Traditional Zambian Cuisine You Must Try

Mar 1
Updated on
Jul 5

In this blog we made a collection of the most popular Zambia traditional foods in Zambia you should try during your visit.

#1 Nshima

Nshima is the staple food of Zambia and a common dish for every ethnic group of the country. Made from finely ground maize flour called mealie meal, cooked by mixing the corn meal with hot water to make a very thick porridge. It is served with with a rich and delicious stew known as ndiwo usually meat or fish and one or two vegetables.

#2 Ifisashi

A traditional Zambian dish made by mixing pounded peanuts, tomatoes, onions and vegetables such as spinach, collard greens, pumpkin leaves or cassava leaves. The mixture is cooked in the peanut sauce until it achieves a desired consistency. Prepared during traditional ceremonies and family gatherings.

#3 Chikanda

Often referred to as African polony because of its meat-like texture, this dish is entirely vegetarian, prepared with wild orchid tubers. The tubers are dried and pounded then combined with a mixture of pounded peanuts, bicarbonate soda and chilli.

#4 Ifinkubala

Caterpillars are a popular delicacy in Zambia, they are soaked in hot water for a few minutes then fried in oil, add some tomato and onion and usually served with nshima.

#5 Kapenta

Small dried sardine-type fish that are fried in oil with some tomatoes and onions and served in with nshima.

#6 Tute ne Mbalala

This is a country favourite snack. Dried Casava is soaked in water for a couple of days then roasted on a brazier and served with roasted peanuts.

#7 Delele

Traditional dish prepared with a local plant or often times okra that is cooked by boiling water, alongside sliced tomatoes and bicarbonate. It is well known for its slimy texture.

#8 Vitumbuwa

Fritters are fried dough balls of flour, sugar, yeast and water. They are a common tea time snack.

#9 Vegetables

There are plenty of seasonal vegetables that are eaten in Zambia such as spinach, collard greens, okra, pumpkin leaves, cassava.

#10 Golabjamoun

Zambia is renowned for its delicious traditional desserts made from sweet potato boiled in sour milk – a unique and interesting Zambian food recipes that is sure to tantalize the taste buds with its delectable flavor.

Love to try Zambian traditional dishes? Contact Ntanda Ventures and share your wishes and we add the best culinary experiences on your safari holiday.

Read more about Zambia Traditional Ceremonies


Zambian born and the founder of Ntanda, Kerry’s love of Zambia was nurtured from a young age where she spent many years as a child in the Luangwa Valley.

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