Kačamak is Serbian version of cornmeal stewed into a type of porridge. Alternative Serbian or Croatian names that are used for it in the some regions include kachamak, Botha, cicmara, bakradan, jaglji, prpa, praza, pula, pulenta, and žganjci.     

Kačamak is a simple porridge of cornmeal and ingredients like cheese may be added to it to increase the taste. Depending on the locality and state, the Kačhamak may be prepared into a thick gruel or a cake like consistency. Kačhamak formed an integral part of the day to day diet of the lower middle class of Europe. The dish is almost similar to Italian Polenta but the actual consistency of the cornmeal will vary considerably.


Ingredients and Kačamak Recipe Overview

Usually, yellow cornmeal is used to prepare Kačamak and it is cooked with milk, yoghurt or water to create a thin gruel. Serbs used a special instrument called the čurkalo to mix the cornmeal into the water or yoghurt before cooking. The cooked Kachamak was then beaten with an instrument called the kačhamalo.  A thicker consistency can also be prepared to make the porridge settle like a cake. This is then eaten with meat or vegetable gravies. Potatoes, cheese, and bacon are added to the cooking Kačhamak to create a richer dish. Traditionally, the dish is prepared with plain cornmeal, salt, oil or butter, and water or milk and served with milk or yoghurt.


Serving Suggestions

Kačamak is traditionally served as a breakfast dish in the form of a thin porridge. Honey or sugar may be added to the dish if it is served in the morning for breakfast.  A thicker version may also be served as an accompaniment to meat and vegetable gravies. Usually the dish is served with milk, yoghurt, honey, sour cream and bacon.


Popular Variations of the Kačamak Recipe

Kacamak is popular in sweet as well as savory versions as the bland taste of cornmeal makes it an ideal accompaniment with every kind of dish. A few popular variations include

  1. Kačhamak served with leeks, and sour cream
  2. In Bulgaria, a local version is made with heated lard and sunflower oil with browed paprika and hot peppers.
  3. Another milder version is prepared with feta cheese, tomatoes, paprika and salt that is added during cooking.
  4. White Kačhamak can also be prepared from white cornmeal and potatoes are added during the cooking process to enhance the taste of the dish. Traditionally, the cornmeal that is used is only the yellow version.


Nutritional Value

A single serving of the kachamak of 259 gms contains 11.842 calories. The total fat content is 67.4 gms, the cholesterol is 333.7 gms, and sodium is 782.0 mg, total carbohydrate 123.4 g and proteins are about 24.3 gms.