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Umxhanxa Recipe: How to Make Zimbabwean Melon Soup, Umxhanxa

Africa is the home of very delicious, classic, and even spiritual meals. At ILoveAfrica, we love to share very exotic meal recipes from all over the continent, and today we have Umxhanxa.

Umxhanxa is a traditional Ndebele dish, it is mostly eaten by the Ndebele and Kalanga people. It is a seasonal dish often served in winter after harvest time and it is also often eaten for lunch.

Umxhanxa is made by taking a yellow watermelon, known as iJodo, sun-dried maize, and sugar. The maize is boiled with water until the hard grains soften, which usually takes up to two and a half hours. 

The yellow watermelon is skinned and sliced, and all the seeds are removed. Then, it’s boiled for 30 minutes. It is then beaten, and the iJodo and maize are combined with sugar.

Ingredients For Umxhanxa

The ingredients depend on the quantity of Umxhanxa you intend to prepare. However, for a sizeable pot, you’d need;

  • 1 big or medium-size yellow watermelon  (iJodo)
  • 500g or 1kg of sun-dried maize grains
  • 250 g of sugar

Preparation Process

Step One

  • Take your sun-dried maize grains and place them into a pot with as much water as you can depending on the size of pot you are using.
  • Place the pot on the fire, and let it cook.
  • You check the texture of the maize grain. If it’s still hard, then you add more water until they are very soft.
  • Alternatively, you can decide to soak the maize in water overnight to soften it before you cook your Umxhanxa.

It is important you know that this cooking process will take almost 2 and half hours. And after your maize is properly boiled up, you have what is called amagwadla – boiled maize grains.

Step Two

Now comes the slightly difficult part. You’d have to cut the iJodo into strips to enable you to peel the outer part.

  • Take the yellow watermelon and slice it into big slices like how you would do a red watermelon. Remember to take all seeds out of the sliced pieces.
  • Remove the skin of the yellow watermelon
  • Chop the melon slices into big chunks and place them in the pot, pour 250 ml of plain water
  • Place on the stove or fire for 30 minutes and let it cook.
  • When it’s all cooked and soft, use an egg beater to stir them until it becomes watery.

When you’re okay with the texture of the melon, you can mix it with a uphehlo (uphehlo is a wooden mixer with wires)

Step Three

  • Take the cooked maize drain all water and mix the maize with the cooked yellow melon, mix the two into a big pot that will accommodate both.
  • Add some sugar to taste 250g of sugar
  • Put the mixture back on the fire and let it blend and mix until it is done for just 15 minutes

Serve hot.

See More Recipes for your favorite African Dishes

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