For Ree Drummond, every day is a chance to learn a new recipe!
In an Instagram Live on Wednesday, Drummond was joined by her good friend and makeup artist Jacque Mgido to learn the Zimbabwean dish called sadza, a thick porridge consisting of cornmeal and water.
“Jacque and I have been friends for five years or more and Jacque’s been telling me about this incredible dish,” Drummond said at the beginning of the Live. “I wanted her to show me how to cook it for forever so we’re hiding in the kitchen and we’re gonna make sadza for lunch.”
“I’m so excited right now,” Mgido said. “I’ve always wanted to show her how to make sadza.”
At the start of the video, a few cooking steps have already been started: spinach is sautéing in a pan with peanut butter (yes, peanut butter), kale in another, a beef stew is all done and another pan has the first stages of sadza (cornmeal and water which was brought to a boil).
“For all the Zimbabweans out there, I know I need white cornmeal but I couldn’t find white cornmeal here,” Mgido said, before continuing the process.
Then, as Drummond stirred the pan, Mgido went in with more cornmeal. After adding the right measurement (which is “in her head”), Mgido took the reigns to show that sadza needs some incredible strength in stirring to get it just right.
“Traditionally, when you get married, if you can’t make this properly, and if it has any forms of bubbles in it, if they’re paying a dowry, they’ll send you home,” Mgido said, explaining the culture around the dish in her home country.
“I was so intrigued by this dish because Jacque has told me so many stories of this dish and her family and how important it is for a young bride to be able to make sadza before she gets married,” Drummond said.
After adding more cornmeal, and mixing furiously yet again, the sadza is finally done.
Mgido then plates their lunch, one plate with the greens and the stew and another with the sadza, which has firmed up.
“First we say grace with our family and the men, women and kids all sit by themselves,” Mgido said. “What is really amazing about it is that everybody understands who’s supposed to go first, who’s supposed to go second and who’s last within the individual group.”
As for how to eat the dish, one should grab a portion of the sadza with their hands, flatten the mixture with their thumb and then scoop the sides on top of it.
“What I love about it is that it’s not seasoned or creamy or cheesy, all things that I would do with grits or polenta and turn it into something it isn’t,” Drummond said after taking her first bites. “This way it truly is a vessel for you to enjoy the rest of the meal.”
“Couldn’t have said it better,” Mgido said.