In Memory Of Karen Nicole Smith, 1972 - 2016

Everyday Cornmeal Dumplings.

This is one of those meals I like to refer to as being ‘country food’ from it’s rustic feel and simplicity. One of my favorite “bush cook” meals as a kid on the islands was corn meals dumplings with dasheen bush bhaji cooked in coconut milk, on the side. A meal which was guaranteed to give you the sleepies after devouring a huge plate. These corn meal dumplings are also excellent in those heavy soups we enjoy on the islands and if all fails, just top with a bit of butter and you’re good to go.

You’ll Need…

1 cup all purpose flour
1/2 cup cornmeal
1 teaspoon sugar (granulated)
1ย  1/2 teaspoon baking powder
pinch of cinnamon
lukewarm water

* The cinnamon and sugar is optional, but I assure you that it’s a great way to add some flavor to what would normally be a bland dumpling.

This is so simple you’ll be done in under 20 minutes. Add all the ingredients (except the water) to a bowl and give it a good whisk to mix everything. Then start add a bit of the luke warm water at a time and mix until you have a dough. The dough should be firm but soft. Knead for about 2-3 minutes then get ready to separate into dumplings.

Pinch off a piece (depends on how large you want your finished dumplings – remember they will swell as they boil), then shape like a small cigar. Now flatten out from the center, until you have a shaped dumpling.

All you have to do now is place them into a boiling pot of salted water (about 8 cups of water with 1/2 teaspoon salt) and cook for about 15 minutes . They will get bigger in size and float when they’re fully cooked.Drain and serve warm.

If you don’t have a topping for these, you can certainly toss it in some butter or olive oil and crack in some fresh black pepper. But you can also top these with saltfish buljol, Caribbean style stewed meats or any of the vegetarian type sides I’ve share on here in the past. Today I had some smoked herrings I did specifically for these corn meal dumplings and I can let you know that the ethnic fatigue did set in immediately after this lovely meal.

* If you’re wondering what a “bush cook” is… back in the days when we would go swimming at the river across the road from where I grew up, we’d usually have a pot bubbling away as we swam. I guess it could be compared to cooking in the wild as in North America when you go camping. Pot on 3 rocks over a wood flame.. food had a special taste. But cleaning that pot after was a job!

Before you go, donโ€™t forget to check out the latest cooking videos, connect with me on twitter and join our community on facebook. oh yea! leave me a comment below โ€“ itโ€™s appreciated.

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  1. Katherine Emerson
    May 2, 2020 / 1:31 pm

    Hi Chris ๐Ÿ™‚

    Love the vegetarian section – I’m a vegan. I just ignore the recipes that include meat in that section but you might want to edit it sometime since vegetarians & vegans don’t eat animals (though I think that vegetarians eat dairy and eggs).

    I’m in the midst of making one of your pigeon peas recipes and cornmeal dumplings. One suggestion I have is to include can sizes and whether the broth cubes you use are one cube per cup of water or three cups of water. Someone on the TVA FB page told me about your food blog and I’ve got it bookmarked now and have shared it with many other vegans ๐Ÿ™‚

  2. Lorna Marchan
    February 5, 2018 / 11:09 am

    Just wanted you to know that you can add to or use it instead of provisions with Buljol Saltfish. It would be great. Also, I do use baking powder in my dumplings. I realize it makes it softer.

  3. Hope B
    April 16, 2015 / 10:24 am

    Hi Chris,

    Thanks for this recipe. I just made this a couple of days ago to put in my soup. They came out perfect! just the way my parents made them.


  4. Gisela
    August 10, 2014 / 2:36 pm


    I just made these dumplings for the first time today, instead of smoked herring though I had my dumplings with tuna. I followed your dumpling recipe step by step, they were delicious! Thank you Chef!!

  5. Donna Marie
    December 3, 2013 / 6:44 am

    Hello there Chris!

    Greetings from the South Sea Islands, actually New Zealand.

    Love this cornmeal dumpling recipe. Thanks also for including a Vegetarian section on your website.

    Just a little reminder…. vegetarians don’t eat bacon or anything from animals or fish. And vegans the same, but they also don’t eat dairy foods. Trying to build a kinder world.

    God bless

  6. richard.
    October 23, 2013 / 11:18 am

    Good food…….makes me homesick……keep on doing it.

    best regards.

  7. Caryl
    October 10, 2013 / 3:21 pm

    I’m not from the islands so this cooking is new to me. I had bought some corn meal (forgot why) but I saw a Jamaican friend make cornmeal dumplings. Yours are a little different…..can’t wait to try them!

  8. Haydn
    May 25, 2013 / 6:15 am

    Hola, I´m sooooooo pleased I found your site as I looooove Caribbean cuisine, have you any recipes for the following – fried chicken dumplins / salt fish fritter´s ? also how to prepare Fried plantains these are quite difficult to find in my part of Spain ( Andalucia ) will be a regular from now on many thanks Haydn

  9. Sunita Mayers
    February 5, 2013 / 3:39 pm

    Awesome recipe thank you so much Chris for this one you did it again the corn meal add such a great flavourm and some heatlh benefit as well love it and the fact that I love dumplings makes this recipe more awesome

  10. B peters
    February 1, 2013 / 3:46 pm

    Thank you Chris love your cooking God bless

  11. Winnifred Poole
    January 28, 2013 / 4:13 pm

    Yes Chris I steamed my cornmeal dumpling its less sticky. But just as tasty as yours. As I said before Mmmmm .

  12. Marina St Rose
    December 29, 2012 / 10:08 am

    Hi Chris I was introduced to your channel by my daughter, ever since I cannot stay off your recipes. I am trying your curry chicken, can I use Turmeric instead of curry?

  13. Mel
    December 27, 2012 / 1:58 pm

    Greetings Chris…you have such a beautiful family…do you have a recipe for sweet potato pudding? I will be looking out for it….keep up the great job…happy New Year

  14. Joanne Tarplee
    December 13, 2012 / 5:40 pm

    i'm loving all these live video's , can taste the exotic recipes already..time for me to get experimenting…keep the video's coming please xx

  15. Sunita Ramdass
    December 8, 2012 / 7:24 pm

    Am going to try this all your recipes are great i have try some but yours look better hope everyone enjoying cooking cause i do . Its the Carribbean taste to go all the way.

  16. ramdassv
    December 8, 2012 / 7:13 pm

    Am going to try this all your recipes are delicious so far i try some but your one look s more tasty . A very good job you are doing please keep it up am enjoying cooking.

  17. Milly
    December 8, 2012 / 1:53 pm

    OMG……. I am so glad that a few hours ago this recipe came back on my Facebook page. In the country where I am born ( Surinam South America) the elderly use to cook soup and the dumplings were going in the soup. Especially if they didn't had green bananas (plátanos verde). I remember this and when I saw it the first time I didn't save it in my Word documents. So thank you so much for repeating some of your lovely recepies. Thank you so much for learning the world all about your wonderful island and food. GBU
    The Netherlands

    December 8, 2012 / 11:51 am


  19. Joanna
    December 8, 2012 / 11:12 am

    Thank You for your tradational recepies, it do bring back that grand ma used to make taste to my kitchen. It is a stress therapy relieve for me on FB to catch your cooking. Please do keep up the great work. Its Caribbean Flavors not lost but infused to us Caribbean living far away from home.

  20. Indrani Abdool
    December 8, 2012 / 10:15 am

    Looks Yummy !!! I am going to try this today with stew fish !!!

    • cinta
      March 4, 2013 / 1:56 am

      hi christ im from malaysia i am very interested in carribean food cooking i never taste any carribean food b4 and very happy to find this website….thanks a lot'''terima kasih

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