African Food

5 Ways To Enjoy Nshima

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How to Cook Nshima- Zambian Staple food – Zambian Kitchen | Zambian food, Food, Food staples
Image credit: Pinterest How to make nshima Zambia style

For over nine million Zambians, nshima is the basis of life. Zambians, Malawians, and people from many African countries prefer Nshima as their staple food. All indigenous African languages in Zambia call nshima by a different name including sima, ubwali, insima, buhobe, ugali, nsima, and bogobe pap to name but a few.

Nshima is a maize or cassava flour porridge. Its origin is in East Africa. In South Africa, the maize porridge is known as Phu Thu, sadza in Zimbabwe, nsima in Malawi, even though they all use the same product. East Africa, including Kenya, Tanzania, Uganda, Burundi, Rwanda, and the Democratic Republic of Congo, all eat Ugali.

There are many variations of nshima. Nshima cooked with cassava meal (sima ya chikhau or chinangwa), finger millet meal (sima ya Kambala), or sorghum meal (sima ya chidomba). Potentially nshima can be cooked from any grain that somebody can transform into flour. In the majority of African countries, maize is readily available and primarily used for making nshima.

How is Nshima Prepared?

A lot of countries in Africa have their version of this meal. In Zambia, they use maize, to create a porridge-like substance served with meat and vegetables. To prepare nshima, you will need boiled water in a pot, a cooking stick, mealie meal, cold water in a cup, and a stove. The first thing you will do is take some of the mealie meals and put them in the pot. Get some of the cold water that you have and pour it into the pot.

Mix it up until you have a watery paste. Once you have your paste, move your pot to a stove. Add the cold water slowly as you mix. The amount of water depends on the amount of nshima you want to make. Stir the mixture after adding hot water till it becomes a little thicker. Cover and let it sit for about 10-15 minutes.

Once the nshima has simmered, you are ready for the second part. Add the mealie meal, mix it till it’s thicker than before. After mixing for a minute, let it sit for five to six minutes. After six minutes, mix it a little bit more. It’s ready to be served.

In a Kenyan home, ugali is usually a lunch or dinner favorite. Serving is preferrably with vegetables, meat, soup, and fish. To prepare it, boil water until it bubbles. The water should be boiling. This ensures the ugali will cook perfectly. Add flour and let it sit for a few seconds until the water covers the floor. Use a wooden spoon to mix the flour and water.

Add the corn flour and continue mixing. It will start coming together. Keep turning the ugali as it continues to stick together. Once the ugali has become firm, mold it into a ball. When you smell the aroma it means your ugali is ready. Put the nshima onto a plate. You can serve it in slices with your favorite stew or soup.

How do we eat the meal?

Nshima makes up the main component of Zambian meals. The type of relish eaten with nshima can be green vegetables, fish, beef, or chicken. Zambians traditionally use bare hands when eating nshima. The people sit around the table or around the nshima if they are sitting on the floor. Eating is always with one hand—small children or strangers unfamiliar with the culture use both hands.

Foreigners will use forks and knives if they have difficulties as freshly cooked nshima is always hot. The customary procedure is to cut a sizeable nshima and shape it into a round ball using the palm and fingers. Dip the nshima into the stew and swallow afterwards.

Is Ugali Fufu?

Fufu means mash or mix. Boiled and ground plantain or cassava is the main ingredient. It is a staple food in the west and central parts of Africa and is an indigenous Nigerian meal. To make fufu, you need cassava roots (also known as yucca) and green plantains.

Peel the cassava roots using a potato peeler. People like to ferment cassava before making the fufu. Put the cassava in water and leave it for three to five days. Cut the cassava into small cubes to make blending easier. After cutting the cassavas into cubes, put them inside room temperature water to remove excess starch.

Peel the plantain and cut it into small pieces. Plantains help to reduce the stretchiness of the fufu. Drain the water from the cassava, then put them inside the blender with the plantain. Put a little bit of water. A lot of water makes the fufu lose. Blend for about two minutes. You’ll get a nice and smooth consistency.

Put the mixture in the pot and turn the heat to medium. Stir the mixture quickly to avoid forming lumps inside the fufu. Stir for four to five minutes the butter will change into fufu. You can enjoy the resulting food with soups, e.g., peanut butter soup, hot pepper soup, okra, or other kinds of stew in other Western countries. In addition to Nigeria, you can find fufu in Ghana, Sierra Leone, and guinea, Liberia, Cote D’Ivoire, Benin, Togo, Congo, Cameroon, the Central African Republic, Angola, and Gabon.

Why is nsima important to Malawians?

Malawians keep nsima near their hearts, literarily. It is not surprising that their lives are bound up in one way or another with nsima production, storage, preparation, and consumption. Nsima is an afternoon and evening meal tradition. Traditionally it is a communal meal where a number of the nsima dishes are brought from the households that make up the family or village. Communities safeguard the element through continued practice, publications, festivals, and revitalization activities.

5 ways to enjoy nshima

#1. Zambian Food Nshima By Zambian Food

Zambian Food Nshima By Temzie Bites
Zambian Food Nshima By Temzie Bites

Nshima is a staple food in parts of Africa, a kind of porridge made from ground maize or sorghum flour. let us try this one out.! Get Recipe Here >>

#2. Zambian Food Nshima Made With Millet & Cassava Recipe By Temzie Bites

Zambian Food Nshima Made With Millet & Cassava Recipe By Temzie Bites
Zambian Food Nshima Made With Millet & Cassava Recipe By Temzie Bites

Nshima is a dish made from maize flour (white cornmeal) and water and a staple food in Zambia. Nshima is almost always eaten with two side dishes, known as “relishes” Get Recipe Here >>

#3. Pap (nshima) with village chicken and pumpkin leaves By the African chef

Pap (nshima) with Village Chicken and Pumpkin Leaves By The African Chef
Pap (nshima) with Village Chicken and Pumpkin Leaves By The African Chef

This is an authentic Zambian recipe: Pap (nshima) with Village Chicken and Pumpkin Leaves! Get Recipe Here >>

#4. Yummy Nshima By Zambian kitchen

Yummy Nshima By Zambian Kitchen
Yummy Nshima By Zambian Kitchen

It is prepared by mixing only 2 ingredients, the mealie meal and water and boiled and stirred until it thickens. Today, we are going to learn how to cook Nshima food the Zambian way. Get Recipe Here >>

#5. Nshima by food

Nshima by Food
Nshima by Food

The nshima should be very thick (no liquid remaining) and smooth (no lumps). It may reach this point before all of the remaining cornmeal is added to the pot — or it may be necessary to add even more cornmeal than this recipe indicates. Get Recipe Here >>


If you have never tasted Nshima, then, there is no way you can beat your chest that you have visited the Zambia. Nearly every Zambian meal contains nshima. However, Nshima with ndiwo is the most important meal. It is embedded in the people’s traditional culture. A guest will say the hosts are very kind and generous if they cook him/her nshima with delicious ndiwo, which may be chicken, beef, and goat. What other nshima variation do you know? Feel free to share your thoughts in the comment box below.

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