Chikanda commonly known as African Polony is one of the most delicious Zambian foods you just need to taste. It is meatless, purely a vegetable.
Growing up,I used to buy most of my already prepared Chikanda in the streets or at the local market, but now it is being served everywhere,at work events, marriage events, hotels as well as supermarkets. This just goes to show what an amazing treat it is. However, it is quite a tricky one to prepare , because sometimes it just does not come out right. If you are not very familiar with the Chikanda itself (the raw one) you are likely to purchase what is commonly referred to as “Mbwelenge”, a type of Chikanda that is not very good and when prepared tends to be pasty, watery and falling all over the place. But fortunately for me, I managed to get a good type, so let’s get into the recipe;
You will need;
500g unshelled groundnuts
A pinch of salt
Some chili powder
¾ teaspoon soda
A brazier with charcoal
A mortar and pestle
Wash the Chikanda in clean cold water and then dry it on a tray for some time (till dry)
Pound (using mortar and pestle)and sieve both the Chikanda and the groundnuts and put them in separate bowls (they are now in powder form)
Pour at least a liter of water in a medium pot and add groundnuts (while the water is still cold)
Put the pot on a charcoal brazier and stir continuously till the groundnuts are cooked.
Add the Chikanda, chili and salt and stir continuously till the paste becomes thick
Dissolve the ¾ teaspoon of soda into water and add to the Chikanda, stirring until it becomes very thick
Cover for 10 minutes.
Remove it from the fire and get some of the charcoal from your brazier and put it on top of the lid of your Chikanda pot. (turn the lid upside down) so that the Chikanda can bake and brown on top as well. Leave this charcoal for at least 15 minutes
Allow to cool and it is ready to serve
Slice it like Polony and serve as a snack
To serve as a relish for Nshima/Pap, I like to make gravy using tomato, onion and some oil and then add in some slices of Chikanda. You can also add some raw onion, bell peppers and raw tomato and have it as a salad.
Chikanda is very yummy in both aroma and taste
English Name: Wild Edible Orchids