Akasan is and still one of my favorite Haitian dishes to have any time of the day and I only like it warm. The sad thing is as much as I like it, I’ve never attempted to make it because my mom would make it for me anytime I had a craving. Thanks to Haitian Chef Mireille aka the Schizo chef, we can all try this recipe at home.
Akasan is a corn flour based shake popular in Haiti. Unlike traditional shakes this shake starts by cooking corn flour. The drink can be served warm, but it usually chilled and served as a refreshing drink.
Corn often times gets overlooked in the whole grain discussion. We usually think of whole wheat, quinoa and millet. Corn also gets a bad rap because of the whole high fructose corn syrup controversy. However, it is a very healthy grain – very high in anti-oxidant power in comparison to other whole grains.You should try to buy unenriched cornmeal, which is whole grain and still includes the germ and bran in the milling process. However, even processed cornmeal is a good grain alternative.
1 cinnamon stick
3 star anise
2 1/2 cups water
1/2 cup cornmeal
a dash of salt
1 teaspoon vanilla extract
1/4 cup sugar
12 oz. can evaporated milk
Combine 2 cups of the water with the salt, cinnamon stick and star anise in a saucepan. Bring to a boil.
In a small bowl, combine cornmeal and remaining water to form a paste. Slowly add to boiling water, stirring constantly. Reduce heat to medium and cook for 5 minutes, stirring constantly. Remove cinnamon and star anise.
Add vanilla extract, evaporated milk and sugar. Chill in the refrigerator.