Malawian Nsima pronounced en-see-ma is a thick porridge made of corn that can be shaped into mounds or patties. It is the national dish of Malawi and served with a number of different types of sauces. The Malawians have a saying “chimango ndi moyo” which means “maize for life”. For nearly eighty percent of Malawians, life evolves around growing enough maize to feed the family. It is planted when the rain comes. You will see field after field of maize in Malawi. Most families grow it on any small patch of land they can spare. The whole family participates to make sure they get the best crop possible. Although fresh corn is consumed it is mostly taken to the mill to be ground so that nsima can be made. This is an extremely important part of the Malawian diet. The nsima provides the carbohydrates as energy is needed to sustain the workers in the field. The sauces are made mostly to flavor the nsima. Other types of carbohydrates are also enjoyed in Malawi like rice, cassava and potatoes however it is nsima that has been named the national dish.
Malawian Nsima (Cornmeal Porridge)
- 3 Cups water
- 1 cup cold water
- 2 1/2 cups cornmeal
- Boil the 3 cups of water in a saucepan.
- In a bowl, make a paste using part of the cornmeal and all the cold water.
- Add the paste to the boiling water
- Stir with a spoon until the mixture has a thick porridge like texture.
- Cover the saucepan and simmer for 15 minutes
- Turn heat to the lowest setting, remove the lid and gradually add the rest of the cornmeal, stirring constantly.
- Continue until the mixture thickens to the desired consistency.
- Cover and cook on lowest heat for another 5 minutes.
- Stir before serving and shape as desired.