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Zambian Side Dish: Ifisashi

Zambian Side Dish: Ifisashi

Ifisashi is a beloved traditional dish from Zambia that combines groundnut (peanut) sauce and vegetables deliciously. This savoury dish has profound cultural roots and has been loved by generations. It is frequently served with nshima, a mainstay of maize meals.

Ifisashi has historical significance in Zambian culture in addition to being a culinary delicacy. This recipe is a monument to the creativity of the locals who cleverly blended items that were readily available in the area to make a filling and healthy dinner. A vital ingredient in the meal, groundnuts have been grown in the area for many years and are a staple of the local diet.

The dish has changed along with Zambia. It is still a cherished dish that is frequently eaten on special occasions, during family get-togethers, and for regular meals. Its persistent appeal attests to both its cultural importance and the close ties it has to Zambia's culinary past.

Preparation Time

1 hours and 5 minutes



For the groundnut sauce:

2 cups raw shelled peanuts (groundnuts)

2-3 cloves of garlic (minced)

1-2 tomatoes (chopped)

1 teaspoon ground paprika

1 onion (chopped)

1 teaspoon ground cayenne pepper

Salt to taste


Cooking oil

Spinach, kale, or cabbage (chopped)

1-2 cups chopped okra (optional)



  • Roast the raw peanuts in a dry pan until they turn golden brown. Remove the skins by rubbing them between your hands. 
  • Grind the roasted and shelled peanuts in a food processor or grinder until you get a smooth peanut paste. 
  • Heat a small amount of cooking oil in a pot and sauté the onions and garlic until they're translucent.
  • Add the tomatoes, paprika, cayenne pepper, and salt. Cook until the tomatoes break down and the mixture forms a thick sauce.
  • Add the ground peanut paste to the tomato mixture. Stir well to combine. 
  • Simmer the sauce for about 10-15 minutes.
  • Wash and chop the leafy greens and okra and boil water in a pot.
  •  Blanch the vegetables for a few minutes until they're tender.
  • Add the blanched vegetables to the groundnut sauce. Mix well until the vegetables are coated with the sauce. Simmer for a few more minutes.
  • Serve, mostly with Nshima.