Bemba Chicken Recipe - Discover the Authentic Flavors of Zambia's Bemba Tribe

Dish recipes: Bemba Chicken

Bemba Chicken is a traditional dish that originates from the Bemba tribe in Zambia. This flavorful and aromatic chicken dish showcases the vibrant culinary heritage of the Bemba people and is loved for its rich flavors and tender meat. In this article, we will share an authentic Bemba Chicken recipe that will guide you through the process of creating a mouthwatering dish that captures the essence of Zambian cuisine.


1 whole chicken, cut into pieces

2 onions, finely chopped

3 cloves of garlic, minced

2 tablespoons vegetable oil

2 tomatoes, chopped

2 tablespoons tomato paste

1 tablespoon ground paprika

1 teaspoon ground cumin

1 teaspoon ground coriander

1 teaspoon dried thyme

1 teaspoon salt (or to taste)

1/2 teaspoon ground black pepper

1 cup chicken broth

Fresh cilantro, chopped (for garnish)

Step 1: Prepare the chicken

Wash the chicken pieces under cold water and pat them dry with paper towels. Season the chicken with salt and pepper.

Step 2: Sauté the onions and garlic

Heat the vegetable oil in a large pot or skillet over medium heat. Add the chopped onions and minced garlic, and sauté until they become soft and translucent.

Step 3: Add the tomatoes and spices

Add the chopped tomatoes to the pot and cook for a few minutes until they soften. Stir in the tomato paste, ground paprika, ground cumin, ground coriander, dried thyme, salt, and black pepper. Mix well to coat the onions and tomatoes with the spices.

Step 4: Brown the chicken

Push the onion and tomato mixture to one side of the pot and add the chicken pieces to the other side. Brown the chicken on all sides for about 5 minutes to seal in the juices and add flavor.

Step 5: Simmer the chicken

Pour the chicken broth into the pot, making sure it covers the chicken pieces. Reduce the heat to low, cover the pot, and let the chicken simmer for about 30-40 minutes, or until the chicken is cooked through and tender.

Step 6: Adjust the seasoning and serve

Taste the Bemba Chicken and adjust the seasoning if needed. Add more salt, pepper, or spices according to your preference. Garnish with freshly chopped cilantro for added freshness and aroma.

Step 7: Serve and enjoy

Transfer the Bemba Chicken to a serving platter and serve it hot. This delicious chicken dish pairs well with Nshima (maize meal), rice, or any side dish of your choice.

Optional: Serving Suggestions

Accompany the Bemba Chicken with a side of sautéed vegetables or a fresh salad to balance the flavors. Enjoy it with a traditional Zambian relish like Chibwabwa (pumpkin leaves) or Ifisashi (peanut stew) for a complete Zambian meal experience.

With this authentic Bemba Chicken recipe, you can immerse yourself in the vibrant flavors and culinary heritage of the Bemba tribe in Zambia. The combination of aromatic spices, tender chicken, and rich tomato-based sauce creates a dish that is sure to delight your taste buds. Prepare this traditional Zambian delicacy and savor the taste of Bemba culture and tradition in the comfort of your own home.