Cameroon – Corn Cake (Tenue Millitaire or Macabo Leaf Corn Cake)
by Nghonazie Annabel
Corn cake or tenue millitaire/macabo leaf corn cake is a kind of ‘’cake’’ which is gotten from corn paste either fresh or corn flour and vegetables like soft fresh macabo leaves mixed together and cooked. This is called corn cake because back in the days grandmothers use to say it’s not only the cake that are sold in boulangeries and bakeries that are considered as cake. They proved modern cake wrong by producing their own kind of cake with corn and macabo leaves. It is as well-known as “the grandmothers cake” because some grandmothers will prefer to eat this rather than eating the common cake which to them is sugary and with a lot of wheat flour which can cause yeast cell . This dish is a typical delicacy of the people of Bayangam in the west region of Cameroon. It is always present in occasions in this locality especially at funeral ceremonies. It is also a good snacks for pupils and students as they often put this cake in their backs so as to eat during lunch. Corn cake is also called tenue millitaire because of the mixture of the macabo leaves in the corn paste that gives a cool military outfit color. Corn cake is cheap to prepare so most people especially in the villages of the west region likes preparing it and some even raise income from selling corn cake.
Corn cake is prepared by prolong steaming. It is cooked for up to 6 hours or more so as to avoid the itchy effect of the macabo leaves in the throat.
- Fresh soft macabo leaves.
- Fresh corn paste or dry corn flour
- Crayfish or njanjan motor commonly known as “die no cover eye”
- 1 liter of palm oil
- Fresh hot pepper
- Banana leaves.
- Harvest fresh banana leaves, warm them and wipe with a wet kitchen towel and keep
- Wash the fresh soft macabo leaves and cut them out neatly, put in a drainer and allow to drain
- Ground the fresh corn to form a paste
- Put in a bowl and mix well, add small quantity of water and mix well making sure it is homogenous
- Add the palm oil, crayfish or die no cover eye, ground pepper to the mixed paste. Use a wooden spoon to mix in all these ingredients until it is homogenous
- Add maggi and salt mix well and lastly add the cut macabo leaves and mix
- When the mixture is ok, scoop out a desired quantity of the mixture and put on the banana leaves and rap
- Line the bottom of a pot with a flat stainless steel plate or steaks and pour water in it
- Place the rapped mixture into the pot carefully and make sure water does not enter the mixture
- Carry the pot to a hot charcoal fire side and allow to cook for 6 hours. Open the pot time by time to check the water quantity. If the water gets dry, add it carefully
- When it’s ready, remove and put in a flask since it is nice when hot
Corn cake is ready.
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