Zimbabwe Food

Zimbabwe food is diverse and influenced by a variety of cultures, including the indigenous Shona and Ndebele peoples, as well as British, Portuguese, and Indian cuisines.

Read on to learn more about some of the most popular Zimbabwe food. If you’ve tried any of the dishes, be sure to leave a comment below.

zimbabwe food kapenta

Best Zimbabwe Food

Below you’ll find a list of the some of the best Zimbabwe traditional food.


Sadza is a staple food in Zimbabwe, and is made from finely ground white maize (cornmeal) cooked with water to form a thick, stiff porridge-like consistency. It is similar to other African staple foods such as Ugali in Kenya, Nsima in Malawi, and Fufu in West Africa. Sadza is usually served with a relish such as meat, chicken, vegetables, or gravy.

To prepare sadza, the maize meal is first mixed with cold water to form a thick paste. This mixture is then slowly added to boiling water, while stirring continuously to prevent lumps from forming. The mixture is then cooked for several minutes until it thickens and becomes smooth. It is then removed from heat and allowed to cool slightly.

Sadza is usually eaten by using one’s fingers to scoop a small portion of the porridge, shaping it into a ball, and then using it to scoop up the relish. This method is known as “ukuphatha” in the local Shona language.



Chakalaka is a spicy vegetable relish that is popular in Southern Africa, particularly in Zimbabwe, South Africa, and Zambia. The relish is typically made with onions, tomatoes, peppers, carrots, and beans, and is often flavored with spices such as curry powder or cumin.

The vegetables are usually chopped finely and sautéed in oil until they are soft and fragrant. Spices and seasonings are then added to the mixture, along with some water, and the relish is simmered until the vegetables are tender and the flavors have melded together.

Chakalaka is often served as a side dish with grilled or barbecued meats, or as a condiment for sandwiches or burgers. It is also commonly eaten with pap or sadza, which are staple foods in the region. Chakalaka is known for its spicy, tangy flavor and its versatility in complementing a wide range of dishes.

chakalaka zimbabwe traditional food


Kapenta is a type of small freshwater fish that is native to Zimbabwe and other parts of Southern Africa. The fish are usually caught in large numbers from Lake Kariba, which is shared by Zimbabwe and Zambia. Kapenta is a popular food in Zimbabwe and is often eaten dried or fresh.

Dried kapenta is usually washed and soaked in water for a few hours to rehydrate it before cooking. It is often added to stews, soups, or relishes, and can also be fried or grilled. Fresh kapenta is usually fried or grilled and served with sadza or other staple foods.

Kapenta is a good source of protein, vitamins, and minerals, and is a relatively affordable and accessible source of nutrition for many people in Zimbabwe. It is also considered to be a delicacy by some and is often served at special occasions and celebrations.


Matemba is a type of sun-dried fish that is commonly eaten in Zimbabwe and other parts of Southern Africa. The fish used to make matemba are usually small sardine-like fish. They are typically salted and dried in the sun for several days.

Matemba can be eaten as a snack, or can be added to stews, soups, or relishes to add flavor and nutrition. To prepare matemba, the dried fish are usually soaked in water for several hours to rehydrate them before cooking. They can then be added to a variety of dishes, such as tomato and onion relish or a spicy vegetable stew.

Matemba is a good source of protein, vitamins, and minerals. It is also a relatively affordable and accessible source of nutrition for many people in Zimbabwe. It is often sold in markets and roadside stalls, and is also sometimes exported to other countries in the region.


Maheu is a traditional fermented drink that is popular in Zimbabwe and other parts of Southern Africa. The drink is made from a mixture of maize meal, water, and sugar, which is allowed to ferment for several days. The fermentation process gives the drink a slightly tangy, sour taste and a slightly thick, smooth texture.

Maheu is often consumed as a refreshing beverage, particularly during hot weather. It is also sometimes used as a substitute for milk in recipes, such as porridge or baked goods. The drink is relatively nutritious, as it contains complex carbohydrates, vitamins, and minerals.

In Zimbabwe, maheu is often sold by street vendors or in markets, and can also be made at home. It is considered to be an important part of Zimbabwean culture and cuisine, and is enjoyed by people of all ages.


Muriwo Unedovi

Muriwo unedovi is a traditional vegetable dish from Zimbabwe that is made with leafy greens and peanut butter. The dish is typically made with either collard greens or spinach, which are cooked with onions, tomatoes, and a peanut butter sauce.

The sauce is made by mixing peanut butter with water or broth and then simmering it with the vegetables and seasonings until it thickens and the flavors meld together.

Muriwo unedovi is often served as a side dish with sadza or other staple foods. It is a popular vegetarian option in Zimbabwean cuisine.

The dish is known for its rich, nutty flavor and creamy texture, and is also considered to be quite nutritious due to the high protein content of the peanut butter and the vitamins and minerals in the leafy greens. It is a staple dish in many households in Zimbabwe and is often prepared for special occasions and gatherings.

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