Mealies (corn; maize) have long been the basis of African cuisine. Each community, whether Xhosa or Zulu, Sotho, Tswana or Swazi, holds to slight differences in making it and preferences in eating it, but certain dishes have the approval of nearly all. Here are some of them.
Fresh, “green” mealies, roasted and eaten on the cob, sold by hawkers almost everywhere, usually women, who set up their braziers on the pavement
Dried and broken maize kernels, or samp.
Dried maize kernels ground fine into mealiemeal, used for everything from sour-milk porridge to mealiepap, krummelpap or stywepap. It is mixed with crushed mealie malt (corn malt), crushed sorghum malt and warm water for umqombothi, or with flour and water for mageu, a refreshing, slightly fermented drink.
Fresh green mealies can be boiled and served on the cob or as a separate vegetable dish. They can also be minced and made into mealie bread (corn bread).
Choose mealies with green, fresh husks and silky ends free of decay or worm injury. Cobs should be well filled with plump, milky kernels. Allow 1–2 cobs per serving. Two cobs should yield 250 ml fresh kernels. The smaller, yellow mealies, which are sweeter and more tender, are known as sweetcorn. Keep unwashed mealies in the husk until ready to use. Store in the refrigerator and use as soon as possible.
Category: South African Cuisine