This fermented cereal pudding has different names in different cultures, some of the most popular names in Nigeria include Ogi , Akamu, Koko, Agidi. Popular across west Africa and in some Arab cultures.
The consistency of pap is like that of custard or a curd sometimes lighter.
Making your pap from Scratch
You need Grains. Corn, Millet, Sorghum which are the most popular grains used or whatever grain catches your fancy. I like to use at least three grains, like my mum taught me). You can use one or a combination of two or more.
- First you rinse your grains to get rid of impurities.
- Next you soak the grains with water that is twice as much as the grains. Typically you soak for three days to allow it ferment. * You can control how fermented the soaked grains are by changing the soaking water daily.
- The grains are then washed and sent to a mill to be ground to a fine paste. Some people like to grind with spices like ginger, cloves etc, I prefer to add spices when cooking.
- Next it is passed through a fine sieve, usually a muslin or cheese cloth to remove the chaff so as to have smooth paste. The chaff is mostly then used to feed animals.
- The sieved product is left to rest and the paste settles and sets at the bottom of the water.
- (Optional)To further extract water from the settled paste, you will pour into a cotton cloth bag, tie firmly and place a heavy item (traditionally they use rocks or logs) to strain the water out. * I usually skip this step.
You can store in a refrigerator. Growing up, we left it in an open bucket with water on top of the pap, then we changed the water every two days until the Ogi was finished.
Pap is one of the easiest things to cook. But you how the simplest things can shame the best cooks, yeah pap has and continues to shame the best of cooks.
Cooked pap is suppose to have a smooth consistency but it can easily end up a lumpy mess.
I like to cook my pap on fire. I feel the best way to explain my method is by doing a short video.
- Take some raw pap paste, mix with double the amount of water to loosen the paste and give a watery consistency. If you like Spices you can add some powdered spices to it.
- In a pot heat up some water roughly same amount of your raw mixture.
- Bring to boil, turn the heat down and pour in the raw mixture.
- Stir slowly in circular motions and consistently until it starts to thicken. Keep the same pace stirring, if it looks to thick, loosen it up with more water.
- Leave it to cook on fire for an additional 3 minutes then serve.
You can serve with milk, sugar, honey and have with your favourite accompaniment.