Zambia – N’shima & Fried Rape

Zambian Cuisine, Zambian Food, Blogging Marathon, Around the world in 30 days with ABC cooking,

For the final day of the marathon, we travel to South African country of Zambia. Maize is a staple diet and is eaten as a thick porridge called N’shima, which is similar to grits or polenta. It is eaten with beans, green leafy vegetables, and dried fish or meat gravies. Common vegetables in Zambia are rape, cabbage leaves and pumpkin leaves. Rape is a dark green leaf similar to Swiss chard with a slightly bitter taste. These vegetables are cooked with tomato, onion and sometimes with peanuts.

Zambian Cuisine, Zambian Food, Blogging Marathon, Around the world in 30 days with ABC cooking,

When I first made N’shima, I made some V’sachy. V’sachy is prepared by cooking pumpkin leaves with tomatoes, onions and peanuts. I substituted pumpkin leaves with collard greens. I added some green chilies to spice it up but I did not like it. That day my photos did not come out well and was going to prepared it again. The second time I was going to tweak the recipes a little, the order in which the ingredients go into the preparation to suite my taste. Then I found fried rape more appealing and made it instead.

Zambian Cuisine, Zambian Food, Blogging Marathon, Around the world in 30 days with ABC cooking,

I was glad I tried fried rape. It is similar to any Indian green leaves stir fry but the order in which the ingredients are added is different. Nevertheless, it was pretty good.

Zambian Cuisine, Zambian Food, Blogging Marathon, Around the world in 30 days with ABC cooking,

Source: Femonomics
Cooking Time: 20 – 30 minutes
Serves: 1 – 1 ½


  • ½ cup Cornmeal
  • 1 ¼ cups Water
  • Pinch of Salt (my addition)


  • Bring one cup of water to a boil in a sauce pan. Mix ¼ – 1/3 cup of cornmeal & salt in ¼ cup water.
  • When water comes to a boil, reduce the heat and pour the cornmeal mixture into the saucepan. Stir constantly to avoid lumps.
  • Turn the heat to medium – medium high and sprinkle remaining cornmeal stirring it constantly. Once all the cornmeal is added to the porridge, cover and simmer until the cornmeal is cooked. This would take about 7-10 minutes. Stir it in between. Once the cornmeal is cooked, it should come together to form a lump of cooked cornmeal.

Fried Rape

  • ½ bunch Rape Leaves (I used Red Swiss Chard)
  • 1 – 2 tsp. Oil
  • ½ Tomato chopped
  • ¼ cup medium Onion chopped
  • 2-3 Green Chilies chopped (This is my addition and adjust to taste)
  • ¼ tsp. Salt (adjust to taste)


  • Wash and remove the thick stalk of the chard. Chop the leaves.
  • Heat oil in a sauce pan and add chopped leaves. Cover and cook for 1 minute.
  • Remove the cover, turn the leaves, and add onion, tomatoes and green chilies. Cover and cook for few minutes.
  • Stir, cover and cook until the chards and onions are cooked and soft. Keeping stirring the chards in between until it is cooked.
  • Serve with N’shima.

17 thoughts on “Zambia – N’shima & Fried Rape

  1. That’s one interesting set of dishes you got there Usha…and you have excelled yourself with each of your stunning pictures and the dishes you went out to make..very good ones..thank you and thank Mr. U for trying out as well..:)

  2. I love the way you have plated the meal…and can’t miss that plate..looks perfect for this meal. Usha it has been great running the marathon with you. .your pics have always pulled me in spite of some non veg dishes..I was attracted by the clicks and the way you compose your pucs..great effort . fantastic.

  3. ohh you didnt mention whether you liked the nshima, coz i went about a million times in my head thinking about whether to make it or not…your presentation looks beautiful and the dish does look like indian style stir fried

    1. Nshima as it is was bland but with the stir fry it was good. I finished all of it for lunch with fried Swiss chard.

  4. That is an interesting name for greens. 🙂
    Did that greens work well with that nshima? Somehow I prefer a semi-liquid side dish for these kind of dry meals and so just checking.

  5. That is a very interesting dish and the fried greens does look like our keerai porriyal! Lovely clicks.
    It was great doing this marathon with you Usha and you had me drooling over all your pics in this series as well 🙂

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