4 Popular Traditional Zambian Drinks to Try

Zambia is a land of diverse cultures, and one of the ways this diversity is expressed is through the various traditional drinks that are enjoyed across the country. These traditional drinks have been passed down from generation to generation and play an important role in Zambian cuisine and culture. From refreshing fermented drinks to thick, hearty beverages, Zambia has a rich selection of traditional beverages that are as unique as they are delicious. In this article, we are going to discuss 4 traditional non-alcoholic Zambian drinks. These include Munkoyo, Maheu, Thobbwa and Chibwantu.

Munkoyo

Munkoyo is a traditional Zambian beverage that is made from the roots of the Munkoyo root and maize flour. The plant is indigenous to the southern parts of Africa, and its roots have been used for centuries to make a refreshing and nutritious drink that is enjoyed by many in Zambia and neighboring countries.

To make Munkoyo, you start by making a maize porridge with mealie meal and water. The Munkoyo roots are then  soaked in water. After the porridge has cooled down and the Munkoyo roots have soaked for some time, they are now mixed together and left to ferment overnight. During the fermentation process, bacteria present converts the natural sugars in the root into lactic acid, which gives the drink a tangy flavor and also acts as a natural preservative.

After at least sitting overnight, the munkoyo roots are now removed from the porridge and left to ferment further for at least  3 days. Munkoyo is typically served chilled and can be consumed as a standalone drink.

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Maheu

Maheu is a traditional drink that originated in Zambia, but is also enjoyed in other African countries. It is a popular beverage that is consumed by people of all ages. Maheu is a non-alcoholic drink that is made from maize meal, sugar, and water. The drink is fermented, which gives it a slightly sour and tangy taste.

The process of making Maheu involves mixing maize meal with water and sugar to create a thick porridge. The mixture is then left to ferment for a few days, during which time it develops a unique flavor and aroma. Once the fermentation process is complete, the drink is ready to be consumed..

Thobwa

Thobwa is a traditional Zambian drink that has been enjoyed for many years. It is a non-alcoholic beverage that is made from sorghum or millet flour, water, and sugar. The drink is a popular in Eastern Province and is often consumed both in hot and cold weather.

The process of making Thobwa involves mixing sorghum or millet flour with water and sugar to create a thick porridge. The mixture is then left to ferment for a few hours, which gives it a slightly sour and tangy taste. Once the fermentation process is complete, the drink is ready to be consumed.

Thobwa is a nutritious drink that is rich in carbohydrates. It is a great source of energy and is often consumed as a breakfast drink or as a midday snack.  Thobwa can either be served warm or chilled. (See recipe here)

 Chibwantu

Chibwantu is another type of Munkoyo common among the Tonga tribe of Sothern Province

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To make Chibwantu. you need Munkoyo roots, Mealie meal,  Masembe (Crushed Maize Meal) and water. The process is similar to that of making Munkoyo and it is also served chilled. (See recipe here)

Traditional Zambian drinks are an important part of Zambian culture and cuisine. They are enjoyed by people of all ages and are often served during special occasions and gatherings. . Whether you’re looking for a refreshing drink to cool you down on a hot day or  to warm you up on a cold night, traditional Zambian drinks have something to offer for everyone.