How To Cook Soft Pap

Pap is a traditional South African dish made from maize meal and water. It is a staple food in many South African households, often served with a variety of stews, meats, or curries. The texture of pap can range from firm to soft and fluffy, depending on the cooking method used. In this article, we will guide you on how to cook soft and delicious pap that will complement any meal.


  • 2 cups maize meal
  • 4 cups water
  • 1 teaspoon salt


Step 1: Boil the Water

In a large pot, bring the 4 cups of water to a rolling boil.

Step 2: Add the Maize Meal

Slowly pour the maize meal into the boiling water while stirring continuously with a wooden spoon or whisk. This helps to prevent the formation of lumps.

Step 3: Stir and Simmer

Continue stirring the mixture until it thickens to a porridge-like consistency. Reduce the heat to low and let it simmer for approximately 30 minutes. Remember to stir occasionally to prevent the pap from sticking to the bottom of the pot.

How To Cook Soft Pap

Step 4: Steam the Pap

Once the pap has thickened, cover the pot with a lid and allow the pap to steam for an additional 10-15 minutes. This helps to further soften the texture and enhance the flavor.

Step 5: Serve and Enjoy

Remove the lid and fluff the pap with a fork to loosen the grains. Serve the soft pap alongside your favorite stews, meats, or curries. It can also be enjoyed as a breakfast dish with milk and sugar.


  • Use a whisk or wooden spoon to stir the pap to prevent lumps from forming.
  • Add more water if necessary during the cooking process to achieve the desired consistency.
  • For added flavor, you can stir in a knob of butter or a splash of milk before serving.
  • Leftover pap can be refrigerated and reheated the next day. Simply add a little water and heat it on the stove or in the microwave.


Cooking soft pap is a simple process that requires just a few basic ingredients and some patience. By following the steps outlined above, you can achieve a delicious and fluffy pap that will elevate your South African meals. Experiment with different spices and accompaniments to create your own unique variations of this beloved dish. Enjoy!