An African Dish from Chef Sidney: Putu Pap

December 3, 2013  |  By Liz SanFilippo Hall
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An African Dish from Chef Sidney: Putu Pap

An African barbecue isn’t complete without putu pap, which is also known as Krummelpap or “crumbly porridge,” because it’s a staple dish of South Africa, particularly in Cape Town. It is made from maize and just a little bit of water, making it a dry, crumbly dish. But it’s also a delicious one that pairs perfectly with Chakalaka sauce and Chef Sidney’s chicken galinha à Africana; all of these dishes come from Sidney’s childhood when he grew up on the plains of Zululand.

Enjoy this dish at home, or learn more about African cuisine during our one-time only trip to Africa with Chefs Sidney and Alison. This particular putu pap recipe makes about eight portions.


  • 1 lt water
  • 2 tsp salt
  • 800 grams maize meal
  • 2 tbsp butter


1. In a pot with a heavy bottom, preferably cast iron, bring the water to a boil. Add salt.
2. Add the maize meal to the water by aiming for the center of the pot. This should create a tower of maize that comes out of the water. Do not touch the maize tower.
3. Place a lid over the pot, and keep the pot on low heat for around 18 minutes (or until the maize absorbs all the water).
4. Stir the porridge with a large fork until it becomes crumbly.
5. Add just one cup of water. The water should instantly be absorbed by the porridge, stir again.
6. Replace the lid and steam the mixture over low heat for about 15 minutes. Do not open lid too often, but only once or twice to stir and to make sure that it is not burning.
7. When the putu pap is ready to serve, stir in the butter.

When making this African speciality, Chef Sidney says it’s completely normal if a crust forms at the bottom of the pot. Additionally, you can make this dish in a very traditional way by cooking it over a fire (but only if you have a cast iron pot)! Last but not least, as a porridge, you can easily add other flavors to the putu pap. In particular, Chef Sidney likes sitting in a bit of drained sweet corn when it’s just about done cooking!

You can learn more about this traditional dish during our one-time only Africa trip, but you can also delight in the flavors of African cuisine during Chef Sidney’s Zulu-inspired barbecue during his 6-night cooking vacation in the Loire Valley, France!

By Liz Hall

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By Liz SanFilippo Hall
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