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October 21, 2020

Arancini with Maize and Biltong – great South African snack!

Posted on August 24, 2016 by in beef, snacks

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Maize Arancini

Maize Arancini is different to the traditional rice balls which is stuffed and coated with bread crumbs,then deep fried.

Maize Arancini is not made with left-over risotto. It is made with maize. Arancini dates back to the 10th century in Sicily. During the feast of Santa Lucia on 13 December when bread and pasta were forbidden, Italians made this snack food!

I made mine a truly South African version of this popular Italian snack. I used maize instead of  rice and flavored with them fine biltong. It does not get more Proudly South African than this. My family fondly named them Pap-a-delle ( pap=maize and ‘delle=frikkadelle) and devoured them in minutes. Come to think of it, I think I will make it more often with maize. It is cheaper and a wonderful way to use up leftover maize porridge.

Maize Arancini

Last week, I felt a bit under the weather and needed comfort in a bowl. I made a big pot of maize porridge (pap) and ate it shamelessly with butter and load of sugar. Needless to say, I had a lot of maize porridge left and arancini came to mind. My cheese of choice came from St.Dairy in Bloemfontein. This is such amazing cheese, my family and I ate an entire wheel in 1 week. It has a wonderful nutty flavor and melts almost like mozzarella. So I added some grated cheese to the maize, but also placed a nugget of yumminess in the middle of each arancini.

Maize Arancini with Biltong

makes 8


3 cups cold leftover maize porridge

250 ml grated strong cheddar cheese ( I used St. Dairy Semi-soft Natural Cheese)

8 cubes cheese (about 1×1 cm)

100 ml fine biltong

2 ml fine nutmeg

salt and pepper

125 ml flour

3 eggs

500 ml breadcrumbs

oil for frying


Mix the maize, grated cheese, nutmeg, salt, pepper and biltong and shape the mixture in 8 even-sized balls. Squeeze a block of cheese into each ball and cover it again, making sure there are no gaps where the cheese will leak out during frying. Make a crumbing station, by place the flour, egg and breadcrumbs in 3 different bowls. Season the egg, flour and breadcrumbs with a little salt. Now roll the arancini in the flour, then the egg and lastly the breadcrumbs. I repeat the egg and crumbs for a crunchier end result. Place the arancini on a baking sheet and refrigerate for at least 30 minutes. Heat the oil and fry the arancini until golden brown and crunchy. Serve with tomato sauce and a light green salad.

Maize Arancini

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