Mayi ak djon djon, also known as polenta/cornmeal with djon-djon or mais moulu avec djon djon, is a popular dish in Haiti. The dish is made with cornmeal, water, and the djon-djon mushroom, which gives it its distinctive dark color.
Mayi ak djon djon is often served with stewed meat or fish. It can also be eaten on its own. The dish is a hearty and flavorful meal that is perfect for a cold day.
What is Djon DJon Mushroom?
The djon-djon mushroom is a type of truffle that is found in Haiti. It has a strong, earthy flavor that pairs well with the cornmeal. The mushrooms are typically dried and then ground into a powder. The powder is then added to the cornmeal and water mixture, and the dish is cooked until it is thick and creamy.
You can learn more about this by clicking on the link “What is Djon Djon” to show the different forms that the mushroom is sold. Djon Djon is sold in its natural form (dried) and in cubes, called djon djon Maggi.
When cooking with cubed djon djon, more than one cube is required for 1 cup of djon djon rice or polenta if you want to have that distinctive color. The dish will still be dark in color, but the shade will be much lighter than cooking with the dried djon djon itself. You may even mix the two for a more distinctive taste if preferred.
Djon-djon mushrooms are not cheap and can be difficult to find. They are specialty item that is typically found in Haitian markets or online. If you live in an area with a large Haitian community, you may be able to find them at a local grocery store.
The price of djon-djon mushrooms can vary depending on the source. They typically cost between $5 and $20 per ounce. If you buy them online, you may also have to pay for shipping.
If you are unable to find djon-djon mushrooms, you can substitute another type of mushroom. Shiitake mushrooms are a good option, as they have a similar earthy flavor. You can also use porcini mushrooms or cremini mushrooms.
Here are some tips for finding and using djon-djon mushrooms:
- If you are buying djon-djon mushrooms online, make sure to buy from a reputable source.
- When you receive your djon-djon mushrooms, store them in an airtight container in a cool, dark place.
- To use djon-djon mushrooms, grind them into a powder. You can do this in a blender or food processor.
- Add the djon-djon powder to your favorite recipes. They are a great addition to soups, stews, and sauces.
The ingredients you will need
- Olive oil
- Garlic Cloves
- Fresh Parsley
- White Onion
- Whole Cloves
- Salt and more as needed
- Djon Djon mushrooms water – made with 2 – 3 cups of djon djon dried mushroom
- Cornmeal, coarse or fine: coarse will take longer to cook.
- Black pepper to taste
- flaxseed meal – optional: this ingredient helps to keep the cornmeal soft even after reheating.
How to make this djon djon recipe with cornmeal
As with all mushrooms, you must add spices for the dish to taste better. Mushroom only needs the basic spices, garlic, parsley, thyme, black pepper, salt, and a touch of hot pepper if preferred to obtain that ultimate flavor. These spices are always the same when cooking rice or polenta (cornmeal). Adding chicken broth, vegetable broth, or a mixed dried salty spice is not uncommon. It is all about preferences.
One very neat tip I want to share, and I believe I have shared it before, is adding ground Flaxseed to polenta (cornmeal). Flaxseed is healthy for you and keeps the polenta or cornmeal very soft when cold because of its elasticity ability.
When a dish of polenta or cornmeal is not hot, it becomes a bit hard and somewhat similar to the consistency of a cake; the texture is no longer soft or a bit runny. Adding ground flaxseed will make the consistency moist, soft, and enjoyable even after a few hours. You will only need to reheat it for a minute or two before enjoying your polenta or cornmeal dish.
Notes and Tips
Here are some additional details about mayi ak djon djon:
- The dish is typically made with white cornmeal but can also be made with yellow cornmeal.
- The djon-djon mushroom can be found in specialty stores or online.
- The dish can be made in a pot on the stovetop or a slow cooker. You will need to keep adding water until it is fully cooked.
- Mayi ak djon djon is a versatile dish that can be served with a variety of different side dishes.
- You can use chicken or vegetable bouillon cubes for a richer flavor.
- If you don’t have djon djon powder, you can substitute another type of mushroom powder, such as shiitake or porcini.
- You can also add other vegetables to the dish, such as carrots, or celery.
- To make the dish ahead of time, cook it according to the instructions and then let it cool completely. Store it in an airtight container in the refrigerator for up to 3 days. To reheat, simply reheat it in a saucepan over medium heat until warmed through.
- Djon Djon or Djon-Djon is the same.
Enjoy a Polenta with Djon Djon today and don’t forget to eat it with avocado, just the way many Haitians love it.
- 2 tablespoons olive oil
- 2 clove garlic chopped
- 1 tablespoon fresh parsley chopped finely
- 2 scallions thinly sliced
- ¼ cup white onions minced
- 2 whole cloves
- 2 teaspoons salt more may be needed
- 8 cups Djon Djon mushrooms water – made with 2 – 3 cups of djon djon dried mushroom
- 1 cup cornmeal coarse or fine
- Black pepper to taste
- 1 sprig thyme
- 1 – 2 tablespoon flaxseed meal – optional
- Either soak the djon djon mushrooms in 8 cups of water or boil over low heat for about 10 minutes. Strain mushroom, reserve water and discard of mushrooms.
- In a pot of heavy bottom saucepan, over low to medium heat, add oil and the next 6 ingredients. Sauté for about 2 minutes, add the water from the djon djon and bring to a boil. Adjust seasoning. Slowly add cornmeal/polenta while stirring gently. Add thyme sprig. Cook for 20 to 25 minutes while stirring occasionally.
- Once the water has evaporated, check to see if the cornmeal/polenta is fully cooked. It should have a very soft texture. If not, add water and continue to cook until polenta is fully cooked and most of the water has evaporated. Adjust taste. Remove thyme and cloves before serving. Serve hot
Please keep in mind that nutritional information is a rough estimate and can vary greatly based on the products used.
Nutrition info is automatically generated and provided as a courtesy and as an estimate only.
Always choose ingredients without corn or corn derivatives.
Originally published on June 16, 2015. Updated and Revised