Moldovan Polenta - Mamaliga

Moldovan Polenta - Mamaliga

I called it Moldovan because of the different way it is served - this is how it's done back at home. It's turned upside down on a plate or wooden board, it's round in shape and it must be cut with a string, see the steps below. You can shape it and eat with feta cheese, you can eat by hand or dip in all sorts of things - roasted meat, creamy scrambled eggs, telemea (Romanian cheese) and sour cream, fried fish and garlic sauce ... crazy!

In Romania I learned to make softer polenta, with a ratio of 1:3 corn to water. It's a bit more liquid and doesn't stand firm. This one has a ratio of 1:2 cornmeal to water, so try and see how you like it. Either way, it's very good.


Yellow cornmeal
1 cup
2 cups
0.5 tsp
optionally, 1 tablespoon of butter

Step by step

Step 1

Nota bene. This polenta from the pictures was made in a large Dutch oven, from three cups of corn and six of water, for five or six people who like to eat :) I will give you the basic recipe and you adjust the ratio according to your pot size and the number of people.

So, pour the water into a pot, add salt and bring to the boil. Sprinkle with a tablespoon of corn on top.


Moldovan Polenta - Mamaliga - Step 1
Step 2

When it comes to the boil, add the cornmeal, mixing thoroughly at the same time. Use a whisk or a spoon, in the worst case, we don't want it to get lumpy.

Moldovan Polenta - Mamaliga - Step 2
Step 3

I recommend using the whisk, this way your polenta will surely be lump-free. It was a breakthrough for my mother, who believed in the spoon, but struggled with it.

So, let boil over medium heat, stirring periodically with the whisk for about three or four minutes, after which it starts to thicken and you can no longer use it.

Moldovan Polenta - Mamaliga - Step 3
Step 4

And now enters the stage the wooden pot stirrer. While it's boiling over low heat (about ten minutes or so), polenta must be mixed periodically with a large stirrer, preferably made from wood.

That's because it's very thick and other utensils may not be able to cope. Oh, yes, it also works with a rolling pin.

Moldovan Polenta - Mamaliga - Step 4
Step 5

So let boil, thick as it is, over low heat for about ten minutes.

Moldovan Polenta - Mamaliga - Step 5
Step 6

After this time, stir once more, then press well on top with a spoon, harder on the edges.

You can brush the top with a little butter to prevent forming a skin and smooth out. Leave over low heat for another five minutes.

Moldovan Polenta - Mamaliga - Step 6
Step 7

Flip the pot upside down on a plate or wooden board. Shake well to help polenta get out. You may not succeed at first, but when you see it so round and beautiful, you'll be proud of yourself.

In the pot where we cooked it, we usually pour milk with a little salt and bring to the boil. Then, we scrape polenta off the walls of the pot and here is the dessert - polenta milk.

Moldovan Polenta - Mamaliga - Step 7
Step 8

And quickly put it on the table. Use a string to cut it. The knife won't come out clean and will be difficult to handle.

Don't forget to prepare everything else you need while polenta is boiling - cheese and cream, scrambled eggs, pork cracklings, Romanian tochitura, fried fish with garlic sauce, sour soup - there are plenty of choices :) It's good even with jam.

Moldovan Polenta - Mamaliga - Step 8
Step 9

These are the leftovers ... really, really good!


Moldovan Polenta - Mamaliga - Step 9
Quantity: 1 kg
Prep time: 10 min
Difficulty: easy
Ready in: 30 min
Publish date:

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