Mais Moulin

Mais Moulin is a staple in Haiti. The warming and filling corn porridge reminds me of polenta, but with a Caribbean flair as it is made with coconut milk. I had it served with an array of meats, but when I learned the recipe it was served with Poisson Gwo-Sel. It was prepared by Rose Marie Paul during the 2013 Ghetto Biennial


1 cup oil

3 slender leek tops

1 coconut, meat extracted and finely shredded

3 cups polenta style cornmeal

3T rock salt


Heat oil in a large pot. When hot, add leek tops and fry until golden. Add one cup of water to deglaze. Make coconut water by adding 2 cups of water to the shredded coconut, massaging the meat to extract as much milk as possible. Strain into the pot through a fine mesh screen, squeezing the meat to extract as much liquid as possible. Repeat this process three more times. Cover the pot and bring to a boil.

Wash polenta with fresh water by swirling it around in fresh water. Drain, reserving one cup of starch water. Add both the polenta, reserved starch water and rock salt to the boiling coconut water, stirring so that the polenta does not get lumpy. Cover, and simmer for about 40 minutes, stirring occasionally. The Mais Moulin is ready when it is tender with a porridge like consistency.

A blind elder sits with us as we prepare Mais Moulin as a pop-up meal during the 2013 Ghetto Biennial. She savored the smells during the preparation and enjoyed a hearty bowl as we finished.

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