Wednesday, August 31, 2011

Quick Indian Cornmeal Pudding...

For the past couple of weeks I’ve been really interested in making a Sioux Indian Cornmeal Pudding. Interestingly I’d never even heard of the dish until I stumbled upon a recipe earlier this month, that I found both strange yet fascinating. Such an odd blend of ingredients, and corn as pudding? I wasn’t sure how I felt about that, not to mention the breakfast angle. As I don’t generally consider corn to be a go-to breakfast food. Still, something inside me was dying to try this odd concoction. It seems to almost be a rule with me, that the stranger something sounds or looks, the more inclined I feel to eat it.

So since Monday was a ‘free-day’ I decided I would make it for breakfast when I got up. Unfortunately when I got up I wasn’t feeling very hungry. So as is typical for me, I went about my day as I normally would sans breakfast. Then at eleven the pangs of hunger hit me like a brick, completely out of the blue. I stopped what I was doing, pulled out my recipe and took it to the kitchen where I discovered that the pudding would take at least five minutes of assembly time, and then a further 30 minutes baking time. I likely wouldn’t be eating for another 40 minutes. I considered it for a second, but my stomach continued to roar furiously. I considered not making it at all, and felt disappointment.

So I did the next best thing. I collected all the ingredients I needed/wanted and made a quickie version on the stove top. It’s not exactly ‘traditional’ but then I’m not sure what ‘traditional’ really is when it comes to this recipe. In all of the recipes I’ve seen, the pudding is to be baked, but the ingredients do seem to vary, aside from milk, cornmeal, and a sweetener which is often Molasses but sometimes Maple Syrup. These recipes also all claim to be 100 years old or more. Yet I’ve also heard it said that true traditional Indian Corn Pudding - made before the Europeans began colonizing North America - was primarily a corn mush mixed with fresh berries. Just ground corn kernels, water, berries and perhaps maple syrup, because Native Americans/First Nations didn’t have milk or molasses. Who knows? Maybe both stories are right and the tradition changed over time with increased access to things like milk and molasses.

Anyway this is my quickie Indian inspired corn pudding. It turned out fantastic, so delicious, sweet and creamy with a thick consistency like oatmeal. Definitely a welcome change from the usual breakfast dishes. Traditionally this pudding is suppose to have currents, however I’m not the biggest fan of them so I decided to use a few different kinds of dried fruit instead. Honestly I think any dried fruit would taste good in here but berries in particular. Fresh fruit might taste good as well so play around with it. I also added seeds for that little extra something. You can add whatever seeds you have handy, or opt out, it’s up to you, but definitely give this pudding a try either for a hearty breakfast or a healthy dessert.

Quick Indian Cornmeal Pudding

1/3 C Corse Cornmeal or Polenta
1 C Vanilla Almond Milk
1 ½ tbsp Maple Syrup
1/4 tsp Cinnamon
1/8 tsp Cardamom
Pinch of Sea salt
Dried Goji berries
Dried Cranberries
Dried Cherries
1 tbsp Sesame Seeds
1 tsp Hemp Seeds

- Place small-medium sized pot on the stove over medium heat. Add milk, cinnamon, and cardamom. Stir to combine and bring to simmer.

- Pour in the Cornmeal and stir vigorously, add the maple syrup and stir to combine. Raise heat and bring to a boil. Stirring frequently so cornmeal doesn’t stick.

- Once boiling reduce heat to simmer on low, add a pinch of salt and continue stirring frequently until pudding is thick, soft and most of the liquid has been absorbed. 10-15 minutes.

- Spoon pudding into a serving bowl, top with dried fruits and seeds and enjoy.

*** Note- If the pudding is too thick or too dry for your liking you can add a splash more Vanilla Almond milk into your serving bowl and mix it in as you would add milk to oatmeal. ***

PS: I will definitely be making it the traditional way in the future as I am very curious/excited to see how it turns out. I’m thinking it might be a nice alternative to the usual Thanksgiving day desserts. A nice break from all those heavy, stomach bloating pies, and all those fat and sugar laden treats. We’ll see.


  1. Now this looks like something I will love, I am going to try it! I must tell you I was very busy today so for dinner I made your yummy wholewheat banana and hemp pancakes for dinner, who says you can't have breakfast for dinner..Denny's does it! Keep creating yummy dishes!!!! Thanks. ST

  2. Pudding... MEH! haha jk I believe this was 1 of the few dishes I haven't tried. Probably b/c I was at school at the time & you knew I wouldn't like it but the pics looks AWESOME. Makes me almost want to reconsider my stance on pudding. ;) - Matt