Food for Change ~ Royal Chundu’s Local Kalembula

For the Love of Local

For Food for Change this year, Royal Chundu presented one of their favourite local ingredients, joining our chefs around the world to champion for more ethical cooking choices.

“There are so many delicious lesser-known local flavours in Zambia. You’ll discover many of them in our different menus at the lodge. With this year’s collaboration with Relais & Châteaux and Slow Food for Food for Change, we took the opportunity to highlight one of our favourites: the kalembula, our sweet potato leaves. Using fresh local produce sourced from our own food garden or from neighbouring villages is an essential at Royal Chundu – and a delicious and sustainable way to give guests a genuine taste of Zambia,” the chefs said.


Take a look below

as Royal Chundu Chef Martin Mushekwa reveals their hero ingredient: the local kalembula.


Chef Martin Says

  1. What is the biggest threat to the food industry?

Dwindling heirloom varieties. As we are heading to a hotter, drier future due to global warming, current crops that have been reduced to a narrow genetic range are becoming harder to grow. During the green revolution, hybridisation transformed commercial agriculture. Due to the dependence on commercial varieties, thousands of heirloom varieties have disappeared. Heirlooms need to be reintroduced, because of climate change. They are resilient against heat, drought, disease and pests.



  1. What ingredient are you defending and why?

I have chosen sweet potato leaves (kalembula), because it is found in every village garden, is very sustainable, grows throughout the year, and it allows us to use a part of the plant that is usually discarded.



  1. Why do you love cooking with it?

It can accompany many different dishes and is very versatile – it can be turned into relishes and purées, for instance.