When AJ returned from Africa, we decided to start a tradition on Sunday nights of eating what the people of Zambia eat 3 meals a day (if they’re able). It is composed of 3 things: Nshima (pronounced she-ma) and two “relishes”, usually beans and greens. Nshima is a cornmeal mush similar to a firm grits or polenta. Zambians eat with their hands, scooping the nshima and then dipping into the relishes. The only addition I make to the Zambian traditional meal is a “Makoua*” veggie- sweet potato.
*What the children would yell whenever they saw AJ “white man!”
On the 10,000 acre farm at Sons of Thunder Mission where he visited, the local Tonga people learn agricultural practices to combat starvation & malnutrition while building self-sufficiency, confidence, pride, and independence. They learn “Farming God’s Way” including training in irrigation, harvesting, storage, and marketing. Sons of Thunder also operates a grade school, a clinic/medical ministry, and an outreach program, including evangelism, church planting, and feeding /meeting the needs of the hungry and starving.
All parts of their meal is grown on the grounds, the Nshima is made of mealy meal, or corn ground into a fine flour, greens (AJ thinks swiss chard) cooked with tomatoes and onions and beans cooked with salt. They also grow some different kinds of squash to sell to the local hotels, but they do not in fact eat it themselves. AJ promised to bring me back to show them how to cook the Makoua vegetables! Gladly : )
- Dried Beans
- Stone ground Cornmeal (2½ cups water+ 1 cup cornmeal = 4-6 servings)
- Greens (Swiss Chard, Collard Greens, Kale), cleaned & chiffonade
- minced Garlic & thinly sliced Onions,
- 1 can diced tomatoes or 2-4 diced fresh
- Sweet Potato, scrubbed & cut into bite sized pieces
- Salt & Pepper, Vegetable oil, Water, vinegar (optional)
- Rinse and cook beans (I use a rice cooker and just a bit of salt to season).
- Cook sweet potatoes in a baking dish with some water in the bottom (350 degrees,45 min- 1 hour)
- Put water on to boil, add cornmeal, stir.
- Turn down to a simmer, stir often until thick and smooth (about 20-30 minutes).
- Heat a pot of water to boiling, add greens and stir.
- Heat a bit of oil in a saute pan over medium heat, add garlic & onions, saute until fragrant. Let collards boil 5-8 minutes, drain, add to saute pan.
- Add a can of diced tomatoes, stir. Let simmer 10 minutes, taste & add garlic salt if needed. This is where I add a big drizzle of Ume Plum vinegar (optional).
- To eat, form cornmeal Nshima into patties, use to scoop up the beans, greens and potato.