Montenegrin Potato Porridge

Makes 4 servings Sifra

This savory porridge is a warm, comforting way to start your day. Called kacamak in Montenegro, it’s the national dish of the southeastern European country on the Balkan Peninsula. Historians say the dish was created in 1786 when the Bishop of Montenegro introduced the potato from Russia. It became a symbol of the country’s fight against poverty.

  • ½ lb. Sifra or other FINE & CREAMY cooking type potatoes, cubed
  • 3 cups water
  • ½ teaspoon kosher salt
  • 1 cup fine corn meal
  • ½ cup whole milk
  • 2 tablespoons sour cream, plus more for serving
  • 2 tablespoons shredded farmers cheese or cream cheese
  • ¼ cup crumbled feta cheese
  1. Add the potatoes, water, and salt to a large saucepan and bring to a boil, then reduce heat to medium-low and cook until the potatoes are very soft, about 20-25 minutes.
  2. Without draining the water, gently mash the potatoes with a fork or a potato masher in the pan to break them up. Slowly pour in the corn meal stirring constantly until the mixture thickens. Reduce the heat to medium-low and continue cooking for another 5 minutes, stirring frequently to keep it from burning on the bottom. Add more water if your mixture becomes too thick to stir.
  3. Add the milk, sour cream, and farmers cheese to the potato-cornmeal mixture and gently stir until combine. Cook for 5-10 minutes until warmed through andthickened again.
  4. Divide the porridge among four bowls and top each with a tablespoon of feta cheese. Serve with extra sour cream, if desired.

If you can’t find Sifra potatoes, which are marketed under the Bella Blanca brand on the West Coast, use another FINE & CREAMY cooking type potato that offers a creamy texture after cooking. Many but not all FINE & CREAMY cooking type potatoes have pale yellow or yellow skin and white or pale yellow flesh.