10 Traditional Zimbabwean Food You’ll Love

    Zimbabwe is a beautiful landlocked country in Southern Africa. It is known for its diverse dishes rooted in indigenous flavours and agricultural ingredients. What makes Zimbabwean food even more special is how resourceful its people are when it comes to cooking. They make the most out of every ingredient, no matter how simple or small, and their dishes are bursting with delicious flavours and local spices that reflect their rich cultural heritage.

    One thing that makes Zimbabwean food unique is the use of local spices and produce like groundnuts/peanuts and indigenous grains. These ingredients give Zimbabwean food its distinct taste and make it sought after not just in the region but all over Africa. Another exciting aspect of their food culture is the practice of communal meals and the value placed on hospitality.

    While some Zimbabwean dishes may look weird at first glance, honestly you will find them really interesting. In this article, we will explore 10 traditional Zimbabwean foods that will captivate your taste buds and leave you wanting more.

    What is a Popular Food in Zimbabwe?

    Sadza, a cornmeal porridge, is the most popular Zimbabwean food. It is eaten with meats and vegetables such as beef, chicken, or fish; it is often eaten with vegetables like spinach or kale. Sadza is enjoyed by people of all ages.

    10 Traditional Zimbabwean Food You’ll Love

    • Sadza (Corn Meal)
    • Muriwo Unedovi
    • Nyama
    • Dovi
    • Boerewors
    • Bota
    • Maputi
    • Mopane Worms
    • Nhopi/Inhopi
    • Guru/Maguru

    Sadza (Corn Meal): Most Popular

    Sadza is primarily made from finely ground cornmeal but could also be made with other grains like sorghum or millet. It has a thick, porridge-like consistency and a somewhat neutral taste. The taste of the Zimbabwean food can be compared to that of cornbread but less sweet. 

    Sadza is usually served with various relishes, such as meat, vegetables, or sauces, which add flavour to the dish. What’s unique about sadza is its neutral flavour, allowing it to absorb the tastes of the dishes it’s paired with. Sadza is made by boiling water, adding corn meal, and continuously stirring until it becomes thick and eaten in morsels.

    Image Credit: Facebook

    Muriwo Unedovi: Leafy Greens with Peanut Butter

    Muriwo Unedovi is a side dish in Zimbabwe; you cannot miss out on this. It combines leafy greens with a unique twist of peanut butter. Muriwo Unedovi is not only a treat but also a healthy and nutritious dish, and it’s super easy to prepare, even for beginners in the kitchen!

    Peanut butter’s creamy and nutty taste adds a unique twist to the dish; some leafy greens often used are spinach, collard greens, or mustard greens. To make Muriwo Unedovi, sauté finely chopped leafy greens with tomatoes, onions, and garlic and get your delicious and nutritious Zimbabwean vegetable dish.

    Image Credit: Facebook

    Nyama: A Meat Lover’s Choice

    Nyama a Zimbabwean food made with grilled or roasted meat, typically beef or goat. It is often seasoned in a flavorful sauce made with local spices and cooked over an open fire in an open space. The meat is tender and spicy and usually served with sadza and vegetables.

    Zimbabweans have a strong affinity for meat, and different types of meat are commonly enjoyed, from beef and chicken to goat and game meat.

    African Recipe Nyama Choma
    Image from

    Dovi: A Peanut Stew

    Dovi is a traditional Zimbabwean peanut stew made with crushed peanuts, carrots or potatoes, okra and stock broth. It is prepared by cooking tender chicken or beef in a seasoned sauce of ground peanuts, tomatoes, onions, and spices.

    It is often paired with rice; Dovi is a cherished Zimbabwean food because of the warmth it gives the body.

    Image Credit: Facebook


    Boerewors: A Sausage 

    While boerewors has its origins in South Africa, it has become a beloved street food in Zimbabwe. It is a coiled sausage made from minced beef, pork, and a grilled blend of spices. It is known as an African barbecue; it has a soft succulent taste and smoky aroma, making it a popular snack choice.

    Boerewors is a staple food in South Africa, Botswana and Namibia. See more on how to make Boerewors. 

    Image Credit; Pinterest

    Bota: A Portable Porridge

    Bota is a traditional Zimbabwean dish made from cornmeal (sorghum or millet), sugar, and water. It is a simple porridge-like dish typically enjoyed as a breakfast meal. 

    It’s often enjoyed with milk, sugar, and sometimes butter, providing a quick and energy-boosting bite, especially during busy days. It is like the porridge form of sadza and is mostly seen as a traditional children’s meal.  

    Maputi: Crispy Corn Snack

    Maputi, or “popped corn,” is Zimbabwe’s answer to popcorn. These crispy corn kernels are usually salted and roasted. This light and crispy treat is traditionally made by heating corn kernels in hot oil until they pop. It is often seasoned with salt or spices and enjoyed as a delicious and crunchy snack.

    Mopane Worms: Weird Food

    Mopane worms is one of the weird but exciting Zimbabwean food. It’s quite unusual but seen as a staple traditional meal by the locals. These nutritious insects are prepared by first collecting them from mopane trees.

    The worms are then sun-dried, or sometimes smoked, to preserve them. To prepare, they are rehydrated in water and cooked with onions, tomatoes, and spices until tender. Mopane worms are often enjoyed fried or added to stews, providing a unique and flavorful experience.

    Mopane Worms
    Image Credit: Facebook

    Nhopi/Inhopi: Pumpkin Pudding

    Nhopi, or Inhopi, is a delightful Zimbabwean pumpkin pudding. It is made by simmering mashed pumpkin with ground peanuts, butter, and sugar. It’s a light meal taken as a dessert or a side dish.

    To prepare, peel, cook, and mash the pumpkin. Add ground peanuts, sugar, and butter, stirring until well combined; you can add fresh milk or cinnamon to a unique taste to the dish.

    Image Credit: Facebook

    Guru/Maguru: (Tripe)

    Guru, a beloved Zimbabwean dish, shares some similarities with Nigerian assorted meat pepper soup. In the case of a guru, it’s enriched with various vegetables. Made from a specific part of the cow’s stomach, it’s known for its enjoyable chewiness. Though cooking requires time and effort, the result is worth it. The preparation involves slowly boiling Guru in water, and when it’s almost ready, ingredients like onions, tomatoes, and vegetables are added. This step enhances the flavour and depth of the dish.

    Image Credit: Facebook

    Zimbabwean dishes are sure savory and delightful, which of these would you be trying soon?

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