By fresh mielies I mean the real deal, not sweet corn……..
Where does one buy fresh mielies these days? From the street vendors or at the fresh fruit and vegetable markets?
Being from the Eastern Cape, there is never a shortage of fresh mielies there. Almost every other street vendor is selling them. Boiled, braaied or fresh. In Joburg, it’s easy to find them from the side of the road. Here in Cape Town it is such a hassle to find fresh mielies. Don’t be surprised to be pointed to sweet corn when you are looking for fresh mielies. I personally do not understand this, why aren’t fresh mielies available at your major retail stores? When I was in Queenstown I bought fresh mielies and brought them to Cape Town with me. That alone makes me wonder, why do I have to travel 900 km to get these white mielies?
There’s so many ways one can enjoy them; the ladies in the townships sell them boiled and braaied. I was in Khayelitsha yesterday and some street vendors were selling braaied mielies, the yellow ones. Boiled mielies are good with just Aromat and some people also add a bit of butter. One can also grill the mielies or use them to prepare soups and dishes such as Umxhaxha. Mealies also make for a good salad ingredient one can also make a Yummy Mealie Bread. Last week I prepared a Corn Frittata for my column in the Cape Times using one of these white mielies.
Back in the day, women in the rural areas used to remove the corn from the cob then crush them with a pestle and mortar. I decided togrind them using a food processor. The resulting ground maize was coarser than the maize meal that we know and it was also a bit wet. I decided on fritters because having the wet ground mielies means I don’t have to use wet ingredients (e.g. eggs, milk) in my recipe. The pickled piquante peppers used in the recipe give it a beautiful orangey colour. Serving the fritters with Chutney just compliments the dish. These fritters can be served as a snack, as part of a finger lunch or a starter. Hope you find some mielies (again, not sweet corn) and get to try out the recipe! Please let me know how it goes!
Crushed Mielies, Piquante Peppers and Mozzarella Fritters
375ml (1½cup) ground mealies
½ onion, finely chopped
Few sprigs of thyme, chopped
a handful of piquant peppers, chopped
3 tablespoons grated mozzarella cheese
salt and freshly ground pepper to taste
Looking for a nice and yummy way to exercise your jaws and cheeks? I’ve got just the thing for you…..
I’ve always seen this mealie snack eaten at funerals when people are coming back from the grave yard. The procedure is to wash the hands and then help yourself to a handful right before the food is served. Due to the fact that I’ve only seen it being eaten at funerals I’ve always assumed it’s just for funerals until recently. At a funeral I attended late last year, I was sitting next to a gentleman who was going on about how much he was looking forward to having his handful of Inkobe after the ceremony. This made me wonder why people don’t make it up at home if they like it so much, I mean why wait for a funeral. It’s crazy. LOL!
I started to ask questions such as why is it only consumed at funerals and initiations? Has it always been like that? Can one just make it up at home and consume while watching TV or something? My senior citizens helped in clearing up some of these questions for me. Yes they can be consumed at any given time as a snack. No one could answer the question why it’s consumed at funerals and initiation ceremonies, they just say its tradition. Ok I’ll leave it at that and we’ll just have to continue with the tradition.
Let’s face it though….people love having the mealie snack at funerals some even look forward to having them. I mean if that’s the case why don’t we snack on them at home or serve them at a party. For instance we usually have peanuts, chips etc. served at parties…Why not have your mealie snack among them? After all the chewing is a very good exercise for your face haha! They are quite chewy….a nice kind of chewy! I made them up and added some peri-peri for that extra zing…..hope you enjoy it! Happy Snacking!
Please Note: Xhosa’s call it Inkobe. The Sotho version is cooked in water and roasted then referred to as Sebera. Now, let’s have a look at the recipe…..
Mealie Snack Recipe
500ml (2 cups) dried mealie kernels
2 -2.5L water
10ml (2tsp) butter
1. Soak the mealie kernels in water overnight, to shorten the cooking time.
2. Throw out the soaking water and add mealies and the 2L water in a saucepan.
3. Cook until tender and add more water if necessary.
4. For a Sotho version~Sebera: Roast the cooked mealie kernels in a saucepan.
5. Add seasoning and serve.