Rosemary, 9, loves to cook, and dreams of becoming a chef (read more about her here). One of the dishes she often makes for her family in Zambia is nshima, a cornmeal porridge with Play-Doh-like consistency. Nshima is eaten with your hands and often dipped in relishes of meat, beans, and vegetables. Bring a taste of traditional Zambian cooking into your kitchen with the following recipes.
Recipe for nshima — cornmeal porridge — and relishes
- 1 1-pound bag of red kidney beans
- 1 bunch of kale
- 1 cup of plain peanuts
- 1 to 2 pounds of boneless beef rib meat
- 2 large onions
- 3 14.5-ounce cans diced tomatoes
- 1 package cornmeal
- Salt and pepper
- 5 pots or pans (we recommend 2 large stock pots or Dutch ovens, 1 large sauté pan, 1 large sauce, 1 small frying)
- Cutting board
- Food processor –or– plastic bag and meat tenderizer or mallet
- Four serving bowls
- 1 mixing bowl
- 3 small to medium prep bowls
- 5 wooden spoons (or sturdy, heat-resistant mixing spoons)
- Can opener
- Fill a large saucepan two-thirds full of water and bring to a boil.
- In a mixing bowl, mix 2 cups cold water and 1 cup cornmeal.
- Add mixture to boiling water and reduce heat to medium.
- Cover pot and cook 5 minutes.
- Then stir vigorously with a wooden spoon to remove lumps.
- Gradually add more cornmeal, 2 tablespoons at a time, stirring to keep porridge smooth. As it thickens, reduce additions to 1 tablespoon at a time until porridge is Play-Doh consistency (about 20 minutes).
- Remove from heat, cover pot, and let stand a few minutes.
Kale relish instructions:
- Fill a large pot with water and bring to a boil.
- Chop kale and add to boiling water, along with ½ teaspoon salt.
- Reduce heat, cover pot, and allow kale to cook until wilted.
- Using a food processer or sealed bag with a mallet, grind the peanuts to a powdery consistency.
- When kale is wilted (about 30 minutes), drain enough water from the pot to keep kale covered.
- Add peanuts, one bowl chopped onion, one can of tomatoes, and salt and pepper to taste.
- Mix well, cover pot, and cook on low heat for one hour.
Meat relish instructions:
- Cut meat into bite-sized pieces, place in a large sauté pan, and add water until meat is submerged.
- Bring to a boil.
- Once most of the water has evaporated, add the last bowl of chopped onion, last can of tomatoes, and salt and pepper to taste.
- Reduce heat and simmer until thickened.
Bean relish instructions:
- Soak beans overnight.
- In a large pot, boil soaked beans for one hour.
- Finely chop onions and distribute evenly into three small bowls; set aside.
- In a small pan, fry one bowl of chopped onion with one can of tomatoes and a pinch of salt.
- Once the beans have finished boiling, add onion and tomato mixture to the beans.
- Simmer and allow to thicken.
Put each relish in a different serving bowl. Nshima should be eaten with your hands and dipped in the relishes.