Stiff Porridge (Oshifima)

“While staying with us, our friend Gerson, from Namibia talked about having this at every meal. Needless to say, while he was here in the United States he put on a pound or two. I really miss him! This recipe is an adaptation of an African staple food, served at every meal to help stretch the meats and vegetables. In Namibia, this dish could also be prepared with cassava. You can make this with water instead of milk, or you can try substituting equal parts tapioca flour for the corn meal.”

Ingredients Nutrition


  1. Heat a cup of water to boiling in a medium-sized saucepan.
  2. Meanwhile, in a bowl gradually add 3/4 cup of the cornmeal to the milk, stirring briskly to make a smooth paste.
  3. Add this mixture to the boiling water, stirring constantly.
  4. Cook for 4 or 5 minutes while adding the remaining cornmeal.
  5. When mixture begins to pull away from the sides of the pot and stick together, remove from heat.
  6. Dump oshifima into a lightly greased bowl.
  7. With damp hands, shape it into a smooth ball, turning in the bowl to help smooth it.
  8. Serve immediately.
  9. To eat in the traditional manner, tear off a piece of oshifima and make an indentation in it with your thumb. Use this hollow to scoop up stew or sauce from a communal bowl.

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