Zimbabwe: Sadza with peanut chicken 🇿🇼

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I love porridge.

They’re great vehicles for flavor, they’re filling, they’re relatively easy to make. Pop some ingredients in an Instant Pot, push a button and you’ve got congee. Rinse some nixtamalized corn, boil it, cook it slowly and out come delicious grits. Take some stone ground oats, mix with hot water and a hot bowl of oatmeal is waiting for some maple syrup.

Porridge, clearly, is more of a breakfast food. It’s filling, and, as mentioned, is a great vehicle for bacon, eggs, sweet syrup, fruit, whatever.

That is a very Oregonian way of viewing porridge. But for much of the world, a thicker version of porridge – corn, cassava, sorghum – is a crucial staple food.

And so we have Zimbabwe, which, like much of Africa, has a national love for a corn mush called sadza. It’s similar to Zambia’s nshima and other corn-based porridge-mushes, in that it’s thicker than your average porridge, and serves as a vehicle for eating something else.

In this case, rather than suffer through more leafy greens, I found a recipe for a chicken-and-peanut dish from the Cape to Cairo cookbook, which I can’t find online but recommend picking up.

I prefer not to re-post recipes from cookbooks, but here’s a gallery of the meal:

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Tanzania: Zanzibar pizza 🇹🇿 

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Pizza is not the national dish of Tanzania.

Let’s get that out of the way right now. The national dish of Tanzania, by all accounts, is ugali, which should not surprise anyone reading this blog, since ugali or some variant of it is so popular in so much of sub-Saharan Africa.

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Rolling the dough for Zanzibar pizza.

But when I watched the episode of Anthony Bourdain’s Parts Unknown on Tanzania, I was mesmerized by the street food scene there, and nothing seemed more interesting than the pizza.

Fried, open face, ingredients slathered on, then folded together like a publicly acceptable version of a Taco Bell crunch wrap.

I had to have it, and it was delicious.

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Some Zanzibar pizza ingredients: cream cheese, onions, tomato, eggs, ground meat.

Tanzania: Zanzibar pizza, via the Internet writ large

  • 2 cups flour
  • 1/2 ts salt
  • 1/2 cup water
  • ghee
  • 1 lb ground meat
  • 1 onion, chopped
  • eggs
  • tomato sauce
  • cream cheese
  1. Knead together the flour, salt and water to make dough balls, roughly the size of a golf ball. Coat in oil and let stand for an hour.
  2. Cook the meat, and assemble the other ingredients.
  3. Roll the dough into circles about the size of a dinner plate, thick enough to have some structural integrity but thin enough that it isn’t oppressive.
  4. Toss one of those dough balls on a hot skillet, coated with ghee. Put a little more ghee inside the dough ball, then add your ingredients: first meat, then onion, cream cheese, tomato, and finally, an egg. Mayonnaise can also be added.
  5. Step 4 takes some practice. That’s a lot of stuff to put on any piece of dough. Plan on having some failed pizzas.
  6. This step is tricky, too – fold up the edges of the pizza to cover the ingredients – and then flip it, all without losing the ingredients inside the pizza. You’ll get the hang of it.
  7. Once fried on both sides, eat that bad boy. You will love it.
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Delicious pizza.