10 Zambian Comfort Food Recipes
The Zambian diet is heavy on starches and that means one thing: delicious comfort food. Zambian cuisine has seen European, Indian and Asian influences, so it’s dynamic in spices and flavors. Here are 10 delicious Zambian comfort food recipes.
Greens in peanut sauce and grilled tilapia
Tree nuts are a staple in Zambian dishes, and this peanut sauce is perfectly sweet against the slight bitterness of the greens. Zambians eat a lot of fish, and the firm, white tilapia is a great mild fish against the bold flavors of the sauce and greens. Find the full recipe here.
Pap (nshima) with village chicken and pumpkin leaves
This is a traditional Zambian recipe we found at TheAfricanChef.com. It incorporates corn, one of the staples of the Zambian diet. The homemade chicken spice mix has African birds eye chilies giving it a great kick, and the pumpkin leaves cook down just like spinach so you have your protein, your starch and your veggies.
Mealie Bread with Blackened Chilies
Cornbread from Zambia is especially delicious because it’s made with fresh corn kernels instead of cornmeal. “Mealie” is another name for corn in Zambia, and this mealie bread is very moist, and tastes delicious dipped in stew. The spicy chilies taste great with the sweet kernels. See the full recipe here.
Nshima with red tomato gravy and okra
Nshima is a staple in Zambian recipes. It’s a fluffy, sticky cornmeal that is eaten warm, usually with a sauce, vegetables and protein poured over it. Pictured here is Nshima with a red tomato gravy and okra. You can make a basic tomato sauce, but instead of adding Italian spices like basil, add chilli spice. The gravy softens up the okra really well.
Here’s a unique way to satisfy your craving for a burger: crocodile patties. In Zambia, crocodile is a common meat option in restaurants and tastes delicious ground up and formed into burgers. Crocodile meat is very low in fat, and the taste has been compared to chicken and crab. We like this simple recipe.
Wild boar in groundnut sauce
This hearty, filling dish is made with wild boar meat, pepper, onion, tomatoes, peanut butter and oil. Since boar meat can be a very intense flavor, the sweet peanut sauce balances it out nicely. Here is a great recipe from the CongoCookBook.com.
Corned beef cakes
You’ve tried crab cakes; now it’s time for corned beef cakes! This is such a comforting combination: fried anything plus corned beef. There are usually yams or sweet potatoes in the cake, and it’s spiced with cayenne pepper. Find the recipe here.
Anything involving cornmeal from Zambia is going to be delicious, because that’s their specialty. This is similar to a pot pie, but with a cornmeal crust. Zambians often make it with meat, or lentils. Find the full recipe here.
Gluten-free eaters will love this soup. It’s simple but very comforting, made with just sorghum, ground nuts, water and salt. Sorghum is a hearty grain so it’s satisfying in a soup. Find the complete recipe here.
Cassava—also known as yucca—is a root vegetable and when shredded up, makes for a delicious pancake batter. It can be eaten with syrup for breakfast, or topped with your favorite greens for a savory pancake. Find the full recipe here.
Sign up for the AFKInsider newsletter — the most compelling business news you need to know from Africa and the African diaspora, delivered straight to your inbox.