A mashamba is a Zimbabwean variety of pumpkin which bears an uncanny resemblance to a melon and has green flesh. Nhopi Dovi is a Shona recipe; the Ndebele people have a similar recipe which uses a different pumpkin called Mbaqanga. It has yellow flesh and creates a much thicker dish. Both recipes are very popular with children.


1 medium mashamba, or, as an alternative, butternut pumpkin peeled, seeded and diced

500 ml ( pt) water

500 g (1 lb) groundnut (peanut) paste

salt or sugar to taste


Boil the mashamba or pumpkin in the water until cooked thoroughly. It should be very soft, ready to mash. Drain away excess water. Stir in the groundnut (peanut) paste. Mash both thoroughly to form a creamy, smooth paste.

Depending on your taste, add sugar or salt to make it sweet or savory. Serve hot or cold as a lunch. When cold, it sets to a jelly-like mass.


Serves 4.


country : Zimbabwe

course : lunch dish


source : A Taste of Africa  : With over 100 traditional African recipes adapted for the modern cook / Dorinda Hafner