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.
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.