How to Cook Samp: Zambian Food

Samp is a dish made from crushed, dried corn kernels that have been stamped and chopped until broken but not as fine as maize meal. It is a common Zambian food served in many households as breakfast or even any other meal. It is often sold at Zambian local markets.  In Zambia, its commonly referred to as “Sampo”. Others know it as “Musaku” or as “Musoya”.

Here’s a step-by-step guide on how to cook samp:

Ingredients:

  • 1 cup of samp
  • 4 cups of water
  • Salt
  • 1 or 2 tablespoons of cooking oil

Instructions:

  1. Remove unwanted particles from the samp and rinse it in cold water making sure it is clean. Alternatively, you can soak it in cold water overnight. This will help to soften it and reduce the cooking time.
  2. In a large pot, put 4 cups of water.
  3. Add the samp to the pot of water, a bit of salt and cooking oil and start to boil.
  4. Allow it to cook for about 2-3 hours (could be more), adding water from time to time  until it is tender. Be sure to stir it occasionally to prevent it from sticking to the bottom of the pot.
  5. Once it is tender, remove it from the heat.
  6. To serve it, you can add peanut butter at this stage if you like, milk or sour milk, which will give it a richer flavor.

Samp with Peanut butter

  1. In a small bowl, mix together the peanut butter and water or milk until smooth.
  2. Add the peanut butter mixture to the pot of cooked samp and stir well.
  3. Return the pot to the stove and cook on low heat for an additional 10-15 minutes, stirring constantly to prevent the peanut butter from sticking to the bottom of the pot.
  4. Add sugar to taste.
  5. Serve as a main dish.
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Samp with Milk

  1. In a small pot, heat the milk on low heat until warm.
  2. Add the warm milk to the pot of cooked samp and stir well.
  3. Return the pot to the stove and cook on low heat for an additional 10 minutes, stirring constantly to prevent the milk from sticking to the bottom of the pot.
  4. Add sugar to taste.
  5. Ready to serve

Tips:

  • Samp can also be cooked in an electric  pressure cooker to reduce the cooking time. Cook it for about 40-45 minutes in a pressure cooker after the water starts boiling.

Cooking samp is relatively simple, but it requires time and patience. Soaking the samp overnight is important to soften the kernels, reduce cooking time and ensure even cooking.

Enjoy!