Jamaican cornmeal porridge is a breakfast dish, cornmeal porridge with two slices of bread, sometimes cornmeal porridge with bread and steamed callaloo or cornmeal porridge with fried dumplings. The combinations are endless. Cornmeal porridge is great all by itself. Cornmeal porridge is easy to make and you will have no trouble preparing it. I am sure you will also enjoy a hot bowl of peanut porridge, Jamaican-style. Cornmeal porridge is ideal for babies and children.
1 1/2 cups of refined cornmeal
1/2 cup water
1/4 cup water
2 cups coconut milk
3 cinnamon leaves or 1/4 of 1 cinnamon stick
1 tsp. vanilla flavouring
Salt to taste
4 tbsp. whole milk powder (optional but gives the porridge extra creaminess)
Sweetened condensed milk--sweeten to your taste
1/4 tsp. nutmeg (grated)
1. Put a large enough pot with 1/2 cup of water on high heat. Cover and boil cinnamon leaves or cinnamon stick for about two minutes.
2. In the meantime, pour cornmeal into a bowl. Add the 1/4 cup of water but pour a little at a time while using a fork or spoon to mix the water and cornmeal together.
3. Pour some of the hot cinnamon water into the cornmeal mixture and stir until smooth. This is to 'temper' the cornmeal, which means to slowly bring up the temperature of the cornmeal before adding it to the boiling water to avoid the cornmeal forming lumps.
4. Lower heat and pour the cornmeal mixture slowly into the pot and stir vigorously for about 1 minute. If you noticed I used a small amount of water (1/4 cup), therefore, the cornmeal will thickens very quickly and starts to pop and may burn your hand so please be careful.
5. At this point, normally a lot of people add water to the porridge but use the coconut milk, because you want the coconut milk to taste strong in the porridge.
6. Pour some of the coconut milk into the porridge and stir. Cover pot and boil porridge for 15 minutes, while stirring every 5 minutes. Add coconut milk when the porridge becomes too thick and starts to pop.
7. After 15 minutes, if you taste the porridge, it should have a smooth texture, that means the cornmeal is cook. If it is uncooked, the porridge will taste grainy.
8. At this point, the porridge should have a thick consistency. Add the salt and stir. This is optional, but I like when my porridge is creamy and whole milk powder gives a creaminess to porridges that I love.
9. Use a fork to mix four tbsp. whole milk powder with four tbsp. water. Mix vigorously to avoid lumps forming then pour into the pot and stir.
10. Ensure the heat is low. Sweeten with condense milk
11. Add nutmeg and vanilla, stir. Remove cinnamon leaves or stick
12. Turn off heat. Serve hot