Akasan is a rich, creamy, delicious Haitian breakfast drink made with corn flour, milk and flavored with star anise. Similar to cornmeal porridge, akasan is thicker than tea, thinner than porridge and very delicious. There is no definitive origin for akasan but, corn and its byproducts make up such a large part of the Haitian diet. It makes sense that the recipe would have originated in Haiti.
Spice is Nice
Akasan is an easy recipe to prepare.
The base for every akasan recipe is corn flour and milk cooked with star anise and other sweet spices and sweetened.to make a sweet satisfying beverage that is delicious served hot or cold. As with all recipes there are variation but an authentic akasan recipe requires 2 core ingredients. Corn flour and star anise. The spices vary according to the cook. Some recipes include corn kernels. Almost all akasan recipes call for evaporated milk but, I have used a 50/50 blend of heavy cream and water for equally delicious results.
A few recipes suggest cooking akasan into a thick custard like form. I am more inclined to the drink, served warm with its milkshake like consistency.
Though almost every akasan recipe calls for corn flour, fine ground cornmeal works just as well. If you use cornmeal add an extra ½ cup of water to achieve the right texture. When making akasan or porridge, a whisk is a must for a smooth lump free drink.
- small bowl
- small saucepan
- dinner spoon
- 1½ c water
- ½ tsp salt
- 2 – 3 anise stars
- ½ tsp cinnamon (or a cinnamon stick or sweet spice)
- 1 tsp vanilla
- ½ c corn flour (substitute fine cornmeal)
- 1½ c evaporated milk (other milks (almond, coconut, whole milk, etc. will work fine))
- ½ c sugar
Add water to pot and place on stove over medium heat. Add salt and spices to water. In a large cup or small bowl mix corn flour with milk. When water is almost boiling, reduce heat to med-low. Slowly whisk in the corn flour mixture. Continue whisking until the akasan begins to thicken. Simmer uncovered for 7 to 10 minutes. Sweeten to taste.
Serve hot, warm, or cold
- Substitute fine ground cornmeal for corn flour. Add an extra ½ cup of milk or water if you do.
- Any milk can be used. If you use condensed milk, taste for sweetness before adding more sweetener.