Xhima was my loathe it dish in Mozambique! I ate it begrudgingly when I was offered a minefield lunch (it’s rude to refuse and traipsing round a minefield makes you just plain hungry!).
I would probably manage a golf ball size of the stuff but boy can the Mozambicans put it away!
I’ve described xhima before as looking like steaming buttery mashed potato…but tasting like you would expect wallpaper paste to taste!
But it is here to stay in Moz…normally served up with dried fish in a sauce or if you are lucky you get it with goat stew.
It’s made from maize flour mixed with water and stirred using a HUGE wooden paddle. It takes a good hour or two to get it to the perfect consistency and there is a definite technique – I tried it once and it ended up looking like very lumpy semolina!
But I have been assured if you are taught by your mama from a very young age you get popeye arm muscles (once it starts cooking it goes thick and stirring it is like wading through treacle) and know by heart the right ratio of water to flour to make xhima fit for a king!