When putting a lekker “pap tert” (directly translated: porridge tart) out on the table at a braai don’t be surprised when people ask you what it is, and even getting a few strange looks when this strange combination of words come out.
While most South Africans are well-acquainted with maize porridge – or “pap” – as we know it, there are a few people who would rather not have themselves associated with this staple, which I find absolutely disgraceful – as it’s such a delicious – and truly South African dish. But although the pretentious ones see maize porridge as “poor people’s food”, it is getting quite popular.
Since I grew up on a mielie farm – with my dad milling his own maize meal, pap is an absolute must-have when it comes to a braai – whether as “krummelpap” with tomato and onion relish, or as a pap tert.
So what exactly is paptert? Simply put, it’s a layered dish – consisting of “stywe pap” (thick porridge) and a filling consisting of bacon, mushrooms onions tomato, etc.
As with all recipes there are always variations. But for me – the best pap tert is done according to the recipe below. This recipe is guaranteed to have your guests coming back for seconds – some may even want to take a little home for later…
Don’t forget to rate and comment if you try this!
Maize Porridge (Pap)
- 500 g Maize Meal
- 1 tbsp Salt
- 2 tbsp Butter
- 1 tbsp Dried Sweet Basil
- 1 tbsp Olive Oil
- 500 g Diced Bacon
- 3 large Tomatoes Peeled and chopped
- 1 large Onion Finely chopped
- 1 pack Mushrooms Sliced
- 4 cups Cheddar Grated
- 20 g Fresh Basil Chopped
- 2 tbsp Sugar
- Salt & Pepper To taste
Maize Porridge (Pap)
- Pour 1.5 litre warm tap water into a big pot, add the salt, butter and sweet basil and mix.
- Add the maize meal and stir. (To avoid lumps, it’s always better to use warm tap water instead of boiling water).
- Put the stove plate on low, cover with a lid and cook for about an hour – stirring occasionally.
- Sauté the onion and bacon in sunflower oil and butter until the onions are translucent, add the mushrooms and then the tomato.
- Add the sugar, salt and pepper to the mixture.
- Cover a large oven dish with a non-stick spray. Spoon half the porridge in the dish – even out the surface with a big spoon.
- Spoon half the filling over the porridge – evening it out again. Sprinkle half the fresh chopped basil over, then half the grated cheese.
- Spoon the rest of the porridge over the filling (be careful not to mess up the filling – if the porridge is too thick to comfortably spoon over, mix a little water in the pot and stir until it’s fully incorporated.)
- Once again, spoon over the rest of the filling, and finish with the basil and cheese. You could grind a little black pepper over if you want.
- Put the dish in a 180°C oven for about 15-20 minutes – or until the cheese is melted.
- Let the dish stand for about 10 minutes before serving – just to let it set.