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Mealie Pap

Mealie Pap is the traditional cereal-based porridge, a staple food of the Bantu tribes inhabiting regions of South Africa. ‘Mealie’ is indicative of ground cereal – mostly corn or maize and ‘Pap’ is African for gruel or porridge. “Ugali” is the name it is known by in Eastern and parts of Southern Africa. Zimbabweans refer to this as “sadza” and in Zambia it is “nshima”.

In fact, several indigenous South African meals use smooth maize meal porridge as a base. Sometimes certain spiced vegetables may be served along with Mealie Pap. While in the Cape Province it is exclusively consumed as a breakfast item with milk and sugar, in northern parts of Africa, it may be served at other meals along with meat and tomato-onion stew.

Ingredients and Method

Apart from white cornmeal that has been finely ground, the recipe only requires water and salt.

In a heavy-bottomed pan, water is boiled with salt; cornmeal is stirred in very slowly with constant mixing to avoid any lumps. After cooking it is served hot along with stews or vegetables.

Nutrition Information

A single serving size of about 100 g supplies-

• 340 calories with calories from fat being 144

• Total Fat content is 16 g

• Total carbohydrate content is 72 g

• Protein content is 68 g.

• Estimated % calories from fat are 20 %, carbohydrates are 41 %, and proteins are 39 %.

Nutritional Improvement

1. Sorghum or millet flour may be used to replace the cornmeal in order to increase iron and calcium content.

2. Addition of some fenugreek or cinnamon powder would help stabilize blood sugar levels helping Diabetics and also increase fibre content, to some extent.

3. Flax seeds, after light roasting, could be added to the porridge to increase the omega-3 fat content which helps lower cholesterol, helps with brain and visual functions and provides anti-inflammatory benefits.