Jamaican Asham – Quick & Easy

As children, we used to buy Asham at the end of each school day. It was sold in neatly rolled light brown paper and when we finished eating it, we always wished we had a bit more to enjoy.

It has been years since I’ve seen Asham, but there have been many a day when my mouth yearned for the taste of this parched-corn delight. One day I decided to make my own.

Making Jamaican AshamTo make Asham, I learned that you have to parch the corn kernels, then beat or grind the parched corn to powder. Afterward add salt and sugar, then sift the mixture and serve. Oh wow . . . surely there must be an easier way to make Asham!

One friend shared that she made her Asham using cornmeal, sugar, and peanuts; and that’s how I’ve been making Asham ever since.

Ingredients for making Asham:
4 tablespoons cornmeal
1 tablespoon grounded peanuts
2 tablespoons sugar

Cooking Steps:
1. Heat a pot or sauce pan and add all the ingredients. Cook for approx. five minutes over medium to high heat until the colour of the cornmeal changes to brown. Keep stirring* the mixture and do not let it burn.

*Some persons use a wooden spoon to stir the mixture.Making Jamaican Asham2. When it is cooked (i.e. before all of it begins burning), remove the Asham from the heat and let it cool. Making Jamaican Asham3. Sift and then serve.
NB. most times I eat my Asham unsifted (since it’s made with cornmeal and not parched corn). You can eat Asham by licking it from your palm, or eating it with a spoon.

Asham (with cornmeal) is very nutritious. It provides iron, dietary fibre, and other minerals such as magnesium and potassium. I read that cornmeal is also a good source of thiamin, choline, niacin, folate and vitamins B-6, A, E and K.  Cornmeal is gluten-free.



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