International Recipes and Cooking Around the World

Coo-Coo

Measuring cup with cornmeal

(Bajan cornmeal mush with okra)

Image © iStockphoto

4
Average: 4 (13 votes)

Coo-coo, or cou-cou, is one half of "coo-coo and flying fish," the Bajan national dish. This cornmeal porridge is similar to Italy's polenta or Africa's fufu and ugali. Okra goes by the name "ochro" on Barbados.

4 to 6 servings

Ingredients

  • Okra, destemmed and cut into 1/2-inch rounds -- 1/2 pound
  • Water -- 3 cups
  • Salt -- to taste
  • Cornmeal -- 1 cup
  • Butter -- 1 tablespoon

Method

  1. Place the okra, water and salt to season in a large, heavy-bottomed saucepan. Bring to a boil over high heat, reduce heat to low and simmer until okra is just tender, about 8 to 10 minutes.
  2. Using a wooden spoon or spatula, stir the cornmeal into the simmering water in a slow steady stream, stirring constantly to avoid lumps. Continue to stir until the mush thickens and begins to pull away from the sides of the saucepan, about 5 to 7 minutes.
  3. Pour the mush into an oiled round bowl large enough to hold it all. Let set for a few minutes, then invert this bowl onto a serving platter or bowl. This gives it a nice rounded presentation. Brush the top with butter and serve with steamed flying fish or stews.

Coo-Coo Variations

  • Use chicken stock in place of the water for more flavor if you like.
  • This dish is sometimes made with cassava flour.

You Might Also Like

Ugali

Ugali (East African cornmeal mush)

(African cornmeal mush)

Ceebu Jen

Ceebu Jen (Senegalese fish with rice and vegetables)

(Senegalese fish with rice and vegetables)