African staple/ Cultured milk/ Madila

Madila (Botswana’s cultured milk)

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African yoghurt, sour or cultured milk is known as madila (mah-dee-lah) in Botswana. It is also known as hodzeko-amasi in parts of South Africa,  or lacto in some parts of  Zimbabwe. My mum used to make it at home and I remember enjoying it with a bit of sugar as a little girl. It is popular with sadza or pap.

The stuff is plain and is so good for you. One of my friends told me that her pediatrician even recommended breastfeeding mothers eat it in order to relieve babies of colic. It is said to have many health benefits that extend to preventing certain types of cancer. At Mufaro’s family foods, you can read more about the health benefits of cultured milk. I had been looking for a variety of ways to use madila and decided to use it in place of yoghurt in a number of recipes including a kale smoothie and banana bread. I even used it to make paneer. Sometimes I strain it in a sieve and paper towel to get a thicker, creamier and sweeter yoghurt. Simply pour away the sour liquid (whey) every couple of hours.

Sour cream and yoghurt strained for 4 hours

yoghurt strained for 4 hours

This can be purchased from many of the South African shops around central London, and can be ordered directly from the family run business that creates it.  After all, Mufaro’s cultured milk is made in Kent.

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