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This is a traditional pap served with a spicy tomato relish, combining the comforting texture of maize porridge with the tangy and sweet flavors of a homemade chakalaka-inspired relish.


2 c cornmeal (white mielie-meal)
2 c water
1 t salt
1 T butter (optional, or heavy cream)
1 onion (small, peeled and finely chopped)
2 clv garlic (peeled and minced)
2 tomato (rinsed and diced)
1 bell pepper (rinsed and diced, deseeded)
1 t curry (curry powder)
1⁄2 t paprika (powder)
  seasoning (salt and pepper to taste)
  coriander (optional, fresh coriander for garnish)


For the pap

Bring the water to a boil in a large pot. Add the salt.

Gradually whisk in the mielie-meal, ensuring no lumps form.

Reduce the heat to low and cover the pot. Let it simmer for 25-30 minutes, stirring occasionally to prevent sticking.

Once the pap is thick and smooth, stir in the butter for extra richness (optional).

Keep warm while you prepare the relish.

For the tomato relish

Heat the oil in a pan over medium heat. Add the onions and garlic, sautéing until soft and translucent.

Add the tomatoes and bell pepper, cooking until they are soft.

Stir in the curry powder, paprika, and season with salt and pepper. Cook for an additional 5 minutes, allowing the flavors to meld.

Remove from heat and set aside.

To serve

Spoon the warm pap onto plates, creating a well in the center. Ladle the spicy tomato relish into the well. Garnish with fresh coriander.

Total time
1 hour, 15 minutes
Cooking time
Preparation time
4 servings


This recipe honors the traditional South African pap while offering a flavorful relish that complements the simple taste of the maize porridge. It's a dish that can be enjoyed at any time of the day and can be easily adapted to suit different tastes and dietary requirements.


For a non-vegetarian version, add some cooked, diced sausage to the tomato relish.

Incorporate a small amount of cheddar cheese into the pap for a cheesy twist.

For a vegan option, omit the butter or use a plant-based alternative.


South African cuisine

easy, simmer, fry
breakfast porridge, sauce
South African food recipes
Food in Africa