Today's recipe is a special kind of corn pudding common in Nigeria. It's local names include Akamu by the Igbos, Ogi by the Yorubas and generally Pap in Nigeria. It is very similar to the British custard which is made from dehydrated cornstarch with some added flavors.
The major difference between the two puddings is in the production phase. The corn kernels from which the cornstarch is collected undergoes a fermentation process during the production of Akamu whereas the kernels used for custard is unfermented.
This fermentation process is what gives Akamu its signature tangy taste. Akamu is very popular in Nigeria for its benefits to nursing mothers. It is believed to improve breastmilk production.It is also great for babies. Starting from four months of age. It's serves as a weaning food for baby. It is digested and is kind to baby's tender stomach. Akamu is usually taken warm. It serves as a stand alone breakfast or compliments dishes like: Akara (bean balls), moin moin ( bean cakes) Fried plantains and beans porridge. You can make a dessert of it like we did with our granola papfait
Akamu is more tricky to make. If you don't pay close attention it could become a watery or lumpy mess. For some people it's a hit or miss. That used to be me until I got the hang of it. To help others having the same problem I decided to take the guess work out of the equation so I went ahead and weighed the raw pap and measured the quantity of water and voila.
I think I can call myself an Akamu expert because I grew up in a home where we made Akamu from scratch always. (as in the raw materials parts :The buy the corn-wash-soak-wash-grind-sieve-squeeze-store part lol.) Sorry for the emphasis but my mom makes the best Akamu from scratch. We have been making Akamu from scratch for along as forever. In fact I have been trying to get her to commercialize it. Maybe someday we would.
Pap comes in different colors based on the type of grain used as the base.
- White Pap- white corn
- Yellow Pap- yellow corn
- Maroon Pap- guinea corn
- Greyish Pap- millet
This recipe is a no fail recipe. It is important to note that the Akamu used in this recipe is not in the dry powdered form. It is the wet paste form as shown in the picture below. Feel free to ask any question about this recipe in the comments.
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African Corn Pudding (Pap /Akamu/ Ogi
For 3 people
- ½ cup or 160g Pap paste (Akamu, ogi)
- 3 ½ Tablespoons room temperature water to mix the raw pap
- 3 cups boiling water
For one person
- 50 g Pap
- 1 tablespoon water to mix
- 1 cup of boiling water
- Put 3 cups of water in the kettle and put on the hub to boil.
- In a microwave safe bowl* mix 160g pap with the amount of room temperature water stated above.
- Mix till smooth. It should be have this consistency
- When the water on the stove top boils, pour it from the kettle directly into the pap mixture in a circular motion* while you stir.
- You will notice the mixture begin to thicken. it's ready. Stir properly. The 3 cups of water should fit in.
- Add sugar or cinnamon sugar to taste. And powdered or evaporated milk.
- Pap served with Akara (bean balls) or moi moi