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Sadza – Ugali (African Cornmeal)

If you love good, old fashioned sadza this is the perfect recipe. This recipe will show you how to make sadza that comes out perfect every time. Simple and delicious!

What is sadza/Ugali?

If you are new to this to this food, you may be wondering what it is all about.I’ll try to help as much as I can. 

Sadza is a staple in a lot of African countries, especially South Africa and South Africa.

It is a very ”thick porridge” made from finely ground white cornmeal popularly known as mealie meal. It is similar to polenta but thicker in texture, and it is usually served as an accompaniment to meat and vegetable soups and stews.

Other names 

If you have been reading along, you will discover that I have been using Sadza and Ugali interchangeably. This is because they are practically the same. It is often called Sadza or pap in South Africa, ugali in Tanzania,  in Uganda, it’s called Posho. It is also popularly known as Nshima and mieliepap.

When it comes to preparation, the people of South Africa likes theirs a bit on the softer side while most people in East Africa like it a little thicker. 

I like mine in between (not too soft and not too thick), and that’s the recipe I have provided below. However, you can choose the texture of your ugali. Use lesser cornflour for soft ugali and use more cornflour for a more solid consistency.

How to make Sadza

Sadza is very easy to prepare; however, it might be a little tricky if this is new to you. If it is not well prepared, there are chances that it turns out with tiny lumps of cornflour in the dish. 

This happens to many first-timers, but one important thing to do to prevent the lumps is to make the Pap before making the ugali.

The Pap is a soft porridge made by boiling some cornflour in water or milk.

Picture showing the step by step directions on how to make Sadza

To make the Sadza:

  1. Mix the cornflour and water: Add room temperature water with the cornflour using a ladle and mix it up until the flour and water are thoroughly mixed.
  2. Prepare the soft Porridge: Place the mixture over medium heat and boil continually stirring until the Pap is formed and leave to Pap to boil for few more minutes.
  3. Make the Sadza: Once the porridge has been prepared, add more cornflour to the porridge stirring continuously with a ladle until you get the desired consistency. 

What to serve with Sadza

Sadza is not eaten alone because by itself it has little to no taste. It is often served with a type of relish like sukuma wiki (collard green/kale relish) or tomato relish.

Some like to add milk to make it tastier, especially for special occasions. I’ve also seen one person who added butter to hers. While butter is not traditional, it will definitely add a bit more flavor to your Ugali. When one or a combination of these are added, the Sadza is almost as good enough to eat on its own.

How to eat Sadza – Ugali

Ugali is often eaten with hands. Take off a little bit just mold it into a ball in the palm of your hand. Use your thumb to make a small hole and use the morsel to scoop up the stew or soup served along with the Sadza.

Notes:

  1. I like to start my cornmeal to water ratio as 1:2. You can add more cornflour as needed or more water as needed. The recipe can also be doubled 2:4 or tripled 3:6 and so on.
  2. While making the Sadza, it’s important to stirring vigorously in order to prevent lumps. This requires a bit of elbow grease, especially when making it for a larger crowd because the Sadza becomes thicker as you go.
  3. Try not to add the cornmeal while the Pap is on a rolling boil to prevent it from splashing on you. You don’t want to burn yourself.
  4. Some cornmeal cooks raw, and some come pre-cooked. Be sure to check. If using pre-cooked cornmeal, your ugali will be ready in about 15 minutes, and if you use the raw cornmeal, your ugali will take about 30 to 40 minutes a little more or less depending on the quantity you are making.

Other similar Indigenous African side dish includes Pounded yam, Fufu, Eba, Amala, and much more!

Freshly made sadza

sadza – Ugali

If you love good, old fashioned sadza this is the perfect recipe. This recipe will show you how to make sadza that comes out perfect every time. Simple and delicious!
5 from 1 vote
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Course: Lunch/Dinner
Cuisine: African, East African, South African
Cook Time: 30 minutes
Servings: 4 people
Calories: 305kcal

Ingredients

  • 4 cups water or a little more if needed
  • 2 cups fine cornmeal
  • ½ teaspoon salt optional

Instructions

  • Make the Pap by mixing the water with a cup of cornmeal and salt. Place on medium heat and continue to stir until the light Pap is formed. Then leave the Pap to come to cook—about 10 to 15 minutes.
  • Reduce the heat to low and start adding the remaining cornmeal a little at a time, continually stirring until you reach your desired consistency.
  • Cover and leave to cook on a low heat for 10 to 15 minutes. Stir a couple of turns again.
  • Cook further if too soft (it gets thicker the longer it cooks) or add a bit of water if too thick and stir a couple of times till the water is absorbed and the sadza is uniformly combined.
  • Remove from heat and serve with your choice of relish!

Notes

  1. I like to start my cornmeal to water ratio as 1:2. You can add more cornflour as needed or more water as needed. The recipe can also be doubled 2:4 or tripled 3:6 and so on.
  2. While making the Sadza, it’s important to stirring vigorously in order to prevent lumps. This requires a bit of elbow grease, especially when making it for a larger crowd because the Sadza becomes thicker as you go.
  3. Try not to add the cornmeal while the Pap is on a rolling boil to prevent it from splashing on you. You don’t want to burn yourself.
  4. Some cornmeal cooks raw, and some come pre-cooked. Be sure to check. If using pre-cooked cornmeal, your ugali will be ready in about 15 minutes, and if you use the raw cornmeal, your ugali will take about 30 to 40 minutes a little more or less depending on the quantity you are making.

Nutrition

Calories: 305kcal | Carbohydrates: 58g | Protein: 8g | Fat: 5g | Saturated Fat: 1g | Sodium: 306mg | Potassium: 256mg | Fiber: 7g | Sugar: 1g | Calcium: 12mg | Iron: 2mg

Let’s Connect! You can find me on YouTube, Facebook, and Instagram. I love keeping in touch with all of you! and if you make this recipe, don’t forget to tag me on Instagram @cheflolaskitchen ❤❤❤

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Tsardav from Fresh Nazaar

Sunday 6th of September 2020

Good morning Chef Lola.

We've been trying to get across to you for a while now, but there's barely any contact details on your website. We'd appreciate if you reached out to us via our official e-mail ([email protected])

Thanks.

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