Polenta Recipe for your Enjoyment

Polenta is not a typical African food, but well enjoyed by Africans in different form all across the continent, from north to south. It is a gourmet made from grounded maize or corn meal – this can either be coarsely ground corn or smooth corn flour.


  • 5 -8 cups of water or stock or marinade (you can try chicken stock or beef stock or saffron marinade according to taste)
  • ½ teaspoon full of coarse cooking salt (you can use up to ½ tablespoonful, according to taste – the less salt the better for health reasons)
  • 1½ cup full of maize meal – coarse or fine also called corn flour
  • 3 teaspoon full of olive oil or unsalted butter
  • 150g of pure parmesan cheese – optional
  • 4-6 Porcini mushrooms – if desired

    Cooking time

    60 minutes



    How to Cook Polenta - Preparation

    Pour about 4 – 5 cups of water or already made stock or marinade into a cooking pot or heavy based sauce pan, and bring to a rapid boil. Then add salt to taste and butter if desired.

    Now sprinkle a rain of corn flour or maize meal into the boiling liquid and stir vigorously with a whisk, preventing any island of lump of maize meal forming. Stir until a smooth rich mush is obtained.

    If a lump develops despite your best effort, do not dismay. Just take off the lumpy mass and put in a blender and blend it until a smooth mush is formed, and put back in the pot and continue to cook as described further here.

    Lower the heat at this point and stir continue to stir for 20 to 30 minutes. You can now add your Parmesan cheese and seasonings. Leave to simmer in low heat for another 10 -15 minutes, while stirring occasionally, to prevent a dry skin forming on top of your polenta.

    Pour this hot pasty polenta mush onto a pie plate or baking tray, pre-primed with a thin layer of olive oil or butter. Flatten out and smoothen the top evenly with a spatula to a 1 – 2cm thickness and allow cooling and setting to take place.

    This is the traditional polenta recipe and at this stage, polenta can be eaten if desired, or made into grilled polenta or fried polenta.

    Traditional polenta once made, is served with mushrooms or meat or fish.

    Fried Polenta Recipe

    Fried polenta is made by first cutting the already made polenta (as described above) into shapes of squares, triangles, stars or lumps as desired.

    The polenta is then fired in olive oil until brown and crisp.

    Fried polenta is often made from soft polenta, meaning that cheese and butter is omitted during the initial preparation phase to achieve a soft consistency even when the polenta has set.

    Grilled Polenta Recipe

    This is made from polenta the traditional way and then the polenta is cut in desired shapes, rubbed with a layer of olive oil round, and then grilled under medium heat for 4-5 minutes, turning the polenta over on each side until a brown crisp polenta is obtained.

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