How to Make Pap from Botswana

A black bowl filled with Batswana pap

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Pap is a staple in Botswana. It is made from cornmeal and beef broth and is a base at most meals. Read on to find out how to make this authentic Batswana recipe!

One of my favorite memories from the blog so far has been the Angola cookoff that I had with Mama Foreign Fork. Do you remember? If you’ve stuck around for long enough to know what I’m talking about… thank you and I love you. 

Basically, Mama Foreign Fork and I made Funje from Angola, which is a staple dish from the country. Funje a mixture of cassava flour and water, and acts as a base for quite a few Angolan meals. Funje wasn’t my favorite dish on the planet, but the experience of cooking it was fun… and now I’m back for more. 

Botswana has a dish very similar to funje called Pap. Instead of being made out of cassava flour and water, though, Pap is made by mixing cornmeal and beef broth. Everything else about the dish is the same. 

Pap is one of the most authentic dishes you can make from Botswana. Click here for a culinary experience!

What is It?

Pap, also known as mieliepap, is a staple in Botswana. It acts as the base for many dishes because it’s inexpensive and filling. In fact, cornmeal (or maize meal) is so inexpensive in Botswana that it’s common to mix Pap with vegetables. This makes the dish heartier and adds more nutrients to it. The Batswana also add butter and sugar to their Pap in the morning and eat it as a kind of porridge to start their day. 

Tips for Making Pap

When making your Pap, make sure to serve it immediately, because it will stiffen as it cools. Also, be sure to use white cornmeal in place of yellow cornmeal if you can help it. The Batswana always use white cornmeal because it has a more roasted flavor, so that is the way to get the most authentic Pap. 

This dish is best served as a base for another classic Batswana dish, Seswaa. Click here for a link to a great Seswaa recipe.

Pap Pinterest Graphic

Did you have a fun time trying to make this dish? Did you love trying something authentic from another country? Be sure to check out this recipe for funje from Angola or this Pispili from Albania. If you’ve challenged yourself to your own culinary adventure, be sure to let me see photos on Facebook or Instagram by tagging @TheForeignFork and hashtagging #TheForeignFork. Thanks for stopping by! 

Pap (Botswana)

Pap is a staple in Botswana. It is made from cornmeal and beef broth and is a base at most meals. Read on to find out how to make this authentic Batswana recipe!

Course Side Dish
Cuisine botswana
Cook Time 15 minutes
Servings 6 servings


  • 1 cup white cornmeal
  • 1 quart beef broth


  1. Bring the beef broth to a boil in a large pot.
  2. Once the broth is boiling, use a whisk to stir in cornmeal slowly.
  3. Let simmer, stirring occasionally, for about 15 minutes until it thickens. You may need to transition to a wooden spoon as the pap continues to thicken.
  4. Make sure to serve immediately, because the pap will thicken as it cools.
  5. Leave a review telling me how your pap-making went!

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