Tue. Sep 29th, 2020

Traditional South African Comfort Food: Putu Pap and Livers

This recipe is for all the liver lovers out there. Served with a hearty helping of pap, you wont be disappointed.

traditional south african comfort food putu pap and livers - Traditional South African Comfort Food: Putu Pap and Livers

If you love liver, you have to try this dish. It is packed full of flavour and served with stir fired vegetables.

It is quite common for the maize meal to form a crust at the bottom of the pot. The crust is delicious served warm with a slathering of butter, yummy!

Putu Pap and Livers Recipe

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Recipe by Irene MullerCourse: DinnerCuisine: South AfricanDifficulty: Easy

Prep time



Cooking time



Total time



Make this hearty and delicious putu pap and livers with stir fried vegetables.

Ingredients – PAP

  • 2 ½ cups boiling water

  • 1 teaspoon salt

  • 2 cups maize meal

  • a knob of butter

  • 250 g ox liver, cleaned, sliced thinly and dusted with seasoned flour (maize meal can be used) 

  • 250 g bacon strips, chopped

  • 1/2 of each, red or yellow and green pepper, chopped

  • 1 red onion, chopped

  • 1 brown onion, chopped

  • 1 tablespoon dried herbs of your choice

  • 1 tablespoon of vegetable stock mixed in 1 cup of water

  • butter

  • 4 tablespoons oil

  • salt and black pepper

  • 1/2 a glass of red wine (optional) 

  • 5 spring onions, chopped before serving

  • parsley, chopped before serving

Method – PAP

  • Pour boiling water and salt into the saucepan with a thick base and lid. Bring to the boil. 
  • Add the maize meal to the boiling water and leave it just as it is. Close the lid without stirring.
  • Reduce heat and simmer gently for 5 minutes.
  • Remove lid and stir well with a large kitchen fork.
  • Replace lid, reduce heat even more and steam for about half an hour or until done, but be careful not to burn it.
  • Fluff with a fork or wooden spoon a few times during cooking. Set aside.

  • In a large frying pan, add a knob of butter, when melted stir-fry the onions until light golden brown, add the peppers and herbs, sauté the vegetables until cooked but still firm. 
  • In a skillet or frying pan add a knob of butter and a little oil, that will help not to burn. It is important that the oil and butter is heated in the pan before food is placed in the pan
  • Fry the bacon pieces until golden brown, remove and set aside in a dish to use later.
  • Add more butter and oil if needed, add the well-coated liver and fry until crispy and golden brown on both sides. Set aside with the bacon.
  • To the same frying pan, you add the stock and let it simmer for at least 15 minutes on medium heat.  When the sauce has reduced a little, add the liver, bacon and red wine, let it simmer on reduced heat for another few minutes. 
  • While this dish is simmering, heat the vegetables in the frying pan again, when heated fold into the Putu pap. Remove the liver from the heat, add the chopped spring onions and parsley just before serving. Season with black pepper. 

Recipe Video


  • TIP: Pan-frying is like sautéing except that a little more oil or fat/butter is used and since the process requires more time than sautéing, the food that is cooked does not have to be as thin.

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