African salad with a twist

Pap is eaten in many South African homes. Each family has their way of enjoying it, with either maas or buttermilk or a tomato-based sauce.

Ready in

1 hour

Serving size

Serves 6


  • Mealie pap
  • 2 ¼ cups (560 ml) water
  • ½ tsp (2,5 ml) salt
  • 3 cups (750 ml) coarse mealie meal
  • Chakalaka sauce
  • 2 tsp (10 ml) sunflower oil
  • 1 onion, chopped
  • 1 cm piece fresh ginger, chopped
  • 1 green or red pepper, seeds removed and chopped
  • 1 tsp (5 ml) curry powder
  • 4 tomatoes, chopped
  • 2 tsp (10 ml) sugar
  • lemon juice and black pepper to taste
  • OR
  • 2 cups (500 ml) low-fat maas or buttermilk


  1. Mealie pap: Place water and salt in a large pot and bring to the boil. Pour mealie meal into the water, but don’t stir yet.
  2. Simmer for 2 minutes, then stir well with a wooden spoon or fork. Reduce the heat.
  3. Cover with a lid and steam over a low heat for 30-40 minutes or until cooked. Stir occasionally to prevent it from burning.
  4. Chakalaka: If you enjoy mealie pap with a sauce, prepare this while the pap cooks.
  5. Heat oil in a pot and fry onion, ginger and green pepper until soft. Add curry powder, tomatoes and sugar and simmer on a low heat for 20 minutes. Season with lemon juice and pepper.
  6. Serve pap warm or at room temperature with the chakalaka sauce or maas as a side dish.


  1. Umfino (pap with spinach): Place 1 chopped onion or 1 bunch of spring onions, chopped with 1 bunch of spinach and ½ a cabbage, shredded in a large pot. Add some water and simmer for a few minutes. Then add the mealie meal with the 2¼ cups water and cook as above.

How to make pap

Pap for every taste

Follow the guide below for creamy, chunky or crumbly pap – whichever way your family enjoys it best.

African salad with a twist

This recipe is from Cooking from the heart, 1st edition

Download the recipe book

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