How to make pap, a corn porridge typically eaten in Cameroon and Nigeria. Instead of using whole corn as is traditionally used, I use corn flour in this recipe and the results are epic. It is authentic, slightly tangy and so comforting. I love having this for breakfast or a quick dinner. Divine!
Place corn flour in a large container with a tight-fitting lid (preferably a plastic container because plastic retains heat). Add water to come up above the corn flour. Mix well with a wooden spoon or whisk to dissolve any lumps.
Cover and place in a warm area to ferment for 3 days. After that, it will have a pungent smell - this is perfectly okay. It might also have bubbles at the top - this again is okay.
Pour out the water from the top of the corn paste. Then add fresh water into the fermented corn paste and whisk well to form a light creamy mixture (about the consistency of whole liquid milk).
Place a fine mesh sieve above a large bowl. Then pass the liquid through a fine mesh sieve to separate the chaff from the starch. You may need to do this in small batches depending on how large your sieve is. Place the chaff in a separate bowl.
When all the chaff is separated from the starch, add more water into the chaff and mix to form a light creamy mixture (about the consistency of whole liquid milk). Pass it again through the sieve and press chaff with a spoon (while on the sieve) to squeeze out the excess liquid.
Repeat the process as needed until the chaff is no longer creamy.
Let the corn starch rest for 1-2 hours. During this period, the water will come up and the starch will stay at the bottom. Pour out the excess water at the top. You can proceed to cook the corn starch right away or preserve.
To preserve: place the corn paste into a plain (preferably white) kitchen towel or cheese cloth. Then squeeze well to remove excess water. The corn starch will now be hard. Cut into desired sizes then put in ziploc bags and place in the fridge or freezer for future use.
Mix 1 cup and a half of fermented corn paste (the soft version, not squeezed yet) with a quarter cup of water. Please watch the video to understand what I mean.
Note: If you are using the hard version - use half a cup, mixed with half a cup of cold water to form the corn paste.
Bring four cups of water to a boil. Then add the corn paste mixture to the boiling water, stirring rapidly with a wooden spoon as you do so. The mixture will thicken rapidly. Let it cook for 2-3 minutes while you stir continuously. If you love it lighter, you could add more water at this point. Sweeten with sugar to taste (I used about half a cup) then tun off the heat. Serve hot as it it with some evaporated milk poured ontop or with akara/accra beans or puff puff.
Alternately, you could cook your pap by add the boiling water to the corn paste mixture in a bowl, away from the heat. If you choose to use this method, you must equally stir simultaneously as you pour in the water to prevent lumps from forming.
1. Traditionally, pap is made by fermenting whole corn then grinding the corn and passing through a sieve. If you choose to follow this method, note that you will need a powerful blender to grind the corn.
2. Flavor the cooked pap with some fresh lemon juice or lime juice if you like.
3. You need a fine mesh sieve for this recipe. This is different from a regular strainer. You could purchase it online from Amazon here (affiliate link).