Mămăligă is a cornmeal porridge, popular in Romania, that is baked into a loaf and sliced like bread.
This dish can be served as a side dish, forming a sturdy base for stews made with mutton, pork or chicken. It’s also a commonly served with cheese, sour cream, fried eggs or pickled vegetables.
Origin & Cultural Significance
Corn was introduced to Romania from Europe in the late medieval period, estimated to be around the 15th century.
Initially for the lower classes, Mămăligă was initially considered a peasant dish which could replace bread, however it has become popular with all classes over time.
Mămăligă was especially popular in rural areas where corn thrived and was easily available.
You can find Mămăligă in other Eastern European countries, for instance, in Moldova, Mămăligă is often cooked softer and served with cheese or cream, and in Transylvania, Mamaliga is often served as a replacement for bread.
A similar dish is Italian polenta, which is also made with cornmeal.
- Yellow cornmeal - 1 cup
- Water - 4 cups
- Salt - 1 tsp
- Butter - 1 tbsp
- Sour Cream - to serve
- In a large, heavy-bottomed pot, bring the water to a boil.
- Add the butter and allow it to melt.
- Slowly pour the cornmeal into the boiling water, stirring continuously to prevent lumps.
- Reduce the heat to low and continue stirring as the mixture thickens. Add salt to taste.
- Continue cooking and stirring for about 20-30 minutes, or until the Mamaliga pulls away from the sides of the pot and becomes dense.
- Once done, remove the pot from the heat.
- To serve, either shape the Mamaliga into a mound on a plate or cut it into slices. It should have a firm texture that holds its shape.
Nutrition Information:Yield: 2 Serving Size: 1
Amount Per Serving: Calories: 284Total Fat: 9gSaturated Fat: 5gTrans Fat: 0gUnsaturated Fat: 4gCholesterol: 19mgSodium: 1251mgCarbohydrates: 47gFiber: 4gSugar: 1gProtein: 5g
Nutrition is provided and calculated by Nutritionix. It is for general information purposes and is only a rough estimation.