My 10 Best Swazi Food of All Time


Allow me to introduce Thembekile Motsa to you. I was born in Swaziland to my dad (a Swazi) and my mom (a Xhosa lady). Growing up I was fully exposed to both cultures and food was a constant in our house, be it at funerals or during happier times. It is well known that both the Swazi and Xhosa cultures have great similarities and our food is no different. Below is a list of the Swazi foods that I grew up eating from my mom’s family and ekhaya kitsi where I grew up;

  1. Liphutfu nemasi – known in isiXhosa as Umphokoqo naMasi. This is a dish of porridge cooked until fine with sour milk added. Best enjoyed cold.
  2. Sitambu nemabhotjisi – known in isiXhosa as Umnqushu. This is a dish made from samp cooked with sugar beans. My mom mncane makes the best! She cooks it with stock made from beef bones and then cooks the meal together with the bones for that extra flavor.
  3. Umbhidvo wemantongomane – known is isiXhosa as Umfino namantongomane. This is wild leafy greens cooked with ground nuts, best enjoyed with pap.
  4. Indengane – known as isiDudu in isiXhosa, this is commonly eaten for breakfast as is made with mealie meal that is cooked to make a soft porridge. It can be served with milk and sugar.
  5. Sidvwidvwi – My father’s specialty, no one cooks it quite like he does. This is a soft porridge made with mealie meal cooked in freshly milked full cream milk. For best results, use the milk from a cow with a new born. No sugar or milk is needed for this Swazi dish.
  6. Ematfumbu neliphalishi – known in isiXhosa as Amathumbu nepapa. This is still my personal favorite, this is a dish made from boiled tripe from either a cow or sheep. It is served with stiff pap, also known as liphalishi.
  7. Esondvo Emvu – known as Amanqina wegusha in isiXhosa, this dish is made with grilled sheep trotters and stiff pap. It can be enjoyed with a side of Umbhidvo.
  8. Singwangwa – this is left over pap, usually from the night before. It is mixed with water and some sugar and drunk.
  9. Umbhonyo wetindlubu – this is boiled jugo beans that are left to cool down and eaten as a snack between meals.
  10. Umbhonyo wemantongomane – this is peanuts boiled in their husks and left to cool down, also eaten as a snack between meals.

I trust that this list of food from Swaziland will have stirred up some fond childhood memories as it has with me. These are just some of the traditional dishes that I grew up enjoying. What childhood dishes did you grow up eating? Please take us down memory lane with your comment below.

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