“Pap is a robust carbohydrate hit from South Africa. Chef Duncan Welgemoed says it’s “like a soft polenta. It's subtle and perfect to act as a vehicle for stronger flavours”. An essential at any braai (South African barbecue), it’s made with chicken stock and is full of flavour. Maize meal is sold as ‘pan’ in specialist ingredient stores.” Maeve O'Meara, Food Safari Fire






Skill level

Average: 3.4 (207 votes)


  • 3 litres (101 fl oz/12 cups) light chicken stock
  • 250 g (9 oz) butter
  • 450 g (1 lb/3 cups) maize meal

Cook's notes

Oven temperatures are for conventional; if using fan-forced (convection), reduce the temperature by 20˚C. | We use Australian tablespoons and cups: 1 teaspoon equals 5 ml; 1 tablespoon equals 20 ml; 1 cup equals 250 ml. | All herbs are fresh (unless specified) and cups are lightly packed. | All vegetables are medium size and peeled, unless specified. | All eggs are 55-60 g, unless specified.


In a large saucepan, bring the stock to the boil over high heat. Add the butter and allow it to melt.

Gradually rain in all of the ground maize, stirring constantly as it cooks and thickens. Start by boiling it, stirring as you go. Lower the heat to medium to thicken it, then to a low heat for a few minutes.

After approximately 5–10 minutes, it will start to come away from the sides of the pan. This is a sign it’s ready.

Cover, remove from the heat and allow to steam for 15 minutes.

Season with salt before serving. 



• Chef Duncan Welgemoed serves his pap with onglet steak with biryani spices


Recipe from Food Safari Fire by Maeve O'Meara (Hardie Grant, hbk, $55).  Photography by Toufic Charabati.


Food Safari Fire starts Thursday 7 January 2016 at 8pm on SBS. Visit the program page for recipes, videos and more.


Read our interview with Duncan Welgemoed here.