Haitian Cornmeal Porridge (Mayi Moulen)

Haitian Cornmeal Porridge (Mayi Moulen)

About as humble as a dish can be, with simple ingredients and cooking instructions no more complicated than boiling water, this Haitian recipe may shock you with its deliciousness — a base of warming, garlicky polenta-like porridge topped with a velvety purée of black beans and coconut milk (see the corresponding recipe for black-bean sauce). Slices of nutty avocado offer a gentle contrast in texture and another element of richness. It was adapted from the Haitian cooking instructor Cindy Similien-Johnson, who remembers it being made in her grandmother’s house.
  • Total:
  • Serves: 4 persons



  1. Step 1

    Heat the oil in a heavy medium saucepan over medium heat, and sauté the onion and garlic until barely golden, about 6 minutes. Add 4 1/2 cups water, and bring to a boil.
  2. Step 2

    Pour in the cornmeal in a thin stream, stirring constantly, and add the parsley, thyme, salt and black pepper. Stir for a few minutes to avoid lumps.
  3. Step 3

    Lower heat to a gentle simmer. Cook uncovered, stirring occasionally, until the cornmeal is tender, with a soft but not runny consistency, 20 to 25 minutes. Adjust with more water or salt if necessary. Serve with sos pwa nwa and sliced avocados.