Have you ever made ugali? It’s a firm, corn-flour-based “bread” similar to polenta. I’ve tried making it in the past but I used grits or cornmeal which didn’t work well. You really need a corn flour. I don’t know why I didn’t think to do this before but I re-ground some cornmeal I had and tried it again. Voila!
Here’s how to make it. For a fanatic cook, this video is mesmerizing:
I was motivated to try it again after reading this Guardian article: Why Is The Staple Food Of Sub-Saharan Africa Ignored By The Rest Of The World?. No, actually, it wasn’t the article, it was their photo. That looks like the ultimate cornbread.
The article links the site, Congo Cookbook, which gives even more instructions, as well as some traditional perspective.
The cornmeal I’m using is made from whole corn; it includes the bran and germ. The grits and other corn products I used before were more processed; the bran and germ had been removed. Maybe this is why it tastes better this time around.
I’m doing this for the taste. But some other benefits:
- Corn that has been heated and allowed to set is an excellent source of resistant starch.
- It’s great for gluten-free diets.
I’ve covered studies and written about resistant starch for 10 years. Three things it’s known to lower risk of: colon cancer, diabetes, and blood pressure.
New Study: Africans’ Starch-Rich, Low-Fat Diet Protects From Colon Cancer
Native Africans Had Low Blood Pressure, Probably Due To Low Sodium, High Potassium Diet
Some Carbohydrates Lower Blood Glucose At Subsequent Meals – The Second Meal Effect