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.
1 cup all purpose flour
1/2 cup cornmeal
1 teaspoon sugar (granulated)
1 1/2 teaspoon baking powder
pinch of cinnamon
* 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!