Flatar Ncube, 52 years old – Victoria Falls, Zimbabwe
Flatar has been living all her life in a small house in Victoria Falls, in Zimbabwe, one of the most touristic places in Africa. The Victoria Falls are very close to her house and that’s why a few years ago she came up with the idea to transform her living room into a small restaurant for tourists. The sign on the street in front of her house says: “Home Restaurant, Typical Food”. Flatar cooks two or maximum three different dishes a day, always using her garden products or animals raised by her or her friends, and your meal will never cost more than 5$. She lives there with her husband, with whom she has had three now-grown-up sons. She became a grandma 8 years ago and since then her three grandchildren have been part of her everyday life and of her “Home Restaurant”. Indeed, they spend every day at her house, from the early morning till late evening.
Sadza (white maize flour) and pumpkin leaves cooked in peanut butter
Difficulty: very low
Time: about 40 minutes
Ingredients for 1 person:
– Four pumpkin leaves and 1 pumpkin flower for each person
– water, salt and baking soda
– peanut butter
– white maize flour
In Zimbabwe and in its neighbouring areas of Africa, almost every dish is characterized by the presence of Sadza, a kind of polenta made with white maize flour. You can accompany this with everything: vegetables, meat and fish. In our case, we’ll see how to make it in one of the simplest and most popular dishes of the Zimbabwean tradition.
First of all, boil some water with a spoon of baking soda.
Then, take off the fibres from the pumpkin leaves. In order to do that, you simply have to pull out the little veins on the leaves and on the stalk. Once cleaned, cut the in thin stripes, stalk included. Boil them for about 5 minutes.
In the meanwhile, drain the boiled pumpkin leaves, let them cool for a bit and put them in a pan with two spoonful of peanut butter and a pinch of salt. Heat for about 3 minutes, stirring continuously, and after that your pumpkin leaves are ready.
Now it’s time to make the Sadza.
In a small pot, boil two full glasses of water. In another pot, pour a generous glass of white maize flour and pour the boiled water from the other pot. Cook the mixture on a low heat for a few minutes, stirring all the time. If you think that the Sadza is getting too solid, pour some more water or, vice versa, if it is too liquid, add some more flour.
At this point your recipe is done, you only have to serve it on a dish, just like the one you can see in the photo.