Pork Chop and pap – Local is "lekker" here in South Africa!

SharePork Chop and Pap{pronounced : p-u-p, as in puppy) sounds like a very strange combination, doesn’t it. Well, not if you live here in South Africa. You see, “pap” is the staple food of  a very large portion of our population. In fact, people all over Africa live on “pap” but each region or culture has its own unique name for it, but here in the southern tip of Africa, it is called “ipapa”( Xhosa word), mieliepap or putu-pap!

Pap is enjoyed by all South Africans, whether they are black or white. There are some minor differences in the way people prefer it.
Some people like “stywe pap” (stif maize meal porridge), fine-grained, firm and smooth, some prefer it thick and almost a bit doughy and others swear by “krummel pap” also stiff, slightly drier, rough-grained, and crumbly.
For breakfast “mieliepap” is enjoyed in a more liquid and runny form, with milk, butter, cream and sugar. The stiff “mieliepap” (maize meal porridge) is traditionally eaten by hand, taking a peace from the three legged pot  and dipping it in a delicious sauce. The sauce is  called “shebu” and is made from a variety of green vegetables and chillies and sometimes peanuts are added. Chakalaka is another favorite here in South Africa, which is basically a very hot and spicy relish made from various vegetables, such as carrots, onions, cauliflower and some peppers.

These days, it is hard to imagine  a traditional South African “braai” (pronounced: bry as in dry) without a pot of pap and some chakalaka or tomato relish on the side. As we here in South Africa would say: “LEKKER!”
With only 52 days to go until the  2010 Fifa world Cup  kicks off here in South Africa, we are gearing up for the onslaught of  thousands of  visitors from all over the world. I feel it is my duty to introduce you to this popular term. “Lekker” (pronounced: lekk-irr or laquer) is our own unique word for Nice, good, great, cool or very tasty. So if someone offers you a tasty “Boerewors Roll”, you would respond with a very appreciative “Lekker!!”

A pork Chop and “pap” is “lekker! So let’s cook it together.Let’s start with the “pap”…

To make traditional “pap”  you need:

2-4 cups white mealie meal

Boil about 4 cups of water in a pot. ( I use a Dutch oven or a three legged pot if I cook outside) Now mix the mealie meal with some cold water until it is a thick paste, like wall paper glue. When the water in the pot reaches boiling point, add the salt and while stirring , slowly add the mealie meal paste to the boiling water. Continuous stirring prevent lumps from forming. Turn the heat right down, place the lid on and let the pot slowly bubble away while you prepare the tomato salsa and pork Chops.

Tomato Salsa

1 tin Pomodore Tomatoes
1 x 50 gr tomato paste
1 clove garlic – crushed
1 medium onion – chopped finely
2 tsp balsamic vinegar
1-2 tsp sugar
olive oil
125ml water
fresh coriander for serving

Heat oil in a small pot and saute the onions and garlic. Add the tomatoes all other ingredients and cook the sauce until it has a thick chunky consistence. While cooking, you can break down the tomatoes with the back of a fork. Keep aside.

Crumbed Pork Chops

Ingredients ( 6 pork loin Chops)

3 thick slices of white bread
2 big handfuls of fresh parsley
fresh thyme
3 tbsp freshly grated parmesan cheese
zest of 1 lemon
2 eggs – beaten

Place all the ingredients, except the eggs in a food processor and process until you have fine crumbs. Season the pork chops lightly with salt. Dip in the egg and then in the breadcrumbs. Repeat with all the chops and leave to rest  on a baking dish for about 30 minutes.  Preheat the oven to 180 C and when ready, place the pork chops in the oven for about 30-40 minutes. When golden brown and crispy, serve with steaming hot “pap” and tomato salsa. LEKKER!

Other pork Recipes that you might like:

Stuffed Pork Chops 

Pork neck – Braised with coriander and beer 

Pork Chops with Citrus salt

I am sending this recipe off to the most talented and great-source-of-inspiration -to-me, Meeta over at What’s for lunch, honey. She is hosting the Monthly Mingle and this month she chose South African food as her theme. I hope you will all join in, I cannot wait to see what everyone will make, especially the South Africans…come on ladies and gentlemen, make me proud!!