Chinaka Recipe from Zambia - Ingredients and Instructions


Chinaka Recipe from Zambia - Ingredients and Instructions
Region / culture: Zambia | Preparation time: 10 minutes | Cooking time: 20 minutes | Servings: 4



Chinaka is a traditional Zambian dish made from ground Chikanda tuber and raw peanut powder. It is a popular dish in Zambia and is often served with nshima, a staple food in the country.


Chinaka has been a part of Zambian cuisine for generations. It is a dish that is often made for special occasions and celebrations. The combination of ground Chikanda tuber and raw peanut powder gives Chinaka a unique and delicious flavor that is loved by many.


How to prepare

  1. Pour two cups of water into a medium-sized pot. Place on medium heat for two minutes.
  2. Add half a teaspoon of baking soda, half a teaspoon of salt, and a quarter of a teaspoon of red pepper. Stir until well dissolved.
  3. Add two cups of ground Chinaka and one cup of raw peanut powder. Stir slowly until thoroughly mixed.
  4. The contents will gradually boil, thicken, and sputter. Cover, lower the heat, and cautiously stir every three to five minutes.
  5. Simmer for fifteen to twenty minutes.
  6. Remove from the heat and immediately empty the solid Chinaka onto a platter.
  7. Smooth the top of the Chinaka with the back of a large spoon. It will thicken as it cools down.
  8. The Chinaka should have the look of a large unsliced bologna. When cold, cut the Chinaka into desired slices to be served as delicious sandwich cuts or served and eaten with other meals.
  9. Traditionally, Chinaka is eaten as dende, ndiwo, or relish with the nshima, a Zambian staple food.


  • You can add other spices or seasonings to Chinaka to suit your taste preferences. Some variations include adding garlic, onion, or curry powder for extra flavor.

Cooking Tips & Tricks

When making Chinaka, it is important to stir the mixture slowly to ensure that the ingredients are well mixed. It is also important to simmer the mixture for the recommended amount of time to ensure that it thickens properly. Additionally, be sure to cut the Chinaka into slices while it is still warm to make it easier to serve.

Serving Suggestions

Chinaka can be served with nshima, a traditional Zambian staple food. It can also be enjoyed with other dishes such as grilled meats, vegetables, or salads.

Cooking Techniques

The key cooking technique for Chinaka is to simmer the mixture slowly to allow it to thicken properly. Stirring the mixture regularly will help prevent it from sticking to the pot.

Ingredient Substitutions

If you cannot find Chikanda tuber, you can substitute it with another starchy vegetable such as cassava or sweet potato. You can also use almond or cashew powder instead of raw peanut powder.

Make Ahead Tips

Chinaka can be made ahead of time and stored in the refrigerator for up to three days. Simply reheat it in the microwave or on the stovetop before serving.

Presentation Ideas

You can garnish Chinaka with chopped peanuts or fresh herbs for a decorative touch. Serve it on a platter with nshima and other side dishes for a traditional Zambian meal.

Pairing Recommendations

Chinaka pairs well with grilled meats, such as chicken or beef. It also goes well with sautéed vegetables or a fresh salad.

Storage and Reheating Instructions

Store any leftover Chinaka in an airtight container in the refrigerator for up to three days. Reheat it in the microwave or on the stovetop until heated through before serving.

Nutrition Information

Calories per serving

Each serving of Chinaka contains approximately 200 calories. This makes it a relatively low-calorie dish that can be enjoyed as part of a balanced diet.


Chinaka is a carbohydrate-rich dish due to the ground Chikanda tuber and raw peanut powder. It is a filling and satisfying dish that provides a good source of energy.


The raw peanut powder in Chinaka provides a good source of healthy fats. Peanuts are high in monounsaturated fats, which are beneficial for heart health.


Chinaka is a good source of protein due to the raw peanut powder. Protein is essential for building and repairing tissues in the body.

Vitamins and minerals

Chinaka is rich in vitamins and minerals, including vitamin E, niacin, folate, magnesium, and phosphorus. These nutrients are important for overall health and well-being.


Chinaka contains peanuts, which are a common allergen. It is important to be aware of this if you or your guests have a peanut allergy.


Overall, Chinaka is a nutritious and delicious dish that provides a good balance of carbohydrates, fats, proteins, vitamins, and minerals. It is a filling and satisfying meal that can be enjoyed on its own or with other dishes.


Chinaka is a traditional Zambian dish made from ground Chikanda tuber and raw peanut powder. It is a nutritious and delicious meal that can be enjoyed on its own or with other dishes. With its unique flavor and satisfying texture, Chinaka is sure to become a favorite in your household.

How did I get this recipe?

I vividly recall the moment I first laid eyes on this recipe for Chinaka. It was a warm summer day, and I was visiting my dear friend Maria in her cozy kitchen. Maria was known throughout our small town for her incredible cooking skills, and I always admired her ability to whip up delicious meals from scratch.

As I sat at her kitchen table, sipping on a cup of steaming hot tea, Maria suddenly disappeared into her pantry and emerged with a worn and tattered cookbook. She flipped through the pages with a sense of excitement, finally stopping on a recipe that caught her eye.

"Ah, here it is," Maria exclaimed, her eyes lighting up with delight. "Chinaka - a traditional dish from my homeland in Africa. It's one of my absolute favorites, and I think you'll love it too."

Maria began to explain the ingredients and steps required to make Chinaka, a flavorful stew made with tender chunks of beef, fragrant spices, and a rich tomato broth. I watched intently as she demonstrated each step, her hands moving with precision and grace. I could tell that this recipe held a special place in her heart, and I felt honored that she was sharing it with me.

After hours of simmering on the stove, the Chinaka was finally ready to be served. The aroma that filled the kitchen was intoxicating, and my mouth watered in anticipation. Maria ladled generous portions of the stew into bowls, garnishing each with a sprinkle of fresh cilantro.

I took my first bite of Chinaka, and my taste buds were immediately transported to a faraway land. The flavors were bold and complex, with a perfect balance of heat and sweetness. I savored each mouthful, feeling a sense of warmth and comfort wash over me.

As I finished my meal, Maria smiled at me and said, "I am so glad you enjoyed the Chinaka. It's a dish that has been passed down through generations in my family, and I am proud to share it with you."

From that day on, Chinaka became a staple in my own kitchen. I made it for family gatherings, dinner parties, and quiet nights at home. Each time I prepared the stew, I thought of Maria and the special bond we shared over our love of cooking.

Over the years, I have made a few tweaks to the original recipe, adding my own personal touch with a dash of this spice or a splash of that ingredient. But the heart and soul of the Chinaka recipe remain unchanged, a testament to the enduring power of tradition and friendship.

As I sit here now, reflecting on that fateful day in Maria's kitchen, I am filled with gratitude for the memories we created and the dishes we shared. The recipe for Chinaka will always hold a special place in my heart, a reminder of the joy and connection that food can bring. And I hope that one day, I can pass it on to someone special, just as Maria did for me.


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