My name is Kelly, the Simple Life Mom, and though my parents are full Kentuckians, I grew up in Southern Africa. My most memorable and delicious meals where eating traditional foods with my friends and family. Zimbabwean Sudza and Curried Chicken was a favorite and common meal amongst local people.
Since returning to America, I still make sudza and curried chicken and tomatoes for my family. It’s a recipe that my kids ask for every other week at least. The sauce is super flavorful and one that you can kick up in spiciness if you like. The sudza may be new to you though. Let me explain…
What is sudza?
Sudza is literally cooked cornmeal in water. That’s it; a sort of thick porridge. It is actually cooked slightly different all over Africa under multiple names.
Similarities you may know: A lot of people know what Southern Grits is. Well, cook that a bit thicker and you’ve got sudza. A number of people from Europe eat the Romanian Polenta, a dish made with boiled cornmeal that often has cheese added (So good!). It’s like porridge, only cooked thicker so that it sets up and can be molded in the hand.
Curried Chicken and Tomatoes
You can cook a lot of things to go with sudza. My favorite, though, is curried tomatoes and chicken. Zimbabwe was colonized by the British, though they have had independence for over 30 years. There has been quite a mixture of influence on the traditional eating habits. There are a number of people from India and the middle east who have brought their fabulous spices. I grew up eating this curried chicken and tomatoes with sudza and crave it often! I hope you enjoy it!
Zimbabwean Sudza and Curried Chicken
An Authentic African Recipe
- 3 cups corn meal
- 8 cups water
- 3 lb chicken thighs, breast, or leftovers (anything goes)
- 2 - 28oz cans crushed tomatoes
- 1/4 cup olive oil
- 1 medium onion, diced
- 2 garlic cloves, minced
- 2 tsp salt
- 1/2 tsp pepper
- 2 tsp curry powder
- Bring water to a boil and whisk in 2 cups of cornmeal (plain, no baking powder added) slowly. Whisk constantly to avoid clumps.
- Cook for 10 minutes over medium heat.
- Slowly stir in 1-2 more cups of cornmeal using a large wooden spoon. Cook for 5-10 more minutes to insure all cornmeal is cooked and remove from heat.
- It will continue to thicken as it cools. You will know how much cornmeal you will need, because it will be thick to stir, but not soupy at all.
- Place onions, garlic, and olive oil in large sauce pan and brown onions over medium heat.
- Add chicken, tomatoes, salt, pepper, and curry powder and cook over medium to low heat for 20 minutes or until chicken is fully cooked.
- Remove chicken and cut into bite sized pieces if desired or needed.
- Be careful to scoop sudza carefully into a bowl or plate. It will be internally hot for a long time!
- Dip/scoop curried chicken and tomatoes with sudza.
How to Eat it?
It’s not often that I describe how to eat something. To eat sudza you’ll have to let it cool slightly. It will be like molten lava when you first take it off of the burner. Once it’s cooled enough to touch, take a golf ball size into one hand and work it slightly so it’s pliable and form it into a scoop. Scoop your sauce and enjoy. When you’re done you can pass around a basin of water for everyone to wash their hands.
I hope you enjoy this authentic African recipe. SimpleLifeMom.com has more recipes, but is primarily a natural living body, home, and health website with recipes for making lye soap, lotion, and even homemade makeup. Thanks so much for this opportunity to share with you all!