Ifisashi is a traditional Zambian dish that has been enjoyed for generations. It is a vegetable stew that can be made from a variety of green leafy vegetables that are cooked in a peanut sauce. The vegetables used in the Ifisashi recipe can include katapa or cassava leaves, chibwabwa pumpkin leaves, delele with leaves or okra leaves, rape vegetables, Chinese cabbage, or mpilu.
Any green leafy vegetables really and sometimes non-green vegetables as well. Dried vegetables also make a great ifisashi recipe such as dried chibwabwa or dried delele leaves. The dish is usually served with nshima, the Zambian national dish.
If you’re not from Zambia, you might be wondering, what is Ifisashi in English? Well, Ifisashi is simply a dish made from green leafy vegetables in peanut sauce.
The name “Ifisashi” comes from the Bemba language, which is one of the major languages spoken in Zambia. In Chinyanja language, which is also one of the major languages in Zambia, it is called “Visashi”.
The ingredients used to make Ifisashi recipe are simple and affordable. The peanut sauce is made from raw ground peanuts which are sieved to make a peanut powder.
The powder is mixed with the vegetables, onions and tomatoes, and then cooked together. The end result is a rich and flavorful vegetable stew that is packed with nutrients.
Here is the most common way of preparing ifisashi:
- Green leafy vegetables (katapa or cassava leaves, chibwabwa pumpkin leaves, delele with leaves or okra leaves, rape vegetables, Chinese cabbage, or mpilu
- 1 cup raw ground peanut powder
- 1 tomato, chopped
- 1/4 teaspoon soda
- Salt to taste
Note that the measurements of ingredients will depend on how much vegetables you have. In this Ifisashi recipe, we will use 2 cups of dried delele (Katate) leaves. For Chibwabwa., fresh and dried pumpkin leaves, check the recipe here and here
- Wash the dried delele leaves thoroughly removing all unwanted particles
- In a medium pot, add the vegetables and ¾ cup of water
- Add the chopped tomatoes and the peanut powder
- Add 1/4 teaspoon of soda and some salt them stir to combine everything
- Bring the mixture to a boil for at least 5 minutes and start stirring from time to time, adding a liitle bit of water if needed. Continue doing this for at least 30 minutes then reduce the heat to low and let it simmer for about 15 minutes or until the vegetables and the groundnuts are well
- It is now done and it will give a flavorful aroma
- Serve hot with nshima and any other dish of your choice.
- Adding some soda makes the dish have a unique flavorful taste though it is believed that soda can take away some of the nutrients
- This recipe may not be ideal for people with nut allergies
Ifisashi is a flavorful and nutritious Zambian dish that is very easy to prepare and perfect for lunch and dinner alongside nshima.
Try this Ifisashi recipe for your family. You can get dry vegetables such as the delele leaves used in this one at any Zambian local market.