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Zimbabwean Trotters: Zando

Zimbabwean Trotters: Zando

Zimbabwean cuisine is a delightful blend of flavours and traditions, and at the heart of it lies a dish deeply rooted in the nation's heritage - Zondo. This beloved dish, featuring tender cow heels cooked to perfection, is a symbol of resourcefulness and the sustainable use of ingredients. Zondo holds a special place in Zimbabwean culinary culture, showcasing the nation's ingenious approach to creating mouthwatering meals from seemingly humble cuts of meat. In this blog post, we delve into the history and cultural significance of Zondo and share an authentic recipe to help you savour a piece of Zimbabwean culinary tradition.

Zondo is more than a dish; it's a representation of the frugality and creativity that runs through Zimbabwean culture. Cow heels, often deemed a less desirable cut, found their way into the kitchens of Zimbabwe and were transformed into a delicacy through time-honoured cooking techniques and flavoursome ingredients. Historically, Zondo was a meal often prepared for special occasions and gatherings, bringing families and communities together. It embodies the idea of using every part of an animal, respecting nature's offerings, and celebrating communal dining.



  • 1.2 kg mazondo (cow heels)
  • 1 1/2 tsp salt
  • Water
  • 1 medium onion, finely chopped
  • 2 large tomatoes, chopped
  • 1 tsp tomato paste
  • 1/4 tsp curry powder


1. Begin by cleaning the cow heels thoroughly. Place them in a pot and add enough water to just cover them. Season with 1 tsp of salt.

2. Bring the water to a boil, then reduce the heat to a gentle simmer. Allow the cow heels to cook for about 3 hours or until they are tender but still hold their shape.

3. Once cooked, drain any excess fat that may have come out during cooking, leaving about 2 tbsp in the pot.

4. To the cooked cow heels, add the chopped onion, curry powder, chopped tomatoes, and tomato paste. If the water in the pot is finished, add 100 ml of water.

5. Add 1/2 tsp of salt and allow the mixture to simmer until the tomatoes and onions are cooked, and the soup has thickened. If the soup is runny, you can mix 1 tsp of flour with water to make a paste and add it to the pot. Simmer for an additional 5 minutes.

6. Taste the Zondo for seasoning and adjust salt and spices according to your liking.

7. Serve the Zondo in a deep dish, ensuring to include the flavorful sauce.

Zondo is traditionally enjoyed with sadza, rice, or crusty bread. Delight in the flavours and cultural heritage that this dish brings to your table.