So far, every country we have visited and cooked recipes from, I was either familiar with or already cooked similar cuisine weekly. That being said I have tried very hard to be as authentic as I can be. Some ingredients are not easily obtained and substitutions are in order but aside from that- I follow the recipe to the T and do not improvise. I want to taste the flavors the way they would be enjoyed in a specific country not the way I would change it to appease our American palettes.
When it came time to cook for Zimbabwe I had no idea where to start. Thankfully they have a national dish and that is the side dish to end all side dishes- sadza. It is a cornmeal porridge of sorts, but is thick enough that it can be shaped before it is served. Much like grits in the American south, sadza is slowly cooked on the stove with multiple steps and constant or at least frequent stirring.
I could not find the straight corn meal that the recipe called for and the corn meal I used had some additives that messed with the chemistry and my sadza was done far too quickly with half the ingredients not yet added. I tried my best to space it out but in the end I question if I made sadza at all.
What I made was tasty but I think my substitute ingredient messed it up. You can find the recipe that I followed here: https://www.instructables.com/HOW-TO-MAKE-SADZA-A-DELICIOUS-AFRICAN-CORNMEAL-FRO/
Along with the sadza we had nyama or beef stew. The recipe is from a Zimbabwean blogger and it was so easy to make! The flavor was subtle but really good, my husband thought it was bland but I didn’t think so. It is big hunks of meat with vegetables a sauce, whats not delicious about that?! It was excellently paired with sadza, which soaked up all the yumminess, and you can find the recipe for nyama that I used here: https://www.196flavors.com/zimbabwe-beef-stew-nyama/
For dessert we enjoyed some sweet potato cookies or mbatata. Martin LOVED these cookies! So much more than I expected, but then again its no wonder they are tasty- sweet potato and lemon? I mean come on!
This recipe comes from our old standby “Global Feast” cookbook and as always it was easy to follow and very yummy to eat!
I loved having a taste of Zimbabwe, and I know some mbatata will be made again soon!