Mamaliga is considered to be the national dish of Romania, which refers to polenta balls stuffed with filling of salami. Yellow maize is used in the preparation of this dish. The dish is popular as cornmeal porridge, where the porridge is cooked until it becomes thick, divided into various balls, stuffed with smoked sausage or salami, sealed properly, deep fried and served hot. Feta cheese or hams can also be sued in place of salami in Mamaliga recipe. The dish is famous in various other countries, apart from Romania, which include Russia, Ukraine and Moldova. In Italian version, the cornmeal porridge is popularly known as polenta.
Mamaliga is considered to be a wonderful snack and appetizer and goes very well along with cocktails. Though the dish was considered to be a peasant food historically, it is now available in various upscale and reputed restaurants in its enhanced where butter, cheese and cornmeal are combined together so as to come up with unique and distinct polenta, which may also be made with mushrooms, cheese, sour cream, or eggs.
History of Mamaliga
Historically, the dish was regarded as peasant food and was commonly used in the form of staple food or as bread substitute in the rural regions. With time, the dish began to gain its popularity, which is now available in the reputed and finest restaurants in the form of a gourmet dish.
Mamaliga Recipe – Ingredients
The ingredients used in preparation of Mamaliga consist of yellow cornmeal, salt, water, butter, cheese and chopped smoked sausage, pepperoni or salami. A variation of Mamaliga involves using ham or feta cheese in place of smoked sausages or salami.
Mamaliga Recipe – Preparation
Preparing of Mamaliga is very easy and quick. Yellow cornmeal, salt and water are stirred together, boiled and cooked until a thick texture is obtained, to which butter, cheese and seasonings are added and the mixture is stirred well. With the help of cookie scoop, the balls of the prepared mix are portioned out, salami is added in the center, and the balls are sealed, rolled and deep fried in oil until they turn golden brown. Mamaliga is served hot with fresh herbs, sliced tomatoes and marinara dipping sauce.
Instead of the above described popular frying method of preparing Mamaliga, the dish can also be made by baking it in oven and garnishing it with scallions and bacon, before serving it with sour cream or tomato sauce.
Mamaliga Recipe – Serving
Cheese and sour cream are served commonly with Mamaliga, which are placed on the sides of the dish. Also, the dish can be served with hot milk, where Mamaligas are crushed and then put in hot milk. At times, Mamaliga’s slices are served in the form of corn pone by pan frying them in lard or oil.