Xigugu is a dish from the Tsonga-Shangaan culture. It is pronounced as “she-goo-goo”. It is served as an in-between-meal snack and it’s quite filling.
Xigugu is also added to savoury and sweet dishes to enhance the flavour and increase protein content.
At first glance, xigugu looks like peanut butter, but once tasted one will recognise the crunchy texture due to the maize meal.
Traditionally, xigugu is prepared using dry mealie kernels which are crushed with a wooden pestle and mortar until they are fine and resemble maize meal bought in shops. But, that is too much labour and it takes a long time; therefore, maize meal is used in the recipe. It can be prepared well in advance and stored in an airtight container or in the fridge for several months.
I recently prepared scones for my mom using xigugu and after tasting it, she asked: “What do you call these scones?” I said “xigugu scones” and she started laughing.