Saturday, March 23, 2013


As we prepare for our first visitor here in Africa, there is one thing that HAS to be on the menu... Meet southern Africa's comfort food: sadza, also known as mealiepap, isitshwala, nsima, banku, ugali, or phaletshe.

 This popular staple of southern African cuisine is made of ground maize meal.  Sadza ("sud-zah") is cooked for over an hour, and has a consistency somewhere between polenta and the thickest mashed potatoes.

Cooking this dish alone will give you an appetite, as the heavy porridge requires arduous stirring.  It is a heavy, thick, bland mass that has slowly become one of my favorites at the dinner table. 

Sadza is most often eaten with an MSG laden sauce or meat/veggie dish in the same way rice is used in other regions of the world.  Though our household doesn't eat it this way, it is very popular as a breakfast dish with peanuts or peanut butter mixed in. It is also often consumed with milk and sugar in place of oatmeal or porridge at many Afrikaner's tables.

Here Jonas eats sadza dipped in a coconut vegetable curry.

 Sadza can be eaten with a fork, but it is most often eaten with the hands, balled up and then dipped into sauce.

Sadza is sold in giant bags, which can most often be seen carried on top of womens' heads as they walk down the streets of our city.  It is one of the most affordable foods in the country, and seems to be almost solely what most of the orphanages here are able to feed their children.
Love this bag- it's like the African version of reading the outside of a cereal box!