Zanzibar Fish with Spiced Cornbread (Maharage Ya Nazi)

Serves 4

| Prep Time: 20 mins

| Cook Time: 30 mins

| Total Time: 50 mins

You may need: Dried Garlic Powder

Discover The Recipe

Using our exotic Zanzibar Zest spice blend, we transform a simple skillet cornbread and fish stew into a memorable trip for your tastebuds. This recipe  for Zanzibar Fish with Spiced Cornbread (Maharage Ya Nazi) transports your dinner table into an exotic meal in a faraway land.

Zanzibar is an island in the Indian Ocean off the coast of Tanzania known for its warm breezes, powder white sand beaches, and stunning turquoise waters. Wandering around the streets of Stone Town, the old port city of Zanzibar, your senses are on overload. Centuries old coral stone buildings are painted with bright, tropical colors and adorned with beautiful hand-carved wooden doors. African and Arabic music plays from myriad shops lining narrow alleys. The intense heat of the day makes you long for lazy evenings spent sitting on cushions in the rooftop restaurants, where you delight in the cool ocean breeze. Most memorable, the flavors of Zanzibari cuisine are a true fusion of East African, Arab, and South Asian cultures that seamlessly meld to make this island one of the most exotic places you can imagine. Menus here combine seasonal ingredients, fresh seafood, local vegetables, native tropical fruits, and spices to please your palate with aromas you'll remember long after your visit ends. 


  • For the Zanzibar Spiced Cornbread

  • 1 cup all-purpose flour

  • 1 cup yellow corn meal

  • ½ cup granulated sugar

  • ½ tsp salt

  • 3 tsp baking powder

  • 2 tsp Zanzibar Zest

  • 1 egg

  • 1 cup milk

  • ⅓ cup vegetable oil

  • For the Zanzibar Fish (Maharage Ya Nazi)

  • 2 Tbsp coconut oil (or vegetable oil)

  • 1 medium onion, sliced

  • 2 cloves garlic, diced

  • 1 tsp Zanzibar Zest

  • ¼ tsp red pepper flakes (optional)

  • 4 Tbsp tomato paste

  • 1 (14oz) can kidney beans, drained

  • 1 cup coconut milk

  • 2 cups water

  • 1/2 tsp salt

  • 1 lb white fish (Cod or Tilapia)

  • Fresh cilantro


If you’re short on time, use your favorite boxed cornbread mix. Cook according to the package and simply add 2 tsp of Zanzibar Zest.

Customize your Maharage Ya Nazi with other veggies  like potatoes, sweet potatoes, cassava, plantains, chopped leafy greens like spinach or Swiss chard.

Optional ingredients add a little character and flavor but don’t sweat it if you don’t have them.


First make the cornbread: preheat oven to 400 deg. Grease a 9x9 pan or cast iron skillet. Add all dry ingredients to a bowl. Mix in wet ingredients until combined. Pour into the pan and bake for 20-25 minutes.

While the cornbread is baking, heat coconut oil over Med-High heat in a large pot. Add onions and garlic, stir fry for 3-4 minutes. Add Zanzibar Zest, stir fry for 1 minute, until fragrant. Mix in tomato paste, kidney beans, coconut milk, water and salt.

Bring to a boil then reduce heat to Med-Low. Add fish filets and return the pot to a simmer. Cover and simmer for 6-7 minutes, until fish is cooked through and flakes with a fork. Don’t overcook.

Serve with chopped fresh cilantro and enjoy with Zanzibar-spiced cornbread

Alternatives & Substitutions

  • Substitute the fish with shrimp, or thinly sliced chicken breast.

  • For vegans and vegetarians, omit the fish and add an additional can of kidney beans.

  • Try using Zanzibar Zest in a delicious African-style Fish Coconut Curry, Zanzibar Spiced Coffee,  or this Cardamom Chicken.

  • Also use Zanzibar Zest in sweet recipes that call for cardamom and/or cinnamon. Try our fabulous South African vegan Malva Pudding recipe. Or, try it in this Cardamom Spiced Crumb Cake, or add 1/2 - 2 tsp of the spice blend to your favorite cookie or pancake recipe depending on how big the recipe is and how strong the spiced flavor you desire.

  • Be sure to leave comments and feedback on your meals and experiments in the comments for others to read.

  • Post pictures of your masterpiece meal on social media and tag us. We repost!

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