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Maize meal, also known as pap or mieliepap, is a popular and versatile staple food in South Africa. It is made from ground maize kernels and has a smooth, porridge-like consistency. Maize meal can be enjoyed as a side dish or used as a base for various recipes. In this guide, we’ll walk you through the simple steps to cook delicious maize meal that is fluffy, flavorful, and pairs well with a variety of dishes.

How to Cook Maize Meal

Learn how to prepare perfectly cooked maize meal, a beloved staple in South African cuisine. Follow the step-by-step instructions to achieve a fluffy and flavorful texture, ideal for enjoying as a side dish or incorporating into your favorite recipes.
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Prep Time 10 minutes
Cook Time 20 minutes
Course Side Dish
Cuisine South African


  • large pot
  • Wooden spoon


  • maize meal
  • water
  • salt
  • butter


  • In a large pot, bring 4 cups of water to a boil.Add a pinch of salt to the boiling water.
  • Gradually add the maize meal to the boiling water while stirring continuously with a wooden spoon or whisk. This helps to prevent lumps from forming.Reduce the heat to low and cover the pot with a lid.
  • Allow the maize meal to simmer for about 15-20 minutes, stirring occasionally to prevent sticking or burning.
  • Taste the maize meal and add more salt if desired. Adjust the consistency by adding a little more water if needed, or continue cooking for a few more minutes if it's too runny.
  • Once the maize meal has reached a smooth and thick consistency, remove it from the heat.Let the maize meal rest for a few minutes before serving to allow it to firm up slightly.
  • Serve the cooked maize meal hot as a side dish with your favorite meat, vegetable stews, or braai (barbecue). It can also be enjoyed as a breakfast porridge or used as a base for dishes like bobotie or pap and wors.


Maize meal can be customized according to personal preference. For a creamier texture, you can add a knob of butter or margarine to the cooked maize meal and stir it in until melted. You can also experiment with adding spices, herbs, or grated cheese to enhance the flavor.
Enjoy the wholesome goodness of homemade maize meal, a versatile and satisfying dish that is sure to complement a wide range of South African meals.


Serving: 600g
Keyword maize meal
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