condensed milk and sweet corn) or just as is (with the sweet corn and condensed milk).

I sometimes make lamb chops with a quick gravy and it is just delicious. (I will put some photographs below.) I hope you give this a try soon!