Monday, November 21, 2011

Cornmeal Porridge

The most common breakfast dish to a Jamaican is Cornmeal Porridge.  The older folks call it "Pop" or "Cog."  

For years cornmeal porridge has been a common staple among us Jamaicans, like rice, it is our ultimate comfort food. It’s filling and is considered to be a wonderful digestive aide.

My grandfather would cook up a big batch before school, we’d grab a bowl and off we went, full of life and ready to take on the day.

Today, I still make it for my daughter and she loves it so much that I'm sure she’ll be making it for her kids one day J , She even knows all the ingredients that goes in it; by the way,  she is 6years old.

Typical weekend morning, I’d ask her what she wanted for breakfast; she’d tell me cornmeal porridge, she’d pull the milk from the fridge and the rest of the ingredients from the pantry to make it, then she sits everything on the kitchen counter and wait for me to start. The first time she did that, I was very impressed, but of course I don’t let her stay in the kitchen when I’m preparing it, because if you are not careful you can be burned from the temperamental splatter. So please use caution when preparing.

She loves a few circles of sweetened condensed milk swirled on top and I love the smile it brings to her face.

1 cup Yellow Cornmeal (coarse or fine)
3 cups water
1 8oz can of coconut milk
2 teaspoon vanilla essence
2 tablespoon sugar
¼ teaspoon nutmeg (ground)
¼ teaspoon Cinnamon (ground or 1 stick)
1 bay leaf (optional)
2 teaspoon salt
½ can sweetened condense milk
Long handle whisk


  1. On medium heat, bring 2 cup of water, the can of coconut milk, sugar, bay leaf, vanilla, salt, cinnamon & nutmeg  to boil  
  2. Use a whisk, its easier to handle and keeps the mixture from clumping
  3. Mix cornmeal with 1 cup of water in a bowl, and then slowly stir into the stockpot.
  4. Keep the heat on medium.
  5. Stir the mixture continuously for about 3 minutes. Making figure eight patterns if you like; this will stop the cornmeal from forming lumps. Be careful from this point on.
  6. The porridge will splash and burn your hand if the heat is too high. Turn the fire down even more if the splashes from the pot become large. Cover the pot and let simmer for about twenty minutes. Occasionally stirring the mixture in the pot.
  7. Turn off the stove and remove the pot from the burner and add sweetened condense milk to taste
  8. Serve in small soup bowls and sprinkle with ground nutmeg or cinnamon.

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