Easy CornMeal Porridge

11.1.16 | Recipe by Renz
A delicious Caribbean breakfast staple made from cornmeal, this porridge is a combination of cornmeal boiled in milk and Caribbean spices. A flavourful and hearty breakfast option.


An image of a bowl of cornmeal porridge with a topping of cinnamon with a green napkin and some fruits.


Porridge for breakfast is usually the meal of champions. The most important meal to get you started for the day. It is a comforting dish and probably one of the most popular breakfast items.

We have a variety of porridge options, like rice and cream of wheat porridge, but one of the more popular ones is cornmeal porridge. The internet is laden with Jamaican cornmeal porridge recipes, but to be honest, our Trinidadian cornmeal porridge recipe is not different at all.

When you sit down behind a bowl of creamy cornmeal porridge, know that you going to be full for a while. It's flavorful and filling and definitely part of a complete Caribbean breakfast.

And if you are a lover of cornmeal, then these cornmeal dumplings are another great way to utilize cornmeal. 
  

What is porridge?


Porridge in general is basically a grain boiled in milk or water. It can be made with numerous grains.

Cornmeal is one of the popular grains used in the Caribbean. People also use green bananas, ground barley porridge are also other options.

The grain is usually, simmered down in milk along with fresh spices till thick.

Ingredients needed for hot cornmeal porridge


This is an "easy as pie" recipe for porridge made using cornmeal that can sustain you till lunch and is full of flavor.

When we were growing up I loved waiting on my mom to finish making the porridge simmer on the pot. The smell of all the spices was enough to make me excited.

There isn't much you need for porridge. These items are regular staples you would find in a pantry in a Caribbean home.



Ingredients to be used to make cornmeal porridge, standing on brown shelf


  • Water.
  • cinnamon stick.
  • Yellow cornmeal - it can be any grain you want. I prefer to use fine.
  • Ground nutmeg.
  • Bay leaves.
  • Salt.
  • Milk.
  • Condensed milk.
  • Vanilla extract (optional).

Equipment
Medium saucepan
Whisk


How to make cornmeal porridge?


The first thing is to take your cornmeal and make it into a paste with warm water. Take this time to remove any lumps from your mixture. We call this thick mixture cornmeal pap.

A bowl of cornmeal paste (water and cornmeal mixed) to be used to make porridge.


On the stove in a deep pot, bring 2 cups of water to boil on medium-high heat.

To the boiling water, add the cinnamon stick, grated nutmeg, bay leaf, and salt.

Add the cornmeal mixture paste you made initially and lower the stove down to a simmer.

Continue the mixing, all while removing any lumps that may form.

Add milk and condensed milk.

Simmer till warmed through.

Serve with a little ground cinnamon on top.


A finished bowl of thick Jamaican cornmeal porridge with nutmeg on top.

Substitutions

If you want to make a healthier version of this, instead of whole milk, you can substitute and use a milk of your liking like coconut milk, oat milk.

If you prefer to not use condensed milk, you can sweeten your porridge with a sugar of your choice. The only difference the use of brown sugar would have over white sugar is that the brown would alter the color of it a little.


Are cornmeal and cornflour the same?

If you cannot find cornmeal I would not really substitute cornflour here. I use cornflour to make pastelles and explain the difference between the two in more detail.

But to get that heavy cornmeal taste you would want for porridge, cornmeal of any grain is the best option.


Close up of porridge in a bowl with fruits.


Why is my porridge lumpy?


Nobody wants lumpy porridge consistency, right? So the trick is to make sure you make that cornmeal paste with water prior to putting it on the stove. You do not HAVE to use hot water, but it definitely helps.

Making it into a paste helps the cornmeal to start swelling while the water boils and makes it easier to mix together.

Some people like their porridge thick.

Some people like their porridge solid.

And some people like their porridge thin.

If your mixture happens to be too lumpy you can add some more milk or even extra water to loosen it up a bit. Add a little at a time while mixing.

 

What do you serve cornmeal porridge with?

Some people like to top their bowl of cornmeal porridge with crackers or even with some nuts. You might even find it with some fruit.

I much prefer mine to be plain, with a little extra sprinkle of cinnamon and nutmeg on the top. Just take a teaspoon of nutmeg and sprinkle.


Storage & Reheating


This can be made ahead and is pretty easy to store.

In fact, sometimes I triple up this recipe and make a big batch for meal planning so that I can have an easy option for breakfast for the week.

Make ahead and store in the fridge in an airtight container for up to five days. Only warm up what you are going to eat that time.

It can be heated in the microwave, but the best method is to add to a pot on the stove and heat it until boiling. to ensure it's warmed through. You can add a little water to the pot just to get it moving as it will thicken up sitting in the fridge.





Here are some other Caribbean Breakfast ideas:







CornMeal Porridge: A Caribbean breakfast staple made from cornmeal, boiled in milk and spices. #HomeMadeZagat

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