Pap (Potatoes and Cornmeal)

Total Time
Prep 20 mins
Cook 30 mins

This is a staple food in South Africa as well as other parts. My amaXhosa friend, Ntombizanele Sokupa, gave this recipe to me. Serve this with Chakolaka (Chakalaka (South African Vegetable Stir-Fry)). I think the Pap would taste too plain without the Chakolka or something similar. The flavors from the Chakolaka tastes good with the Pap. Thanks Zanele!

Ingredients Nutrition

  • 2 -3 cups cornmeal (I use 2 cups only but you may use more if you have really large potatoes)
  • 3 -4 cups water
  • 3 potatoes
  • 1 tablespoon oil
  • 1 tablespoon salt


  1. Peel potatoes and dice. Put potatoes, water, salt, and oil in a pot and cook at a medium heat with the lid on until the potatoes are soft enough to mash.
  2. Mash the potatoes in the pot. Stir in the cornmeal and cook the pap for about 15 minutes until done. It's good to use a wooden spoon to mix the pap every 5 minutes (Don't scrap the part that sticks to the pan- just leave it there and eat the soft part only).
  3. Serve hot and enjoy the Pap with Chakalaka.


Most Helpful

I made this with garnet yams instead of potatoes and loved it. The kids and husband weren't too fond of it though. I thought it was naturally sweet and very filling. I think it would make a good breakfast porridge.

Bugeah April 06, 2011

Given my fondness for creamy polenta, this recipe intrigued me. Though intended to accompany spicier dishes I opted to serve this with grilled steak prepared with a full flavored marinade and sauce. It was good a pleasant intermediate between mashed potatoes and polenta. Nice to have another tasty side dish that I can pull together in a jiffy with ingredients I always have on hand. Thanks!

justcallmetoni August 29, 2008

Pap, it sounds like baby food! Well, whatever, I really liked it myself, better than plain old mashed potatoes and much better on the waist line too. I did serve it with the vegetable stir fry, and the 2 recipes went very well together, thank you. Mine neither burnt nor stuck to the pan (or maybe only a little bit on one side). I would made this as a side dish on its own too! Thanks, reviewed for ZWT IV.

Kumquat the Cat's friend July 01, 2008

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