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Zimbabwean Maize Dish: Sadza

Zimbabwean Maize Dish: Sadza


Zimbabwe's national dish, sadza, has a distinct place in the nation's culinary history. For ages, this filling and adaptable maize (corn) porridge has been a staple cuisine in Zimbabwe, sustaining families and illuminating the deeply ingrained customs of the country. It is a vital component of Zimbabwean cuisine because of its lengthy history and persistent appeal.

The indigenous Zimbabweans are the first step in Sadza's transformation from a simple porridge to a cultural icon. They adopted maize farming because they understood that it might be a dependable source of food. Maize was a useful commodity because it could grow in a variety of regions and was resistant to drought.

Sadza’s preparation and consumption have become deeply ingrained practices in Zimbabwean social and cultural life. It is frequently shared with others, bringing families and communities together over a meal. Making sadza required meticulous stirring and consistency control, which leads to the process becoming a prized skill that is passed down through the generations.

Preparation Time

35 minutes


2 cups of white maize meal (cornmeal)

4 cups of water

A pinch of salt 




  • Boil the 4 cups of water in a large pot. 
  • While the water is heating up, place the maize meal in a separate bowl. 
  • Once the water is boiling, gradually add the maize meal into the pot. Use a wooden spoon to stir continuously as you add the maize meal. 
  • Reduce the heat to low, cover the pot, and allow the mixture to simmer for about 15 minutes. Stir the sadza regularly to prevent it from sticking to the bottom of the pot and to ensure it cooks evenly.
  • After simmering for a while, the sadza should start to thicken. This process can take about 30 minutes, depending on the type of maize meal you're using.
  • If the sadza is too thick, you can add a little more hot water and continue stirring until it reaches your preferred consistency and add salt.
  • You can shape it into a small mound and serve it with Zimbabwean dishes, such as vegetable stews, meat, or chicken.