What to eat when in Zambia

Filed under: Health & Nutrition,Latest News |

Eating is part of the Zambian culture, apart from nourishing the body, it is part and parcel of social events such as barbeques to pre-wedding events where a groom is treated to a buffet of traditional dishes from his bride’s family.

Some of the top drawer traditional foods to look out for include the dishes below:

Nshima (stiff porridge) powers the nation, it is the staple and main source of carbohydrates that keep Zambia ticking. Nshima is made from corn that is processed into a fine white powder called ‘mealie meal’.

It is cooked by mixing the corn meal with water which is brought to the boil as porridge (similar to grits). More cornmeal is added until it develops a thicker texture. The cornmeal can be substituted for cassava, sorghum and millet. Nshima is served with a protein (usually meat or fish) and one or two vegetables.

Ifinkubala, caterpillars in Zambia are called ‘ifinkubala‘ they are usually fried in oil, or boiled for a few minutes then fried in oil, and are served with tomatoes and onion with nshima.

After it rains, flying ants called ‘inswa‘ are collected. The wings are pulled off and the bodies are fried in oil. They are rich in protein and can be eaten as a snack or served as a side dish with nshima.

Pounded peanuts are mixed with vegetables such as rape (a type of kale) to make ifisashi, although it can be added to other food items such as kapenta (a small sardine-like fish), sweet potatoes and chikanda.

In Zambia, the term delele denotes okra, but also a simple dish that incorporates this traditional vegetable. The dish is predominately prepared with fresh okra that is cooked in water, alongside sliced tomatoes. Bicarbonate of soda is considered to be the essential addition that provides a distinctive thick, glutinous texture.

As stated by Culture Trip, if one wants to get a feel of what is on the menu, one should check out their pick of some of the top traditional foods above.


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Start: 2019-07-01 End: 2019-07-31