Of Sadza Over A Cup of Coffee

A plate of Sadza

If you were having coffee with me, we would be sharing a plate of Sadza.


A plate of Sadza Sadza is the staple food of Zimbabwe but growing up I kept asking myself why my dear ancestors could not have come up with a yummier staple food, like pizza or lasagna or something….. Children find Sadza one of the most uninteresting dishes ever created and adults cant live seven days without it, it makes one weak apparently……

Sadza is cooked from mealie meal (upfu) which is like a type of flour made from ground maize. I think it’s similar to what is known as corn flour.

mealie meal upfu

If you were having coffee with me I would tell you that cooking Sadza is almost an  art. The instructions are simple enough

>Boil water

Boiling water in a pot
A watched pot

>add mealie meal

>whisk to mix

whisk to mix

>add more mealie meal

>whisk some more

Whisk some more.jpg

>bring mixture to a boil and leave to simmer (kukwata)

> stir and mix with a wooden cooking stick (mugoti)

>add mealie meal

>stir to Sadza bricking.jpgmix

>add more mealie meal

>stir to mix, when its thick enough and doesnt smell like raw mealie meal it is done.

Sadza served.jpg

serve with a relish of your choice…… from plain vegetables, to a stew….

sadza and relish

Seems easy enough, but there are no precise measurements like how much water to how much of the  mealie meal. You know in the way recipes for rice call for one cup of rice to two parts water. When you are cooking Sadza, you pretty much just eyeball it and your gut tells you when you have added enough mealie meal…..

I confess I struggle with it, sometimes its too thin and sometimes adding that next cup of mealie meal changes it from beingjust right to much too thick like a concrete brick…..  you don’t want this nobody wants that, unless you are builder….

If you are having coffee with me I would tell you that traditionally Sadza is served  for lunch or supper but we are having it for breakfast because we have a long day ahead of us, we might even attend a Harare International Carnival


PS day 8 blog every day challenge

Oh yeah clean all the utensils immediately after, otherwise you will end up having to scrap clean your cooking stick using a knife and possibly break it….. I have done this.


  1. Your description of sadza reminds me of the Cream of Rice hot breakfast cereal of my childhood. Also, of grits, which is what I buy these days. Versatile…easy to turn into concrete. 😀

    People have “misconceptions” also about North Dakota, the state in which I live, expecting to find the Old West and “Wild Indians” and cowboys.

    Thanks for the visit and best wishes for your week!


  2. We call it semo , or tuwo here. Interesting to know . Pretty much the same method of cooking and the soup to go with it. Yes that too some people can’t afford to go three days without eating it. Smiles.


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