Cookbook:Nsima (Cornmeal Swallow)

Nsima (Cornmeal Swallow)
CategorySwallow recipes

Cookbook | Ingredients | Recipes

Nsima is a traditional staple food in many African countries, particularly in Malawi, Zambia, and parts of Tanzania and Mozambique. It is a thick, porridge-like dish made from maize flour (also known as cornmeal) and is typically served with various relishes such as meat, vegetables, or fish. Nsima is easy to make and provides a filling and nutritious base for a variety of flavorful accompaniments.

Ingredients edit

  • 2 cups maize flour (cornmeal)
  • 4 cups water

Equipment edit

  • Large cooking pot with a lid
  • Wooden spoon or a stiff whisk
  • Stovetop

Procedure edit

  1. Measure out the maize flour and set it aside.
  2. In a large cooking pot, bring the water to a boil.
  3. Once the water is boiling, reduce the heat to low and gradually add the maize flour to the pot while stirring continuously with a wooden spoon or a stiff whisk. Make sure to pour the flour in a slow, steady stream to prevent clumping.
  4. Keep stirring the mixture vigorously to combine the maize flour and water thoroughly. This step is crucial to avoid lumps from forming. Continue stirring for about 5 minutes until the mixture starts to thicken.
  5. Increase the heat to medium-low and cover the pot with a lid. Allow the mixture to cook for about 10–15 minutes. This cooking time allows the maize flour to cook fully and eliminates the raw taste.
  6. Remove the lid and stir the mixture again, making sure to scrape the sides and bottom of the pot to prevent sticking or burning.
  7. Continue cooking the nsima, stirring frequently, for another 10–15 minutes until it reaches the desired consistency. It should have a thick, smooth texture similar to mashed potatoes or stiff porridge. If it's too thick, you can add a little more water and continue stirring until you achieve the desired consistency.
  8. Once the nsima is cooked to your liking, remove it from the heat and let it sit for a few minutes to cool slightly before serving.
  9. Serve the nsima hot with your choice of relishes such as meat, vegetables, or fish. Popular relishes include chicken stew, beef and vegetable stew, fried fish, or a variety of sautéed greens.

Notes, tips, and variations edit

  • It's essential to use maize flour specifically made for nsima, as the texture and consistency may differ from regular cornmeal.
  • Nsima is traditionally served by shaping it into a ball or a mound using wet hands. This technique allows you to scoop up small portions and use it as a utensil to pick up the accompanying relishes.