We love to share recipes of various Afro multicultural cuisines, to celebrate the rich and delicious variety of food from the motherland and the motherland diaspora. This week on our Afro Cuisine recipe is called Bota or Iyambazi. It is another #TastyThursday and we want you to savor a taste of Africa. You can search for the ingredients in African stores around you; or better still take a trip to Africa and give your tastebuds a treat.
Bota is a diluted form of maize meal, sorghum, or millet sadza. It is made by adding hot water to the maize meal, letting it simmer for 30 minutes until it thickens. It can be flavored with peanut butter, margarine, salt, and sugar. Variations also involve the use of fresh cream. Bota is traditionally seen as a children’s meal, although adults can enjoy it too. It is commonly served as the very first meal of the day. This is to help fuel people who head out to the fields in rural areas, with breakfast coming later.
- 4 to 5 cups water (divided use)
- 1 cup white cornmeal
- A pinch of salt
- 1 to 2 tablespoons unsweetened peanut butter
- Optional: milk, and sliced fruit (to serve)
- Optional: sugar or sweetener (to serve)
Take 1 cup of cornmeal and add it to a pot. Add 1 cup of cold water to wet this and mix to create a paste.
Add boiling water, then place the pot over high heat. The amount of water required will depend on the type and quality of cornmeal, but 3 to 4 cups is a good measure. Extra liquid can be added or cooked off as needed to achieve your ideal consistency.
Bring the mixture to a boil and reduce to low heat to simmer for 15 minutes. You will notice it thickens rapidly.
*Care should be taken at this stage and we highly recommend covering the pot with a lid as the mixture tends to bubble and pop, which could easily cause burns if contact is made with your skin. If it is too thick for your liking, add a few teaspoons of boiling water.
Transfer cooked porridge to a bowl and mix in 1 to 2 tablespoons of peanut butter until well-incorporated.
Add sugar to taste if desired, and enjoy with or without milk and sliced fruit.