Temba Mahari, Equality, Diversity & Inclusion Officer
Zimbabwean Sadza Nehove (Translation – Mealie Meal and Fish)
This is a staple dish in Zimbabwe my country of origin. Growing up as a child my grandmother used to cook this meal regularly and I may have only appreciated as I got older, because we used to have it so much when we would visit her.
What I love about this dish is that the sadza (mealie meal) you eat as a group. Usually, the children will share a plate and it together teaching us the importance of sharing and family. Usually what will happen is a dish and jug of warm water will be served to the older members of the family to wash their hands before the meal.
Which probably teaches us respect and hygiene and then once that is completed, we always had a tradition of saying “pamusoroi”, which means excuse me, again a sign of respect and politeness before we devour into our meal. Once the meal is over, we say; “maita zvenyu”; meaning thank you, which as a kid you would just automatically say it without meaning it sometimes to be honest! But again, there is a lot of value in that!
The fish and stew are all dependant on how you like to cook your fish. The vegetables (muriwo) are usually done well if you add a few chopped tomatoes and onions and fry them. The sadza on the other hand, is a bit of a skill! Here are some steps to making it
- 7 scoops mealie-meal
- 1 cup cold water
- 750 ml boiling water
Put mealie-meal in pot. Add cold water to make a paste. Put pot on stove and add boiling water whilst stirring simultaneously.
Keep stirring until rakukwata (it’s boiling). Cover pot, reduce heat and let it simmer for 15 minutes.
After 15 minutes, add more mealie-meal bit by bit and as we say it in our vernacular, mona sadza(mix). Be sure to do it well. When it’s just about to reach the consistency you want, cover it rishinyire (loosely translated- let is simmer) for 5 minutes. Your sadza is ready. Serve with your preferred relish.
If you’re a visual learner like myself…just follow this YouTube video and to guide you