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.
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.
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.
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 – ⅓ 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.
- 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.