World Cooking – Zambia

List Item: Cook something from every countryCountry: Zambia
Progress: 92/193

Okay, so the research for today’s post started with me seeing that I am getting close to triple digits and wanting to have covered one of the two ‘Z’ countries before I get there. I know that I won’t have completed the country alphabet until after the 100th country is crossed off, but at least I can say that I’ve done Z.

I am very privileged in that I am nowhere near the first person to have the thought to do this particular challenge. Probably not even in the top 1000. Means that whilst I do still like to do my own research, I am able to see how bloggers around the world have adapted dishes from far flung areas in order to meet local ingredients (even if I had to order some more white cornmeal in order to replace the fufu powder that’s long past use by).

So much of Zambian cuisine is centred around fufu (or nshima as it is called in Zambia) so the game became finding something to make alongside it. After all, I have made nshima a few times for this particular challenge and wanted to make sure I made something that is both Zambian and not too close to something that I have cooked before. I think I got there, even if I got a bit bored with making the nshima that it wasn’t as firm as I’d hoped.

Main: Nshima with Tomato Gravy & Okra

When making this dish (recipe from Raffi’s World) the seasoning really is everything – as is remembering that the tomatoes in the local market really do not taste as good as a proper tomato should. It’s one of those things that I do as I go along anyway, but this really is one of those things where seasoning as you go along with regular taste tests is needed to prevent it being bland – especially as the nshima itself doesn’t contribute a lot of flavour.

Then again, that’s the kind of dish this is. It’s something that gives you your protein and your vegetables whilst also filling you up – in these ways this really did fit the bill. Other than that, this was just okay and not exactly something I can see myself ever making again because there are plenty of better things from this world challenge that I have made. Hell, I made another batch of soda bread a few days ago.

Next week will be an return to the Balkans as I try to get over my issues with whole milk and make one of the national dishes of this area. I’ll also have to learn how to use the immersion blender I got over a year ago and have still been too afraid to use. All this next time as I hit the grand ‘100 to go’ landmark for this particular challenge.

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