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Traditional Malawian Nsima

Melinda Parrish

Serves 2


  • 1 cup ufa (finely ground white corn flour)
  • 2 3/4-3 cups water for each cup ufa 
  • Butter or margarine optional


Heat the water in the saucepan until lukewarm.

Mix a little of the ufa  (finely ground white corn flour) with the water, stirring well to make sure there are no lumps.  Bring to a boil, stirring well, then lower the heat and let boil gently for a few minutes.  

The mixture should look like a thin, transparent porridge.  Sprinkle the remaining ufa (white corn flour) over, a little at a time, stirring continuously to avoid lumps from forming, until the desired consistency is reached.

Keep stirring until the nsima is smooth and well cooked.  A little butter or margarine may be stirred in at this stage. Serve in a dish accompanied by a relish such as pumpkin leaves or tabasco sauce.


Use a wooden spoon to stir nsima.