Polenta / Mămăligă / Puliszka

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Posted By: Dan Petra
Posted In:  Traditional Recipes
Page Views:  3068 views
Preparation Time:  5 minutes
Cooking Time:  10 minutes

Other Info

servings: 6-10





6 ½ c


1 ½ L

2 Tbs

butter (optional)

2 Tbs

½ Tbs


½ Tbs

1 lb


500 g


1.  In a large pot, bring the water, butter (if using it) and salt to a boil over a medium flame.         

2.  As the water is boiling, begin adding a handful of cornmeal at a time. Stir continually so that the cornmeal will not clump or stick to the bottom of the pot.                                                                             

3.  When the Mămăligă has become quite thick and it is bubbling, test for doneness by dropping a spoonful of it onto a plate. If it holds its shape fairly well, the Mămăligă is ready (you can also taste it to see if it’s done).                                           

4.  If needed adjust seasoning and serve this dish immediately as it is best when fresh.


Notes: This classic Romanian dish is served plain with anything. It is also quite popular to garnish it with grated brânză, sour cream, a sunny-side up or poached egg. You can also serve it with garlic-Mujdei (Garlic Paste)*. Some other variations include Cheese-filled Mămăligă: Place half of the cooked Mămăligă in a lightly greased baking dish. Spread out the Mămăligă to cover the bottom of the pan. Generously sprinkle with a meltable cheese or with cheese slices. Cover the cheese with the remaining Mămăligă, cover, and let it sit until the cheese melts (about 3 minutes).             Fried Mămăligă Slices:  Once the Mămăligă has cooled, slice and fry the Mămăligă in hot oil until browned and somewhat crispy. Serve hot with jam, honey or syrup. Mămăligă-Veggie Mix:  Once the water has boiled, try adding cooked vegetables (mushrooms, tomatoes, spinach, garlic, etc) just before adding the Mămăligă. Cook as directed above and stir in grated cheese.  Mămăligă Lasagna:  Use the recipe for Make-Do Lasagna** from this book but substitute Mămăligă for the noodles.  Note that you will have to add some extra water to make the Mămăligă thinner in consistency for spreading. Spread one layer on the bottom of the pan, followed by cheese, sauce, and other ingredients. Use a spoon coated in oil to add the top layer and sprinkle with extra cheese if desired. Bake as directed. It will rise a little while cooking. Mămăligă Porridge: It’s a bit untraditional, but you can also reduce the salt, replace the water with milk and serve it with honey, fruit and nuts for breakfast!


References: *See the Mujdei recipe. **See the Make-Do Lasagna recipe.

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