Fried Cornmeal (Milho Frito)

Milho Frito is one of the most signature and traditional dishes in Madeiran cuisine. They are deep fried cornmeal based treats filled with kale and other typical seasonings. They have unbelievable flavor and taste and are perfect when being served on their own or typically as an accompaniment to meat skewers.

*Serves 4*
1 cup white corn meal
4 garlic cloves, minced
1 cube chicken broth
4 kale leaves, minced
2 tablespoons olive oil
2 teaspoons salt
4 cups water
Vegetable oil for frying

1) In a saucepan on high heat, add the garlic and olive oil.
2) Let it cook for a minute and then add the water, chicken broth, and corn meal. Mix until the corn meal is totally dissolved.
3) Add the salt and kale and stir consistently until the water is boiling.
4) Turn the heat to low and let it cook for about half an hour while stirring occasionally until the cornmeal thickens.
5) Once thickened, pour the mixture into a greased and flat bottomed dish. Let the mixture rest for 2 hours.
6) Now cut the corn meal into squares and begin to fry them in a deep frying pan on high heat with vegetable oil.
7) Fry them a couple at a time until they are golden brown and then once they are done place them on a platter with papers towels to dry.
8) Once they are all done, let them cool for 5 minutes and serve immediately.


  1. Lynn Da Silva

    This is one of our favorites ­čÖé good healthy snack.. my nana / dad used to make this and I did too..It’s been one of those recipes that has been traveled across the sea here to Hawaii and passed down… what we do is also had bacon chop finely and keep that bacon oil and throw it in there too..and sometimes finely minced celery (usually used kale but when kale wasn’t available we would use broccoli but kale is much better) but before frying 1/4 of the pan would be for dinner.. without frying .. we would plate a square and top it with a a fish sauce.. top of my head think it was like can salmon with some tomato sauce and hot chili pepper (allspice garlic cilantro salt pepper) Don’t know if there is a Portuguese name for that dish..taste good but I always liked it fried like this…<3

  2. Joan

    I had this for the first time in Madeira this October. Fell in love with the taste, and prefer to potatoes. Will the cooked/fried cubed polenta be able to be frozen, and re-heated or second fried.

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