How to make putu pap

Now that you can blow a Vuvuzela, the next step is learning how to properly make Putu pap. Putu pap, also known as “Putu Porridge” and “Krummelpap” looks good and tastes great, but is sometimes difficult to make if you did not grow up in the Freestate. Here is the answer to the critical question: How do you make Putu Pap?

Swartpotjie (Cast Iron Pot), Fork & Wood. All the equipment that you need.


  • 2 cups of water
  • 3 cups of maize meal
  • 1 teaspoon of salt
  • some more water


  1. Bring the 2 cups of water to boil in a cast iron pot.
  2. Add the salt to the water.
  3. Throw the 3 cups of maize meal in the water, aiming for the middle. You should now see a tower of maize meal resembling a mine dump, its base in the water and top protruding. Do not touch it.
  4. Put the lid on the pot, and remove from the fire. Leave the pot with the gentle heat of some coals for 20 minutes, until all the water was absorbed into, or steamed into, the maize meal tower.
  5. Remove the lid. Take a big fork, the one you use for holing a leg of lamb whilst carving it, and stir the porridge, until it looks like Putu pap.
  6. Add some more water (about half a cup, depending on how much heat you had in the first 20 minutes, and how moist you want the end product). All water added should be instantly absorbed by the porridge. Stir again.
  7. Replace the lid, and let steam for another 20 minutes on the gentle heat of coals. Resist the temptation to open the lid all the time, but opening once or twice to stir it again and see that its not burning is acceptable.

Other comments

  • If the bottom of the porridge burns a crust in the pot, don’t stress, this is quite normal and does not influence the taste negatively. The crust can easily be removed afterwards.
  • This recipe is foolproof and works as well almost as well on a stove.
  • A nr.1 or nr.2 pot works best for this amount or maize meal, but a bigger pot will also suffice.
  • If you want more porridge, the recipe can be scaled, keeping the same ratios.
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  1. Posted June 16, 2010 at 3:49 pm | Permalink

    Yip, what is more South African than a lekka bowl full of putu pap!!!!

  2. Jill Erasmus
    Posted May 4, 2012 at 11:00 am | Permalink

    I am a little worried about one thing in this recipe? When I throw in the 3 cups of maize meal, what if I miss the middle? hehe.
    I am surely going to try this, cos my putu is always too slap. Now, I like my my hot chips to be slap, but not my pap! Eish, its good to be South African!

  3. Posted August 1, 2012 at 11:48 am | Permalink

    Hello! begkeek interesting begkeek site! I’m really like it! Very, very begkeek good!

  4. Posted November 30, 2012 at 6:18 am | Permalink

    Hi, I’m from the UK and new to SA, I normally have millet flakes as a porridge but cant get them here, so thought I’d try this, but it takes a while to cook, so for speed in the mornings and having for breakfast can you make a bigger batch and keep it in the fridge do you know, then add more water to heat it up? Also do you know if as a breakfast its healthy having it on a daily basis?

    Thanks so much


  5. len muscat
    Posted June 27, 2013 at 8:21 am | Permalink

    I would like to know if you can keep cooked putu in the fridge overnight and reheat and use the next day ?

  6. Ant West
    Posted November 25, 2013 at 5:32 pm | Permalink

    This recipe is awesome! Thank you :)

    As good as the putu which our wonderful Xhosa nanny used to make for us :)

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  6. […] Phuthu pap is like the traditional breakfast of the country. Hence almost all the regions of the country enjoy this beautiful dish every day. The dish is made up of porridge or cereal with milk and corn. The recipe can be found here […]

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