Bajan Cou Cou
Caribbean style polenta uses okra to bind the cornmeal. This savory cornmeal porridge is a gluten free side dish to any meal!
The most popular savory cornmeal porridge in America is Italian polenta. However, many other countries have versions of savory grain based porridge.
In South Africa, it’s called Pap. In the Dutch Caribbean where my mother is from, we call it Funchi. Cooked with okra, it is called Fungee in Antigua and Coo-Coo (other times spelled Cou-Cou) in Barbados. With bacon and beans in Aruba, it is called Tutu. In Barbados, it is one part of the national dish of Flying Fish & Coo-Coo. Other African versions include ugali or sadsa.
Even if not with flying fish, Bajan Cou Cou and all it’s variations in the Caribbean is usally served with fish. Enjoy Dinnertime…Caribbean Style…with this Bajan Coo & Caribbean Stew Fish.
Cornmeal is something we use a lot in Caribbean cuisine – everything from beverages to breakfast porridge to desserts to breading for fried foods. Anything made with cornmeal makes me an instant fan.
Today, I am showing you another Caribbean cornmeal specialty. I am sure you will end up loving Bajan Cou Cou – Caribbean Polenta as much as I do!
Okra’s gelatinous nature binds the cornmeal in the same way cheese does in the Italian version. Obviously, if you are one of those who despise that gelatinous nature of okra, this isn’t the dish for you, but for the okra lovers out there…
The end result is a sticky porridge that’s the perfect vehicle to soak up lots of delicious gravy in things like the Caribbean Fish Stew referenced above.
We usually end it off with a pat of butter to melt into it, however if you want to keep the dish Vegan, you can omit this step or use vegan butter.
Bajan Cou Cou
- 12 thinly sliced okra
- 3 1/2 cups water
- 1 cup cornmeal
- 1 teaspoon salt
- 1 tablespoon butter
- In a large pot, bring 2 cups of water and salt to a boil.
- Add okra and cook for 8 minutes.
- In a small bowl, combine 1 cup water and cornmeal and stir until smooth.
- Add to pot slowly, stirring constantly. Add remaining water and continue to stir.
- Reduce heat to low and cook, stirring constantly for about 5 minutes, until thickened.
- Spoon some of the mixture into greased ramekins or bowls for individual servings.
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Now I know you want to try some more Caribbean food! Check out my collection with over 80 Caribbean Recipes from the Caribbean diaspora!
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