The one thing I often find people complain about the most in relation to our beloved sadza is that it is very bland. Yes, well, that is the point, a bit like rice right? The stews and vegetables you eat with it provide loads of flavour. It did get me thinking one day, about how in West Africa, we add flavour to rice and get jollof, or in East Africa, pilau rice is spiced up and tasty. “Why not do the same with sadza?”, I thought. I went on to experiment one day. I think a lot of people do something similar with polenta, which already has a lovely yellow colour.
I took the exact same ingredients I would normally use for a traditional sadza meal and this is what I did with them. I made, what I would like to call, “Afro Cosmopolitan” Sadza, served with a quick and easy diced citrus chicken sauce on a bed of raw baby spinach. Voila! Presentation makes a world of difference, right? I will share my quick recipe for the diced citrus chicken sauce in another post. For today, here is yours truly, with one of Africa’s finest ingredients.
Spiced up Afro Cosmo Sadza
1 tbsp butter
1 tsp curry powder
1 cup mealie meal (I used the white one, you can use yellow polenta)
2 cups of boiling water, 1 cup cold water
spring onion, chopped finely
1/2 cup parmesan cheese (or as much as you like, who’s watching?)
butter (for caramelising cooked dough)
Melt 1 tablespoon of butter in a pan and fry the curry powder to release its flavour. Add the cold water to the pan and immediately add the mealie meal. Stir continuously. Add the boiling water, the dough will rapidly thicken. This should not get as thick as ordinary sadza, so add more water if it gets too thick. Allow to simmer and steam for about 5 minutes. Add the parmesan and spring onions. Transfer to a square or rectangular dish from which you can cut out blocks once cooled.
Once cooled, heat up the butter for caramelising. Of course as I spontaneously decided to try this in the middle of the working week, I just couldn’t wait for the cooling (impatience, impatience). I went on and dumped the entire block into the plan. It was a challenge, but it got the job done.