Solar Cooking Archive Discussion Forums Forum Index Solar Cooking Archive Discussion Forums

 
 FAQFAQ   SearchSearch   MemberlistMemberlist   UsergroupsUsergroups   RegisterRegister 
 ProfileProfile   Log in to check your private messagesLog in to check your private messages   Log inLog in 

Malawi: cooking nsima with a Cookit?

 
Post new topic   Reply to topic    Solar Cooking Archive Discussion Forums Forum Index -> Africa
View previous topic :: View next topic  
Author Message
SolarPier



Joined: 11 Dec 2007
Posts: 2
Location: Amsterdam

PostPosted: Thu Dec 13, 2007 11:16 pm    Post subject: Malawi: cooking nsima with a Cookit? Reply with quote

Hello,
I am starting up a project for the introduction of solar cooking in the south of Malawi. We are planning to work with the Cookit. But now we bumped into the problem that it seems impossible to make the national staple food; nsima with a Cookit.
Nsima is a thick porridge made of cornmeal and water and it needs a lot of stirring; hence the problem.
Is there anybody on this forum who has dealt with this problem before and has some useful information about how you could tackle it? It would make the impact of solar cooking in Malawi (and countries like Zambia, Mozambique and Zimbabwe) a lot bigger.
So if you have any useful information, please let me know.

Thank you very much,
Pierre de Winter
Amsterdam, Holland
Back to top
View user's profile Send private message MSN Messenger
SharonID



Joined: 24 Jun 2007
Posts: 74
Location: northern Idaho

PostPosted: Thu Jan 24, 2008 10:50 pm    Post subject: Reply with quote

I'm sorry I didn't see this sooner....

The primary reason to stir cornmeal (or other grain-meal) porridges is to prevent scorching and burning. Since this is not a problem in a panel cooker, you can make lovely porridges without stirring. Mix the cornmeal well with an appropriate amount of cold water (if you do this with a bit if care to end up with a smooth mixture, this will take care of lump prevention, which is the other reason to stir). Then put the mixture in the cooker and let it cook.

I can't find it or I'd put in a link (I'll come back and do that if I do find it), but I read a report from someone cooking with panel cookers in Africa who said they work just fine for the native-style porridges there. In fact the report said if you leave it in the cooker a little past when it would be considered done, it starts to brown just a tiny bit, and almost everyone agreed that it tasted even better that way. Anyway, it was made without stirring and worked just fine. Took about two hours to done (in African conditions... might take longer up north where I am!) and a little longer to get the delicious hint of a toasty flavor.

If there are any pulses/legumes that are a part of their diet, be aware that by slightly sprouting them (just until the first roots are barely starting to poke through, which is a very short, easy process), cooking time is shortened and nutrition and digestibility are enhanced, while the pulses/legumes retain their basic character and flavor. This could improve nutrition and make formerly slower-cooking (and more fuel consumptive) but very nutritious foods much more accessible. All water left over from the bit of soaking and rinsing for this type of brief sprouting can be saved and used in cooking, so even in areas of short water supply this technique could be invaluable. For more information, see my article http://solarcooking.wikia.com/wiki/Sprouting_seeds_and_grains

The best of luck with your project, and if you have any other questions on solar cookery, please feel free to email me (which you can do from the "Memberlist"), especially if you don't get a response here.

Regards,
SharonID... who cooked with sunshine on a snowy deck in northern Idaho yesterday (a couple hundred miles south of Canada and a few hundred miles east of the Pacific Ocean, if you don't know where Idaho is! Wink ), in temperatures below freezing... feel free to tell them that if I can do it halfway to the north pole in the middle of winter, they can sure do it down there! Cool
_________________
Idaho Regional Representative, International Women's Writing Guild
Visit the Guild at: http://www.iwwg.org/
Back to top
View user's profile Send private message Send e-mail Visit poster's website
SolarPier



Joined: 11 Dec 2007
Posts: 2
Location: Amsterdam

PostPosted: Sun Mar 09, 2008 1:04 pm    Post subject: Thank you very much Reply with quote

Hello Sharon,
I am very sorry for not reacting earlier. Been travelling last month and busy with other stuff.
Your information is of great value, since my african partner did'n't know about all this and I was only hoping it's possible (still need to organise my own first solar cooking session).
So thanks again. We're hoping to start in may. I'll keep this site posted with relevant info.

With regards,
Pierre
Back to top
View user's profile Send private message MSN Messenger
SharonID



Joined: 24 Jun 2007
Posts: 74
Location: northern Idaho

PostPosted: Sun Mar 23, 2008 11:40 pm    Post subject: Re: Thank you very much Reply with quote

Now it's my turn to be sorry I didn't see this sooner. I wish the email alert feature worked on this forum.

Anyway, I am on a Spring visit from my home in the north to attend a writers' conference and visit a friend near San Jose, California. I actually flew the reflector from my HotPot and my own EZ-3 cooker with me, as well as a few lightweight dark pots, since the weather has been awful at home.

I was able to try the cornmeal porridge a couple of days ago and it worked like a charm! I mixed the cornmeal (and a bit of salt) with a little cold water to get it all smooth, mixed in the rest of the water, and set it to cook in the EZ-3 (which is basically a small hybrid panel-oven... a foiled box corner sized so that the whole cooker just fits into a turkey size oven bag, very good for up to a quart of food). The porridge came out very well, quite smooth with no lumps and no scorching. I think the important thing is to make sure there are no lumps when you set it to cook, but adding cool/cold water kind of gradually and mixing well takes care of that. I was cooking just a small quantity to test the method, but when cooking a large quantity in something like a CooKit I think it helps to give the bagged (or otherwise covered) pot a quarter or half turn once in awhile, to help the heat be even.

Anyway it worked great and I wanted to let you know. Good luck with your projects.

Regards,
Sharon[/quote]
_________________
Idaho Regional Representative, International Women's Writing Guild
Visit the Guild at: http://www.iwwg.org/
Back to top
View user's profile Send private message Send e-mail Visit poster's website
Display posts from previous:   
Post new topic   Reply to topic    Solar Cooking Archive Discussion Forums Forum Index -> Africa All times are GMT
Page 1 of 1

 
Jump to:  
You cannot post new topics in this forum
You cannot reply to topics in this forum
You cannot edit your posts in this forum
You cannot delete your posts in this forum
You cannot vote in polls in this forum


Powered by phpBB © 2001, 2005 phpBB Group