In South Africa people eat a lot of pap. Pap is the staple food and it is ground mielie-meal. It can be eaten in about a million ways. It’s kind of like the long shrimp dialogue in Forrest Gump – you can eat it as porridge, with chakalaka, with meat, with vegetables, for breakfast, for lunch, for dinner, you can fry it, you can feed it to babies, you can eat it at a braai, you can eat it hot, you can eat it cold, you can make it into paptert, etc…
In order to make pap one of the key things you need is arms like a wrestler. The old ladies in local villages have some serious muscles from grinding it and then stirring it as it solidifies into a substance so strong and so starched that a spoon could never fall over in. My weedy Western arms don’t stand a chance which is one reason that Sam makes the pap in our house.
We used to eat it in Zimbabwe as well. In Zim it is called sadza but it’s the same thing. Like Rudi in the Mighty Boosh, pap goes by many names including ugali, nsima, phaletshe and banku.
So the other day in the spirit of trying new African dishes Sam made paptert for lunch. It is basically like a lasagne made of pap. It has cheese, tomato and other veg layered between pap. If you want to make it yourself click here to go to the very same recipe that Sam used. Have a look at the pics below. It was super tasty and I bet the photos will make you hungry even if you weren’t hungry before. Just writing this post is making me hungry.