I planned to go out yesterday so that did not leave me much time to spend in my beloved kitchen. I wanted to make sure that I had smthing to eat when I got back in case I was not happy with the restaurant’s menu. Eating out is risky business. You might love the food or not like it at all. Depends on your luck!

I had noticed half a packet of cornmeal at the back of my kitchen drawer during the weekend and had promised myself to make one of my fave puddings or poudine as we call it here. Poudine maïs must remind many of you of your childhood. Even today we find these simple poudines at the market’s food section or some random street vendor with a caisse on his bicycle. You will almost always notice that they are paired along with poudine manioc [cassava pudding] or poudine vermicelle.

The making of poudine maïs does not involve many steps; you should be alright if you have the right ingredients. Cornmeal is not to be confused with cornflour. What we need here is the golden yellow coarse powder. I guess there must be several different recipes for poudine maïs out there if you bother to google it. Well, this is how I make it.

POUDINE MAïS

Ingredients:

2 cups yellow cornmeal

6 tbs full cream powdered milk

1/2 cup caster sugar

1 tsp vanilla essence

1/2 tsp yellow food colouring

1 tbs butter/ margarine

3 tbs dessicated coconut

1/8 cup raisins, soaked

Method:

  • Place cornmeal in a large bowl and fill with water until cornmeal is completely covered. Let it soak for about 1/4 to 1/2 hour.
  • Meanwhile prepare milk by dissolving milk powder and sugar in 2 cups of water. Set this aside.
  • With a spoon, remove any impurities that has floated to the surface. Otherwise they may give you an unpleasant gritty sensation as you stuff yourself with poudine.
  • Now, drain the water in the sink but be careful not to lose your cornmeal along with in. Remove any impurities you find on the surface.
  • Fill a saucepan with 2 cups water and add cornmeal to it.
  • Set the heat to very low and allow the cornmeal to simmer.
  • You will need to stir this regularly to prevent the hot cornmeal from splattering and causing accidental burns.

  • Add water 1/ cup at a time till the cornmeal soaks up the extra water. Continue adding upto 2 cups. This may take you about 15-20 minutes.
  • Now add the milk and stir well. Continue to cook under low heat until the mixture thickens. Add vanilla essence and yellow food colouring. Remove from heat but continue to stir. Add butter and mix well.
  • Grease a 9″ square pan or line with aluminium foil.
  • Scatter coconut and raisins over the base.
  • Pour hot cornmeal over coconut-raisin layer.
  • Allow to cool completely. The cornmeal will be set at room temperature and can then be cut into cubes or fancy shapes.
  • You can refrigerate the poudine for a couple of hours before serving.

I dnt think you will have problems with storage as you should not expect any leftovers. If you do, just put it in a ziplock bag and keep it in the fridge for breakfast. But be warned that it may not be there when you look for it tomorrow!

Btw I had lunch at Nando’s. Yea, we finally have it in Mauritius. I ordered a Hot Grilled Chicken Salad with olives, peppers, courgettes, tomatoes topped with strips of the famous Nando’s chicken, all of which was pretty good. I hope to try smthing Extra Hot next time.

My Review: 3 1/2 spoons

A good overall first impression of the place other that it gets a bit crampped and noisy at times. Be sure to book in advance if coming with a large party or you may find yourself waiting for long before you can grab a seat.

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