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Nshima (Nsima, Shima, Sima) is Zambia’s Fufu-like staple, very similar to the Sadza of Zimbabwe and the Ugali of Kenya. It is usually made from maize (corn), but can also be prepared from flour or meal ground from other grains (millet, sorghum) or cassava tuber. Nshima is always eaten with a soup or stew or sauce, which is called the ndiwo. The combination of nshima and ndiwo is the only thing that most Zambians call a real meal. The ndiwo is sometimes called the “relish”, but it is more than that: the ndiwo is to the nshima what the meat is to the potatoes. One common ndiwo is a greens and peanut dish called Ifisashi. Other ndiwo dishes are made from various sorts of fish, meat, beans, or peas.

4 – 6 cups cornmeal, corn flour, or ground maize (one cup per serving is sufficient)

Pour cold water (2½ cups for each cup of cornmeal) into a large pot. Over high heat, begin to bring to a boil. After a few minutes, when the water is warm, slowly add about half the cornmeal to the water one spoonful at a time,stirring continuously with a sturdy wooden spoon. Continue cooking (and stirring) until the mixture begins to boil and bubble. Reduce heat to medium and cook for a few minutes. Cooking the mixture over medium heat, add the remaining cornmeal, as before, sprinkling it spoonful by spoonful as you continue to stir. It is essential to keep stirring. (If making a large quantity, it may take one person to hold the pot and another to use two hands to stir) 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.Once the desired consistency is reached, turn off heat, cover the pot, and allow the nshima to stand for a few minutes before serving. Serve nshima immediately, hot, with the ndiwo of your choice. With clean hands, tear bits of nshima off and use them to scoop up the ndiwo.

Country: Zambia

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