Pimento Grain

the recipes of a nomadic Jamaican

Jamaican Cornmeal Porridge

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This morning a Facebook friend shared what he was having for breakfast and it awakened an intense longing for a couple of the delights of my youth – bits of hard dough(hardo) bread broken into a hot bowl of  cornmeal porridge and the simple pleasure of a tough water cracker, also known as a granny cracker, dipped in hot chocolate tea. I had all the ingredients for porridge on hand so one of my desires was fulfilled; perhaps Amazon can help with the other one as soon as I get over the fear of ordering stale crackers online.

Jamaican cornmeal porridge wit

Garnished with cracked pimento and a strip of sourdough toast to sop it up.

1. Bring to a boil then turn on medium-low heat

4 cups water

2 whole pimento (allspice) grains

1 cinnamon stick (cinnamon bark)

1 cinnamon leaf, crushed but not broken

2. Mix together in a small bowl

1 cup refined cornmeal

2 cups water, at room temperature

 3. Slowly add cornmeal mixture to simmering water, whisking gently.

4. Continue to whisk for 3-5 minutes after all cornmeal has been added, ensuring there are no lumps.

5. Cover and let simmer for 15 minutes, whisking every 5 minutes to ensure no lumps are forming.

6. Add

1/2 cup whole milk

1/2 cup coconut cream

1/2 tsp nutmeg

1/2 tsp cinnamon

7. Mix well. Let porridge remain on lowest heat for an additional 5 minutes.

8. Sweeten with

1/4 cup agave syrup

Serves four.

Jamaican cornmeal porridge with hard dough bread

Good morning!


  • Sweeten to your desired taste, 1/4 cup agave will make a less sweet porridge than most Jamaicans are used to. You can use brown turbinado or Demerara sugar, even honey instead of agave. The common Jamaican way is to use sweetened condensed milk so there is usually no need for an added sweetener.
  • Porridge is excellent cold so refrigerate any leftovers for dessert in the evening. As I write this, I am eating a small bowl of cold cornmeal porridge with huckleberry honey drizzled all over it.




  1. Never had cold porridge and might try that option. Might.

    As far as ordering online and fearing stale crackers, try http://www.sams247.com
    Check FB under Sam ‘ s Caribbean Marketplace. I used to shop in the store from its earliest days. They should deliver fresh products

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