Zambia – Inswa

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by Alkased Mamim


In every rainy season, you will see golden flies all around places in Zambia, they are flying termites. Here in Zambia we call them Inswa. In nearby country that is Tanzania, they usually call them “Kumbikumbi”.

These small insects with accordance of their color, they carry a lot amount of proteins and fats.

They are also known for being used as medication, from their fats.

Again not all types of Inswa can bring us this lovely cuisine but the chosen ones, the winged ones. During the rainy seasons, they come from termite mounds looking for new life, that’s where we have our chances to prepare this cuisine.

You may find already prepared Inswa either in fast foods along Zambian towns or get invited in a ceremony where they have prepared it, don’t panic, take a breath and give yourself a new taste.

You may even miss both of the lucky situations, now we will learn to prepare one for ourselves even at home. Take a pose and ready to go, welcome.

Preparation and Cooking steps

  • We need to collect at least 5 cups of Inswa, by just collecting them. You may watch this video to know some tricks for collecting Inswa, https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=hq5YJxLB49Y
  • Put them on a large pan or dish to clean them. Mix them to be sure they are all dead. Again this will regulate their fats while cooking.
  • Filter all water from termites.
  • Using low heat, start to fly them until dry. Remove from heat and pass over wind to separate wings and bodies.
  • Add any ingredients you like and fry them with medium heat, until their shiny color disappears.

After those steps, get them off heat and serve with rice, bites, potatoes and any you will prefer, enjoy with family. You may need to consume Inswa with care, just a moderate amount, as much intake may give smell allergy, note that.

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