10 Most Popular Foods in Zimbabwe

Zimbabwe, which means great houses of stones, is a country that is known for having one of the seven wonders of the world—Victoria Falls, thus making it a tourist destination. Foods in Zimbabwe are always a delight. Maybe you’re visiting Zimbabwe for the first time and want to have a taste of their dishes; this article is an excellent resource for you. Also, if you’re a food enthusiast, who loves trying new things, you want to try out any of these Zimbabwean meals.

So, what kind of foods do they eat in Zimbabwe? There are a variety of foods eaten in Zimbabwe, such as:

  • Muriwo
  • Unedovi
  • Sadza,
  • Mupunga
  • Unedovi, etc.

In this article, we have discussed the ten most popular foods in Zimbabwe—for your needs. Read on to learn more.

10 Most Popular Foods in Zimbabwe

1. Sadza

Popular Foods in Zimbabwe
Image: Flickr.com

Sometimes referred to as the national food of Zimbabwe, Sadza is the most common of Zimbabwean foods. It is a cornmeal that is cooked plainly, with margarine or with peanut butter, and then eaten with stew or gravy. It is also a trendy food eaten in neighboring Botswana.

Preparing sadza requires adding a little cornmeal into the pot and then adding cold water to make a paste. Then add boiling water and stir at the same time to prevent lumps from being formed. Once it boils, cover the pot, reduce the heat, and then let it simmer for about 15 minutes. After that, add more cornmeal bit-by-bit and then mix. Continue to do this until the paste begins to stick. Dish and serve with your favorite soup.

2. Muriwo Unedovi

Foods in Zimbabwe - Muriwo Unedovi
Image: Flickr.com

This is one of Zimbabwe’s staple foods and is a pocket-friendly meal. The ingredients used to prepare Muriwo Unedovi include Spinach (or any other green), onions, tomatoes, peanut butter (dovi), and oil. It can be eaten with rice or sadza.

Muriwo unedovi is very easy to prepare. Simply put water in a pot, add salt, and boil. Add the spinach and allow it to simmer for 10 minutes. Remove it from the pot and drain the water. Then slice the onions and tomatoes and add them to the olive oil. Afterwards, add peanut butter and season with salt and pepper as desired. Thereafter, add about a quarter of a cup of water to the sauce and reduce heat to medium-low and let it simmer for five minutes. Now, re-add the spinach and allow it to simmer for about two minutes. Serve with rice or sadza.

ALSO READ: 11 Most Popular African Foods and How to Prepare them

3. Mupunga Unedovi

Zimbabwean Foods
Image: Flickr.com

One of the traditional Zimbabwean foods, Mupunga Unedovi, meaning rice and peanut butter is a delicious dish. It is prepared with rice and peanut butter and is usually eaten with stew, sauce and/or vegetables. Preparing Mupunga unedovi is easy and requires you to take the following steps:

  • Rinse the rice properly.
  • Add salt to water in a saucepan and bring to a boil.
  • Then add the rice, and let the heat be turned down.
  • Then cover and simmer the rice until it is almost cooked.
  • Afterwards, stir in peanut butter and mix properly.
  • Cover the rice, and allow it to simmer until it’s adequately heated.
  • Enjoy with stew and sautéed greens or spicy curry.

4. Muriwo Na Nyama

Foods in Zimbabwe - Muriwo Na Nyama
Image: Flickr.com

This Zimbabwe food is also known as High Fields Stew, probably due to a Zimbabwean suburb, where the dish is highly popular. Its ingredients are beef, onions, oil, salt, water, and spinach. As an easy to prepare dish, here’s the process.

  • Cut beef into medium-sized chunks. Heat oil in a pot, then add beef, garlic, and salt. Fry the meat until it turns into a lovely brown color.
  • Add enough water just to cover the meat and reduce heat. Allow to simmer gently and slowly uncovered until the meat becomes soft.
  • When the water reduces, add the onions and curry powder. Fry for 2 minutes and include the tomatoes. Cook for another 5 minutes or until the tomatoes are tender or adequately cooked.
  • Add a little bit of water, the carrots and green beans and simmer for another 5 minutes, stirring regularly.

5. Muboora

Zimbabwean Food
Image: Flickr.com

This is a pumpkin soup that is cooked with tomato sauce. It can also be cooked with fresh cream or peanut butter. Its major ingredient is the pumpkin leaf, which is called muboora from which the food derives its name. Here’s a detailed instruction on how to prepare Muboora:

  • Cut the washed and prepared leaves into ribbons.
  • Boil salted water, add the cut pumpkin leaves and allow it simmer for about 5 minutes.
  • Remove from heat, drain, and place the leaves in a bowl.
  • Saute the tomatoes and onion in the oil. Add salt and pepper to taste as desired, then add back the pumpkin leaves and blend well.
  • Serve with sadza or rice

6. Dovi

Image: Flickr.com

The most appropriate way to describe this Zimbabwean food is as a peanut stew. It’s also fairly easy to make. It’s made with copious amounts of peppers, onions, carrots, and garlic, which is added to even out the flavor of the peanut sauce. Check out the steps to prepare your delicious dovi.

  • Create Peanut Stew Base
  • Add little olive oil to a large pot over medium-high heat.
  • After the oil is heated, add your garlic and onions
  • Cook together for at least 3 minutes as the onions become translucent.
  • Then, add just 1 cup of vegetable stock, peanut butter, and chili sauce.
  • Using a slotted spoon, stir in the peanut butter until it has fully dissolved and mixed with the liquid
  • Then add the remaining tomato paste, vegetable stock, carrots, and cayenne pepper.
  • Reduce the heat to medium-low and cover the pot to let the dovi simmer for about 10 minutes
  • Add your okra and cover the pot. Simmer for another 10 minutes as the okra cooks (and helps to thicken the stew).
  • Add your spinach and mix in as the spinach shrinks and softens for about 2 minutes.
  • Mix very well into the stew, then take your dovi off the heat. Serve and enjoy your sumptuous dovi!

7. Maheu

Zimbabwean foods - Maheu
Image: Flickr.com

This is a very popular sour drink in Zimbabwe as you can find it being made in clay pots, even in the remote villages. It can be classified as a non-caffeine energy drink as people take it during breaks while working in the fields. It is made from fermented maize, malt, and sugar. Sometimes, it is also made from leftover sadza. Here’s the straightforward process on how to make Maheu:

  • Mix the maize meal with a little amount of cold water in a saucepan to make a paste
  • Pour hot water over it and bring to the boil stirring from time to time to ensure it does not develop lumps.
  • For about 10 to 15 minutes, allow it to simmer. Or about 10 to 15 minutes, remove from heat and allow to cool.
  • After cooling, add the wheat flour or malt and stir well
  • Place in a secure container with a tight-fitting lid and leave it to ferment for about 3-4 days.
  • When it develops a pungent/sour taste, it is ready to drink.

8. Boerewors

Foods in Zimbabwe

This is quite popular in Zimbabwe, though it is usually associated with South Africa. It consists of a mixture of lamb, pork, or beef and flavored with lots of spices. Got a bunch of people around you, and the weather is also right? Boerewors is the perfect food to grill and share with them. To prepare boerewors, follow these simple steps:

Coat the bottom of the frying pan lightly with vegetable oil or olive oil. Use only enough oil so that the boerewors don’t stick to the pan.

Then gently fry the boerewors until it has a golden brown color on both sides. It will take about 8-10 minutes per side to cook. Ensure you are very careful so as not to burst or break the boerewors when turning it.

ALSO READ: Top 10 African Restaurants in Chicago

9. Chikenduza

Image: Gayathri’s Cook Spot

Also known as cupcakes, chikenduza are sweetened bread-like cakes that are popular in Zimbabwe. It’s a traditional treat that many Zimbabweans love and crave for. It traditionally has the size of large muffins and is coated with powdered sugar pink glaze over the tops. Learn how to bake chikenduza by following the steps outlined below:

  • Mix yeast, sugar, flour, sugar, and salt in a large bowl.
  • Then add butter and vanilla and mix. After that, add curd and mix well.
  • Add warm milk and knead for a moderately soft dough. Cover this with cling wrap and set aside for one hour or more.
  • Grease a muffin tray, divide the dough into 12 equal portions and place each in a muffin cup.
  • Cover and set aside for about 30 minutes. Then preheat the oven to 175°C.
  • Bake the cakes for 27 minutes or until browned. Afterwards, cool on the wire rack.
  • Mix icing sugar, food color, and milk to make a glaze. Add milk by tablespoons until you achieve the right consistency.
  • Take a tablespoon of the glaze and pour it on the cake and allow it to drip.
  • Enjoy your chikenduza with a cup of tea or coffee.

ALSO READ: 10 Most Popular Zambian Foods

10. Bota

Image: Flickr.com

This food is made from mealie meal and is one of the staple foods for many people in Zimbabwe. It’s eaten most times as breakfast to provide the much-needed energy for the day’s activities. It is usually flavored with peanut butter and milk and sometimes served with crushed peanuts to give it that crunchy feel in the mouth. Preparing it is very easy. Just follow the steps below:

  • Take 1 cup of cornmeal and add it to a pot. Then add 1 cup of cold water to stir to create a paste.
  • Add hot water and put the pot on a stove with high heat.
  • Allow the mixture to boil and reduce to low heat to simmer for 12 minutes.
  • Put the cooked porridge in a bowl and mix in 1 or 2 tablespoons of peanut butter.
  • Then add sugar to taste and enjoy with or without milk.

Wrap Up

As you can see, Zimbabwe has a variety of dishes with most of them easy to prepare. You may decide to dig deep into the recipes and make the meals on your own or dash into any African restaurant around you to request for Zimbabwean dishes.

Have you tasted any of these dishes? We’d like to know your experience—use the comment section for your feedback!