#151: Zambia

“Turn around, bright eyes… ”

So, no… it’s not a total eclipse of the heart, but thank you for that annoyingly catchy little ear worm, Bonnie Tyler. It was, however, a total eclipse of the sun yesterday. It was called “The Great American Total Solar Eclipse” and in a band of land about 70 miles wide from Oregon to South Carolina, we were able to see what was truly a once in a lifetime event. Denver fell in the path of partial eclipse, so this weekend found many of venturing to our northern neighbors, Wyoming/Nebraska for the best seats in the house. The next one isn’t till 2024 and that one only hits Texas and Mexico. The magnitude of this occurrence is said to be once every ninety-some-odd-years as the moon is very closely in orbit to the earth right now. Yeah, I was able to learn a few things via a trip to the planetarium last month ๐Ÿ˜‰

THE DINNER: With all eyes on the skies around here and since I was out of town, L turned her attention to cooking up Zambia for the blog this week. We picked a fish dish (won’t ever get tired of that alliteration) called Chambo in Gravy. I will grant you that “fish in gravy” sounds unpalatable as all get out– but the definition of “gravy” stateside is not the same as abroad, so hold your horses. On the fish front, we don’t have access to chambo (which is a fish from a lake in the region of Africa that Zambia occupies).ย As a matter of fact, that puppy is going extinct. Lucky for us, it’s in the tilapia family of white fish so we were able to improvise. It’s a fried fish with a curried, fruit gravy of sorts on top. Typically it’s served alongside the national dish, “Nsima” which is a cornmeal porridge. This sometimes is the only meal that many Zambian and African families eat due to the food insecurity and poverty in the region. The protein portion of the meal is often a special occasion venture for many families.

Chambo in Gravy Recipe: http://www.internationalcuisine.com/malawian-chambo/

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Ease of prep and cooking: HALF a STAR out of five this meal!
This one was reported as “very very very easy” and couldn’t have taken more than 30 minutes. There were no complicated ingredients or conversions, and with the exception of Chambo fish, we were good to go with our local grocery and tilapia.

Best dish of all time scale: FIVE out of five for Meal!!
My dad commented that this was his favorite African meal to date! The fish was light and the meal was very healthy even in the event of pan frying. Spicy and peppery with just a hint of the lemon that was rubbed prior to frying. It turned out to be quite a complex flavor- because when was the last time you had carrots with your fish? Right. I thought as much ๐Ÿ˜‰

After a weekend in the windy city followed by some giant yard jenga and a romantic few rounds of beers Sunday, I’m excited and terrified to be heading to Snowmass for my Ragnar race this week! If I’m not totally zombied out, we will be making the food of Guinea forย #152 when I return!

Cheers,
โ€“ L & K

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