Busala/Lusala-Beef Stew- Zambian Food

Busala or Lusala are a root tubers commonly found in the Southern part of Zambia. It looks like a yam. The English name is not well known but the scientific name is Dioscorea hirtiflora (Food Composition Report 1311, 2007). It can be eaten as a snack when plainly boiled with some salt or eaten with some nshima when cooked with gravy.

Health Benefits of Busala/Lusala

Busala has many nutritional benefits. According to an article by Asunta Simoloka on Zambian Eye, “this healthy tuber contains iron and copper, essential for the formation of red blood cells and B-vitamins needed by the body for various metablic processes. It is also loaded with fiber.”


uncooked Busala

                              Uncooked Busala/Lusala Roots

Its texture is soft when cooked. In this recipe,we got a little creative and tried to experiment with it a little bit. Since it is a little tasteless, we  mixed it with some beef to give it some flavour and make a delicious stew.

Busala served with some greens

Busala/Lusala-Beef Stew served with some green vegetables

How to cook

½ kg beef strips or cubes
3 handfuls of busala/lusala roots
Fresh red pepper
Fresh yellow pepper
Fresh green pepper
2 medium sized tomatoes
1 medium sized onion
3 tablespoons vegetable cooking oil
BBQ Spice (or any seasoning of your choice)

Wash and clean the busala/lusala roots on running water
Put in the pot with a tablespoon of oil and salt and boil for 30 minutes
Fry the beef in 2 tablespoons of oil till brown
Add them to the beef and stir adding in your tomatoes, onions, peppers and seasoning with some salt
Stir continuously for 5 minutes and add 1/2 cup of water
Allow to simmer till you have thick appealing gravy then it is ready to serve
Enjoy with nshima
Happy Eating!

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