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.
- Serves: 4 persons
- 1tablespoon olive oil
- 1small onion, finely chopped
- 1garlic clove, minced
- 1cup coarse yellow cornmeal
- 1tablespoon finely chopped flat-leaf parsley
- ½teaspoon finely chopped fresh thyme
- Salt and black pepper, to taste
- 2avocados, sliced, for serving
Step 1Heat 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.
Step 2Pour 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.
Step 3Lower 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.