Z is for Zimbabwe…and their version of polenta, infused with flavors of pumpkin and peanut.
Many countries have a version of a savory cornmeal porridge. In Italy, it’s known as polenta, it’s Coo Coo in Barbados and Funchi in Aruba. When trying to pick a country for letter Z, this was my problem with Zimbabwe. I’ve already done most of their recipes I was able to find, albeit with slight variations, in recipes from other countries. This demonstrates how the cuisine of African slaves was brought to the Caribbean and became staples of our cuisine as much as it is in Africa. Their version of Cornmeal Cake is very similar to Jamaica’s Cornmeal Pudding I did here except they top theirs with sour cream instead of coconut milk. Dovi, their Chicken Peanut Butter Stew is very similar to Suriname’s Chicken Peanut Butter Soup I did here and Sadza is their polenta. This variation of polenta made with pumpkin was an interesting twist and as with many African dishes, there is some peanut in this version also.
Check out the other savory cornmeal porridges from around the world!
Savory Cornmeal Porridges
I have made this recipe a few times, using either kabocha or calabaza pumpkin. You can also make it with canned pumpkin puree, however you will most likely need to reduce water quantity if using canned pumpkin.
Nhopi – Zimbabwe Pumpkin Cornmeal
- 2 1/3 cups water
- 3/4 cup cornmeal
- 1 cup pumpkin peeled, cooked and mashed
- 2 tablespoons peanut butter
- 1/2 teaspoon sugar
- 1 teaspoon salt
- Boil 2 cups of the water. Make a paste with half of the boiling water and the cornmeal. Slowly add cornmeal, stirring constantly. Simmer on low heat for 3 minutes.
- In a small bowl, whisk the pumpkin and the peanut butter together.
- Add pumpkin, sugar and salt along with 1/3 cup remaining water. Stir to combine and simmer for another 5-10 minutes, until thickened.
so creamy…perfect #comfortfood
A delicious side dish that goes well with stews or other dishes that have lots of gravy like this simple stew chicken. The nhopi will absorb the gravy which will enhance the flavor.
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