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Eswatini's Sinkhwa Sembila (Mealie/Corn Bread)

Eswatini's Sinkhwa Sembila (Mealie/Corn Bread)

In the heart of Eswatini, you'll find a culinary gem known as Sinkhwa Sembila, or Mealie Bread. This original Swazi dish carries with it not only a rich history but also cultural significance. Often sold by women and children along the roadside, these loaves are delicately wrapped in corn cob leaves, making them a sight to behold. Traditional Mealie Bread is steamed, a gentle, slow-cooking process that results in a remarkably soft and moist consistency, reminiscent of a blend between thick corn pudding and dense bread. Today, we'll explore this cherished Swazi recipe, featuring sweet corn kernels, milk, eggs, butter, flour, sugar, and salt. Whether served plain or with emasi, gravy, or curry, Sinkhwa Sembila is a delightful journey into Eswatini's culinary heritage.

Sinkhwa Sembila is a delightful representation of Eswatini's culinary heritage. Whether you savour it on its own or pair it with your favourite dish, this Mealie Bread is a testament to the cultural richness of Swazi cuisine. So, gather your ingredients and embark on a journey to savour tradition with this authentic Eswatini recipe.



  • 2 cups sweet corn kernels (fresh or frozen)
  • 1 cup milk
  • 2 large eggs
  • 1/4 cup butter, melted
  • 1 cup all-purpose flour
  • 1/2 cup granulated sugar
  • 1/2 teaspoon salt


1. Start by preparing your sweet corn kernels. If using fresh corn, remove the kernels from the cobs. If using frozen corn, thaw them.

2. In a blender or food processor, combine the sweet corn kernels and milk. Blend until you have a smooth mixture.

3. In a large mixing bowl, whisk together the eggs and melted butter until well combined.

4. In a separate bowl, combine the all-purpose flour, granulated sugar, and salt.

5. Gradually add the corn and milk mixture to the egg and butter mixture, stirring continuously. Then, slowly incorporate the dry ingredients into the wet mixture. Mix until you have a smooth batter.

6. Preheat your oven to 350°F (175°C). Grease a baking dish or loaf pan.

7. Pour the batter into the prepared baking dish or loaf pan.

8. Place the dish in the preheated oven and bake for approximately 45-55 minutes, or until the bread is golden brown on top and a toothpick inserted into the center comes out clean.

9. Once done, remove the Mealie Bread from the oven and allow it to cool for a few minutes. Then, slice and serve. You can enjoy it plain or with your choice of accompaniment, such as emasi, gravy, or curry.