Project Food Blogger Challenge #2 – Cook the typical cuisine from a country outside your comfort zone.
There are places in this world where a hippo can kill you quicker than a lion, where little boys bow on one knee when they shake your hand calling you ma’am, where bright, red chili peppers are dried on the ground, and people have so little it is amazing they can survive at all.
In 2004, Jeremy and I went on a medical mission trip to Zambia – specifically northern Zambia. Being half African-American, it was my chance to get to the motherland. When I stepped off the plane in Johannesburg, I felt like the land was vibrating to me, “welcome back.” Maybe that’s a little too Maya Angelou for you, but it is really how I felt.
Little did I know someone who is bi-racial sticks out 10 times more in Africa than in the U.S. Not only was this my first trip to Africa, it was also my first time off the continent of North America. I always wanted to travel and see the world. This trip provided me with a chance to see a big chunk of the spinning, blue ball in a way not many people have. I went on safari and saw waterfalls, lions, zebras, elephants, hippos, and monkeys.
While getting back to the motherland and seeing a new continent was amazing, neither compares to what it was like to work with the people of Zambia and be able to give what little I could.
We gave them basic medical, vision, and dental care and ran a daily VBS program all over Northern Zambia. Mostly, I did a lot of hand holding and vitamin giving, at which I was exceedingly good. They gave me a huge appreciation for where and how I get to live, and a realization that you can be both thankful and content in difficult situations. Even when all you hear on TV is war, death, and poverty, there are genuinely good people in the world.
It is with great respect, passion, and nostalgia that I give you the cuisine of Zambia. The two main staples in Zambian cuisine are Nshima and meat stew, neither of which I have ever attempted to make. Finding authentic recipes proved difficult. I’ve looked at several sources and used the tastes from my memory to create these recipes. Here is my attempt at Zambian cuisine.
4 chicken thighs
2 cups kale or spinach
1 medium tomato – chopped
1/2 onion – chopped
2 inch piece of ginger shredded
1 chili pepper – chopped
1/2 teaspoon baking soda
1.5 tsp salt
Peanut flour (ground peanuts or peanut powder)
|1. Begin by sautéing the onion, ginger, and pepper
|2. Add 3 cups of water and chicken to the pot
|3. Boil until chicken is fully cooked
|4. Add vegetables, baking soda, salt and peanut powder
|5. Simmer allowing the soup to thicken
4 Cups Water
2 Cups plain corn meal
|1. Add water to pot heat on high until luke warm
|2 .One tablespoon at a time sprinkle ¾ cup of corn mean into pot, stir continuously with a wooden spoon
|3 .Stir until mixture is thick and boiling
|4 .Lower heat to medium, cover and simmer for 3 – 5 minutes
|5. Add 1 ¼ cups of corn meal and stir briskly
|6. Add more corn meal until you arrive at desired thickness – You want to be able to pick the nshima up with your hand to dip in your stew.
|7. Remove from heat and allow nshima to sit for 2 – 3 minutes
In Zambia many people use the nshima to eat their stew, so wash your hands and dig in. We enjoyed our Zambian feast with our fingers outside.
Both the nshima and the stew tasted really close to what I remembered. One thing that was missing was the food being cooked over an open fire. I’m so thankful that I got to the second round. Making and eating this meal was a lot of fun. Thanks for your votes and congrats to everyone else who made it too.
Special thanks to
World Hunger Country Facts