Zambia: Nshima with Ndiwo 🇿🇲

Zambia flag

The last dish on Round One was kind of like the boss level of a video game: Something I knew I had to overcome, but wasn’t necessarily happy about it.

Cornmeal for nshima

Cornmeal for nshima

As I’ve stated before, the Brassicas and I are not the best of friends.

But the more research I did on Zambia, the more it became clear that I’d need to include a leafy green in this meal. Nshima, in Zambia, is the main attraction: A thick cornmeal porridge, used as a utensil as one might use, say, sticky rice in Thai cuisine.

But what would one eat their nshima with? That’s what the ndiwo is for.

Ndiwo isn’t a specific dish, but a general term for a Zambian side that is consumed with nshima.

Almost every ndiwo recipe I found involved leafy greens. Yay. My. Favorite. #Snark.

Chopped collards

Chop the collard greens and tomato, then put them in water with baking soda.

So I hemmed, and hawed, and looked up recipes that might be more to my juvenile tastes, but eventually, I resigned myself: Ndiwo would have to involve collards. I set out to prep the meal by picking up some white cornmeal from the Bob’s Red Mill outlet in beautiful Milwaukie.

As I scanned the aisles looking for the cornmeal, a chorus of “Hi Bob!” rained through the store. Bob – THE Bob – was making his rounds.

An auspicious sign to start the prep! The food was easy enough to cook. The nshima cooked like a thick version of grits, and the ndiwo was essentially collard greens and peanut sauce. And I did survive one plateful before the sulfury collards, sweet peanuts and chewy nshima got to me.

What matters, though, is that we made it.

Round One, after about a year, is done.

The ndiwo recipe was sourced through Bridgewater College.

Collards with peanuts

The collard greens cook down and mix with the peanuts, forming a saucy stew.

Nshima 🇿🇲

  • 4 cups water
  • 2 cups corn meal
  1. Pour 4 cups of water into a medium size pot. Heat the water on medium-high to luke warm.
  2. Slowly sprinkle 3/4 cup of the corn meal into the pot while whisking continuously. Keep stirring slowly until the mixture begins to thicken and boil, switching to a bamboo spoon when it gets thicker. Turn the heat to medium, cover the pot, and let simmer for 3-5 minutes.
  3. Slowly pour into the pot the remaining cornmeal and stir with until smooth and thick.
  4. Cover, turn the heat off and let nshima sit on the stove for another 2-3 minutes.
  5. Allow to cool so it can be handled.


  • 1 lb. chopped collard greens
  • 1 chopped tomato
  • 1 1/2 cups peanut powder
  • 2 cups water
  • 1/2 ts baking soda
  • 1/4 ts salt
  1. Pour 1 cup of water into medium size cooking pot. Add baking soda and stir until thoroughly dissolved. Place pot on burner on medium heat.
  2. Add collard greens and the tomato. Cook on medium high heat for 5-8 minutes.
  3. Add peanut powder, salt and water.
  4. Stir thoroughly and lower the heat to low.
  5. Cover and simmer for 15 to 20 minutes stirring every 2 to 3 minutes to prevent bottom from burning.
Nshima (left) and ndiwo (right).

Nshima (left) and ndiwo (right).

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