As a child I really didn”t like the traditional Zimbabwean food, I don”t remember when I transitioned and started loving it. At some point it said to me that is food you eat when you are poor and I certainly did not want to feel that way. With age I have found the preparation and eating this food to be therapeutic, I have no idea why but it calms me down.
This week I made Mangai – there is no English word for it I guess, it is a mixture of grains and nuts boiled together.There are many versions of it mainly depending on what you like and in my case availability of the ingredients. I had peanuts and maize at my disposal so that is what I used, used equal parts nuts and the maize. To make mangai boil the maize in about three cups water until they grains are medium tender, then add the peanuts and continue boiling until tender. Make sure you add salt to taste. At this point the outer skin of the maize will look like its peeling off.Traditionally you eat this with your hands, kids usually like to pick the peanuts as they are sweeter and leave the maize. I like to take the maize and peel them one by one as I eat – its a labour of love for me.Some people just eat without looking. Whichever way you decide to do it, I hope you will enjoy this