N'shima (Zambian Corn Porridge)

N'shima is a thick corn porridge that can be used as a scoop to eat the other dishes on the plate. N'shima does not have much taste to it. It is the base on which the flavors from the side dishes are built up. I found a very well written write up on n'shima and food culture here. It has a lot of additional information that makes it a very interesting read.

N'shima is made with Zambian corn meal called mealy meal. This finely ground corn is made from a variety of maiza that is different from that used in the US. I used masa, corn meal from the Mexican cuisine, to make n'shima. That gave the n'shima is yellowish hue.

You will need
1 cup mealy meal (I used masa)
2 cups water

Heat the water in a pan but do not let it boil. Add the cornmeal a little at a time stirring vigorously with each addition to prevent lumps. When all the cornmeal has been added continue to cook it, stirring with a wooden spoon.

As it cooks the mixture will thicken and the smell of raw cornmeal will go away. When it is lumpy, almost dry and well cooked n'shima is ready.

N'shima is eaten with sides like Zambian beans or tomato gravy.


  1. Even I made this. I used cornmeal we get in here in American stores

  2. I read about this corn meal..but found it very bland..a spice for us Indians is preferable.

  3. I read about this too, but didn't know what the closest substitution would be. Masa sounds great.

  4. Filling meal and am sure that tomato gravy complimented this one...

  5. I love cornmeal but I guess it used as a vehicle for gravy and that is why nothing is added; not even salt


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