This Recipe Makes ±400 Milliliters
In the Indian community, most Tamil South Africans make this Sour Porridge for the Mariamman prayer (porridge prayer). Sour Porridge is basically a gruel prepared from fermented maize meal (mealie meal). It is not to be confused with other traditional African fermented drinks like mahewu, incwancwa or imbila – as these drinks contain sorghum.
This porridge was a source of nourishment for many of our forefathers (Indentured Indians) in South Africa, who once worked in the cane fields of KwaZulu-Natal.
Sour Porridge Ingredients:
- 136 grams (1 cup) maize meal
- 500 ml (2 cups) water for soaking
- 1 liter (4 cups) water for boiling + additional for weakening
- salt to taste
- ¼ cup maas (sour milk)
- fresh shallots/spring onions
- Add the maize meal to a sealable container.
- Pour in 500 ml (2 cups) of water.
- Close the container with the lid.
- Set this container directly under the sun (if possible) during the day, for up to 3 days. Move it to a dark space, preferably a kitchen cupboard at night. If there isn’t any sunlight, it will also store well in a kitchen cupboard for this fermenting process. The longer it’s stored, the more sour it gets & improves in flavour, so it is up to you if you want to allow it to ferment for longer than 3 days.
- After Day 1 in the sun, it should form a frothy foam on top.
- By Day 2 the foam should settle down.
- By Day 3, it should be fermented enough to start the cooking process.
- Pour out the foamy water.
- Thereafter, add the 1 liter (4 cups) of water to a pot & salt to taste.
- Bring the water to a boil on medium-high heat.
- Add in the soaked maize meal & mix well to avoid any lumps from forming.
- Allow it to boil on low heat for 15 – 20 minutes. Stir occasionally.
- Once cooked, add in more water to reach your desired consistency. It is traditionally served as a drinking consistency.
- Remove from heat & pour in the maas (sour milk).
- Mix well.
- At this point finely chopped onions may be added as well.
- Chop shallots/spring onions.
- Pour in serving glasses & garnish with chopped shallots/spring onions.
- This Sour Porridge can be served as is or with a side of curries such as potato curry or puli sadam (sour rice).