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Fungi (pronounced FOON-ji) is a cooked cornmeal paste, similar to Italian polenta.
Before serving, the paste is formed into little balls (about 2 inches
Fungi is eaten in many parts of Antigua. It is usually accompanied by
a dish of mashed vegetables and a sauce of salted cod-fish, tomatoes, garlic
Fungi requires very simple ingredients. Nevertheless, making it can prove to be a challenge for even the most experienced cooks.
There are several variations of fungi. Sugar or vegetables can be added to the
mixture to change the taste and texture of the final product.
In addition, fungi balls can be sliced and fried for a delicious breakfast!
How to Make Fungi:
1 Cup of Cornmeal
5 Cups of water for cooking
Butter or Olive oil
Before beginning to cook, the chef must fashion or buy a
"fungi-stick." This is an implement that looks like a small
cricket bat. See the image below.
1. Moisten the cornmeal completely with as much water
There should be no pockets of dry cornmeal, but the mixture
should not be extremely wet.
2. Bring 2 cups of water to a boil in a large pot.
When my mother makes this, she uses an iron pot.
Nevertheless, I highly recommend using
3. Pour the cornmeal paste into the pot.
4. Bring the mixture to a boil, and then reduce the heat
to low. Cover the paste and let it cook for about 5
5. Now uncover the pot and stir the paste until it
becomes very thick.
Warning! stirring will become increasingly difficult
and dangerous as the cornmeal thickens.
6. Add enough water so that the mixture in the pot becomes
liquid. Repeat steps 4-6 five times.
after about 30 minutes, the cornmeal will be cooked.
7. Do not add any more water. Continue stirring the mixture,
making sure to smoosh the paste against the sides of the pot.
Your arm will be in lots of pain at this point from the
splashes of hot cornmeal and the exertion, but do not stop.
If you do not stir well, you will have lumpy fungi.
8. Once the fungi is more solid than pastey, but still soft, you
can turn off the fire.
9. Put a pat of butter or a teaspoon of olive oil in a bowl.
10. Remove some fungi and drop it into the bowl. Swirl the fungi
around in the bowl until it forms a ball. Repeat with the rest of
At this point, if you are like me, you will be fed up with making any
traditional Antiguan food, and you will just open a can of chile and
eat that with the fungi.
Thanks to my mom, Dorothea for the recipe. I hope I got it right!
Two Cricket Bats