How to make the “life-saving” Pap from scratch

How to make the "life-saving" Pap from scratch

If you’re wondering How to make the “life-saving” Pap from scratch then take note of every details. Pap which is popularly known as akamu for the igbos and ogi for yorubas, is a fermented cereal pudding from Nigeria. It is made out of maize , sorghum or millet and in some cases, made from the mixture of the three.

Pap has been “saving lives” for ages because it is one of the easiest cereals to make. It has an obvious sour taste that makes people crave it the more. Since it is made from grains, be rest assured that it holds a great deal of vitamins, minerals and even carbohydrate if processed well.

We will be looking at the one method for pap processing which in turn, retains all its nutrients.

Pap is mostly made with dry yellow or white maize which gives the yellow or white color after the whole processing.

Let us look at the things needed to process our pap;

  1. 1kg dry yellow or white maize
  2. Water
  3. Chiffon cloth or scarf that’s wide enough.
  4. Big and small bowls.
  5. Blender
  6. Filter bags

Note that the above are only needed for maize processing into pap and any form of seasoning or spices should not come in contact with your maize at any point. Ensure that you only use dry maize because fresh maize does not form the kind of starch needed for pap. More so, make sure you maintain a great deal of hygiene while handling your maize.

Directions How to make the “life-saving” Pap from scratch

  1. Firstly, wash your dry maize thoroughly and soak in a great deal of water for 2 to 3 days. (At this stage, some kind of fermentation takes place so it is important that your medium for soaking the maize is air-tight)
  • During the above process, wash the corn daily and re-soak.
  • On the third day, wash the corn again and grind in a mill or use an efficient blender. Add water while blending the maize to make it really smooth and also aid the blades of your blender. (If the corn is not soft on the 3rd day, you can wash and re-soak for a 4th day. To check if the corn is soft enough, grab a grain or two and bite it in with your teeth to feel the texture)
  • Spread the chiffon cloth or scarf on the big bowl and tie tightly. Make sure that the bowl is big enough to contain both the pap and the water you would use to filter it.
  • Sit comfortably. Scoop the blended maize with a small bowl and pour into the big bowl that is covered with chiffon, sieve the mixture continuously while pouring little amounts of water until the chaff remains.
  • Do the above until you have successfully sieved all the maize blend and accumulated the chaff. If you still feel that pap is still left in the chaff, you can sieve the chaff again while still pouring minute amount of water.
  • After the whole sieving, remove the chiffon clothing and set the mixture of akamu and water aside for 3 hours.
  • Check the mixture again after 3 hours, you will notice that the water is clearer and the pap has settled below the bowl. Scoop out some of the clear water, making sure that you don’t stir the settled pap to mix with the water again. Pour the remaining mixture into the filter bag and tie carefully.
  • Keep the filter bag in such a way that the remaining water from the pap will seep out gradually.
  • Continue the above process continuously until every trace of water goes off. You can place a weight on the filter bag to aid the speed of water flow out of the bag.
  • Leave the filter bag filled with pap for 24 hours so that it will have the familiar sour taste. Do not refrigerate the pap during this process.
  • Finally take the semi-solid pap and cut into chunks for refridgeration until use.

However, there is another way of preserving pap just incase you do not have a refrigerator. This method simply involves preserving the pap in a bowl filled with water and changing its water every 24 hours so the pap does not lose its sour taste and nutrients.

When you want to make your pap, simply stir an amount of pap in a bowl until it becomes semi-liquid. Boil some water and ensure it is very hot before pouring it into the bowl of pap while stirring slowly until it forms into a thick pudding or paste.

Pap can be enjoyed with jollof beans, moin-moin, bean cake(akara), fried yam, fried potatoes and even puff-puff.

Note: Sugar and Milk can be used to make your pap tastier.

Health benefits of Pap

  1.  Source of proteins, carbohydrates and vitamins.
  2.  Regulates blood pressure.
  3.  Good source of energy.
  4.  Easy digestion.
  5.  Highly beneficial for nursing mothers.


Pap has indeed saved lives in more ways than one, it is still one of the easiest and fastest foods to make in Nigeria. The spontaneity of pap is the fact that it can be eaten with different kind of other meals and its tastiness cannot be overemphasized.

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