Zambia : Nshima, Kapenta, rape & beans (

“Time: 1 hour

The main meal is nshima (starch powder from maize meal). This is Zambia’s staple food. It goes with any kind of relish as described in the cooking instructions. Relish can either be meat-related or vegetables. In Zambian circles there is a saying that you haven’t eaten any food unless you eat nshima and it’s true!


There are 4 components to this dish.

1. Nshima: Requires starch powder (preferably maize meal). Mix contents with water and simmer for 10 minutes or so and then use a wooden spoon to thicken until hard.

2. Kapenta: This is tiny dried fish can be shallow fried with oil mixed with onions and tomatoes. The less spices the better not to mess with the original taste of the fish.

3. Beans: Can be white or red. Cook freestyle.

4. Rape: Green vegetables can be cooked whichever way you like e.g.cabbages, but best if shallow fried.”

3 responses to “Zambia : Nshima, Kapenta, rape & beans (

  1. I found this recipe in two places but it assumes a person knows how to prepare the food already. There is no instruction given. I am very disappointed

  2. Yes, nshima is something that is learned more by watching and asking questions and practicing with the experts. I've asked for recipes over the years, but I get the same response every time (from Africans!) – "Recipe? Oh, you just do it like this…It's about feel and consistency, and it is difficult to write down." So, unfortunately, that's what we're stuck with! 🙂

  3. "Disclaimer to those who would like to cook kapenta: your body, clothing and house will smell like oily fish for quite some time after cooking, giving you the ability to relish (no pun intended)such a savory dish."

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