What are the popular desserts in Zambia?

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Introduction: Discovering Zambia’s Sweet Treats

Zambia is a country in southern Africa with a diverse culture and cuisine. It is known for a variety of dishes that reflect its rich history and traditions. When it comes to desserts, Zambia has a lot to offer as well. From sweet and sour fermented drinks to nutritious snacks, Zambian desserts are unique and flavorful. In this article, we’ll take a closer look at some of the most popular desserts in Zambia.

Ubwali: A Staple Dessert in Zambian Cuisine

Ubwali is a traditional Zambian dessert made from maize meal or cassava. It is a staple food in Zambian cuisine, especially in rural areas. The dessert is cooked in boiling water until it forms a thick, starchy paste. It is then served with a variety of side dishes such as vegetables, meat, or fish. Ubwali is a filling and nutritious dessert that is popular among locals.

Munkoyo: A Sweet and Sour Fermented Delight

Munkoyo is a sweet and sour fermented drink that is popular in Zambia. It is made from the roots of the Munkoyo tree, which are pounded and mixed with water. The mixture is left to ferment for several days until it becomes a tangy and slightly alcoholic beverage. Munkoyo is often served cold and is a refreshing way to quench your thirst on a hot day.

Chikanda: A Unique and Nutritious Snack

Chikanda is a unique Zambian snack made from the tuber of the African orchid. The tuber is grated and mixed with groundnuts, spices, and wild greens. The mixture is then shaped into small balls and cooked over an open fire. Chikanda is a nutritious and protein-rich dessert that is popular among locals.

Masuku: A Simple but Delicious Fruit Dessert

Masuku is a simple Zambian dessert made from fresh fruit such as mangoes, pineapples, or bananas. The fruit is sliced and mixed with sugar and a squeeze of lemon juice. The mixture is then chilled in the refrigerator until it is ready to serve. Masuku is a refreshing and healthy dessert that is perfect for hot summer days.

Scones: A British Influence on Zambian Desserts

Scones are a British influence on Zambian cuisine and are a popular dessert in the country. They are made from flour, butter, sugar, and milk, and are usually served with jam and cream. Scones are a sweet and buttery dessert that is perfect for breakfast or afternoon tea. They are often served in cafes and restaurants in Zambia and are a favorite among locals and tourists alike.


Zambia’s desserts are as diverse as its culture and cuisine. From traditional staples to unique and nutritious snacks, there’s something for everyone to enjoy. Whether you’re looking for a sweet and sour fermented drink or a simple fruit dessert, Zambia has it all. So the next time you visit Zambia, be sure to indulge in some of its sweet treats!

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Written by John Myers

Professional Chef with 25 years of industry experience at the highest levels. Restaurant owner. Beverage Director with experience creating world-class nationally recognized cocktail programs. Food writer with a distinctive Chef-driven voice and point of view.

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Are there any vegetarian or vegan options in Zambian cuisine?

Are there any traditional desserts made with local ingredients?