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Jamaican Cornmeal Porridge

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Jamaican Cornmeal Porridge is smooth, creamy, and comforting. A popular breakfast dish in Jamaica, this porridge is the perfect recipe to start the day. 

cornmeal porridge in bowl with spoon on side


 

This porridge is the breakfast of champions! It’s so comforting and it’ll keep you full and ready to tackle your day. I grew up eating it and I’m so glad that my kids now love it too. 

When made right, cornmeal porridge is smooth with no lumps and perfectly sweetened and spiced. You’ll want to stick with traditional Jamaican flavors (allspice, cinnamon, and nutmeg) for the perfect balance of flavors. 

I’ve made this version with a can of coconut milk but you could also use dairy milk in its place, whichever you prefer. The only must-have ingredient for this recipe is fine cornmeal, which yields the smoothest and creamiest porridge. 

Be sure to try my green banana porridge too.

How to make Jamaican Cornmeal Porridge

First, add 2 1/2 cups water, 1 can of coconut milk to a 4 qt heavy-bottomed pot. Bring to a boil over medium-high heat. 

coconut milk and water boiling

Meanwhile, add 1 cup cornmeal and 1 1/2 cup water to a large mixing cup and whisk until smooth. This is how to avoid getting lumps in your cornmeal porridge. Please do not skip this step. 

Once the liquid in the pot begins to gently boil, whisk in cornmeal mixture and continue to whisk for about 1 minute, ensuring there are no lumps. Reduce heat to low and cover with a tight-fitting lid.

Cook over low heat for 15-20 minutes, stirring occasionally. When there are about 5 minutes left, stir in vanilla extract, cinnamon, nutmeg, and allspice.  

spiced being added to porridge

Remove from heat and stir in condensed milk to sweeten it.

condensed milk being puted into porridge

Serve and enjoy.

porridge with whisk stickign out

What is cornmeal?

Cornmeal is a meal ground from dried corn. You can find various grain sizes in the market. For this recipe, you want to make sure the label states “fine cornmeal.”

Are cornmeal and cornflour the same?

Although they come from the same type of grain, they are not the same. Corn flour is ground until it takes on a powder form. You want to make sure you’re using “fine yellow cornmeal” for this recipe.  

What do you serve cornmeal porridge with?

Typically, I eat this by itself. A bowl really fills you up. You can serve it with fruit, breakfast meat like bacon, and eggs on the side if you wish. 

What does cornmeal porridge taste like?

Cornmeal porridge has a smooth, creamy, and rich texture, similar to polenta. While polenta tends to be served savory, porridge has a sweet, nutty flavor and is usually spiced with cinnamon and nutmeg.

Additional Notes

  • The condensed milk does add a delicious flavor to the porridge. If you prefer to keep the recipe dairy free, you can either leave out the condensed milk and use sugar to sweeten or use sweetened condensed coconut milk.
  • I used a can of coconut milk in this recipe but regular dairy milk can be used instead. In fact, I grew up eating it made with regular dairy milk and it’s still delicious.

Looking for other Jamaican breakfast recipes? Try these out:

cornmeal porridge in bowl with spoon on side
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4.83 from 23 votes

Jamaican Cornmeal Porridge Recipe

Jamaican Cornmeal Porridge is smooth, creamy, and comforting. A popular breakfast dish in Jamaica, this porridge is the perfect recipe to start the day.
Course Breakfast
Cuisine Caribbean
Keyword cornmeal porridge, jamaican cornmeal porridge
Prep Time 10 minutes
Cook Time 20 minutes
Total Time 30 minutes
Servings 4 people
Calories 518kcal
Author Tanya

Ingredients

  • 4 cups water separated
  • 1 13.5 oz can coconut milk
  • 1 cup fine yellow cornmeal
  • 1 ½ teaspoon vanilla extract
  • ½ teaspoon ground cinnamon
  • 1/2 teaspoon ground nutmeg
  • ¼ teaspoon ground all-spice
  • 1/2 cup sweetened condensed milk or to taste

Instructions

  • Add 2 1/2 cups water, 1 can coconut milk to a 4 QT heavy bottomed pot. Bring to a boil over medium-high heat.
  • Meanwhile, add 1 cup cornmeal and 1 1/2 cup water to a large mixing cup and whisk until smooth.
  • Once the pot begins to boil, whisk in cornmeal mixture and continue to whisk for about 1 minute, ensuring there are no lumps. Reduce heat to low and cover with a tight fitting lid.
  • Cook over low heat for 15-20 minutes, stirring occasionally. When there is about 5 minutes left, stir in vanilla extract, cinnamon, nutmeg, and all-spice. Remove from heat and sweeten with condensed milk.
  • Serve and enjoy.

Notes

  • The condensed milk does add a delicious flavor to the porridge. If you prefer to keep the recipe dairy-free, you can either leave out the condensed milk and use sugar to sweeten or use sweetened condensed coconut milk.
  • I used a can of coconut milk in this recipe but regular dairy milk can be used instead.

Nutrition

Calories: 518kcal | Carbohydrates: 56g | Protein: 9g | Fat: 30g | Saturated Fat: 24g | Polyunsaturated Fat: 1g | Monounsaturated Fat: 3g | Cholesterol: 13mg | Sodium: 78mg | Potassium: 546mg | Fiber: 6g | Sugar: 25g | Vitamin A: 104IU | Vitamin C: 4mg | Calcium: 139mg | Iron: 3mg
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Recipe Rating




Steven

Sunday 21st of January 2024

I tried your recipe it was very good. I added a little milk to it after it finished to loosen it up a bit because it was a little thick.

Tanya

Monday 22nd of January 2024

Thanks Steven! So glad you liked it.

h

Sunday 3rd of December 2023

Is the 1/2 TSP of cinnamon and nutmeg correct? My porridge instantly turned brown.

Tanya

Monday 4th of December 2023

Hi, yes, those are the correct measurements.

Val

Wednesday 29th of November 2023

Thanks so much for this recipe. In haste (and smudged glasses 🫢😂) I grabbed the wrong sz spoon for the vanilla 1/2 T instead of 1/2 t… Don’t know how off from the original flavor it was but it was delicious anyway! I did use sweetened condensed coconut milk. First time making and having it even with a Jamaican mom 😊. Heard of cornmeal porridge from a coworker and so glad I found and tried your recipe.

Tanya

Friday 1st of December 2023

lol, you can never go wrong with too much vanilla. So happy you liked the recipe.

Jo

Tuesday 22nd of August 2023

I love this dish!! So warm and comforting!!! Great recipe. Thank you!

Tanya

Tuesday 22nd of August 2023

Thank you, Jo! So happy you like the recipe :)

Lay

Sunday 16th of July 2023

The lumps are the best part of the dish. I miss when my granny use to make it for me. The skin on the top when it cools and the lumps my favorite part.

Tanya

Monday 17th of July 2023

I agree Lay! That skin once it cools gives it a nice texture. I can't eat porridge when it's too hot, so I usually wait until a little skin forms. So good!