Nshima is a staple food in Zambia. It is eaten with side dishes known as relish that can range from vegetables, gravy, meat etc.

Traditionally, diners sit around a table or on the floor surrounding the meal. The diners have to wash their hands as nshima is eaten with bare hands. This is done with a bowl of water. Alternatively the host or one of the younger people present pours water from a jug over the hands of the elders or guests into a bowl.

Eating is done by taking a small lump into one's right palm, rolling it into a ball and dipping it into the relish.
Other Names: Nsima, Ubwali, Pap
Type: Main dish

Preparatory Steps

  • The maize flour is first boiled with water into a porridge.

  • The nshima is left to simmer for a few minutes before it is 'paddled,' to create a thick paste with the addition of more maize flour.

  • Once cooked, the nshima is portioned using a wooden/plastic spoon dipped in water or coated in cooking oil.

Ingridients

Maize flour and water
In some cases nshima can be cooked and mixed with cassava, millet or sorghum flour. Milk can also be used instead of water to enhance colour, texture, nutrition and taste.

Tips

Additional Notes

Sustainability Issues

Nshima is relatively cheap and affordable for most of the population, although occasionally prices have risen due to shortages, contributing to economic and political instability.

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