Cooking an African recipe is often a multiple dish affair, given that a lot of the main soups and sauces need an accompanying dish. This is why Africans are famous for eating various outputs of cassava tubers, yam tubers, rice flour and wheat flour that are not common staples of the world at large.
These staples like fufu, agidi, kwanga, semolina, wheat, starch, tuwo and so on are named by each country according to its language but are derived from similar sources. In the Democratic Republic of Congo (DRC), the same common African foods are consumed.
This recipe Wednesday we will be making one of the popular recipes in DRC, the Kwanga and the soup Poulet à la Moambe. Kwanga is a cassava dish that is tasteless and sticky but a great accompaniment to the soup.
So if you like to try new things like I do, whip up your cooking tools and let’s get to work!
Cooking Time: 240 minutes
Ingredients: 1 whole chicken
1 tbsp. salt
A few dashes of ground ginger
1/2 cup green onion (chopped)
1/2 stalk celery (chopped)
2 Bay leaf
1 small white onion (chopped)
6 cloves of garlic (crushed and chopped)
2 big tomatoes
1 small onion
1/2 cup green onion
1/2 stalk celery
1 big green bell pepper
1 small eggplant
1/2 cup water
1/3-1/2 cup all natural peanut butter, depending on taste
1-3 small chilli peppers (chopped or whole), depending on taste.
Ingredients: 5 Cassava tubers
Cooking Methods: Poulet à la Moambe
Cut whole chicken into quarters or pieces. Cut small gashes in the meat and rub with ground ginger.
Put chicken in a big pot and add salt, ginger, green onions, celery, bay leaf, onion and garlic.
Cook for about 10 minutes on medium heat, flipping chicken pieces once. Remove the chicken and set aside the remaining juice and cooked vegetables.
Cover the bottom of a pan with oil and brown chicken on one side (about 10 minutes), then flip and brown the other side (about 10 minutes)
Set chicken aside. Save oil for the sauce.
Chop all vegetables and then add tomato, onion, green onion, celery and bell pepper (all veggies except the eggplant) to the pot. Add the cooked vegetables that were set aside (not the juice yet, keep saving that!).
Add a few tablespoons of the oil that was used to brown the chicken above. Cook on high heat for about 5 minutes.
Add chicken, chicken juice, water, peanut butter, eggplant, salt and chilli peppers. Simmer for about 30 minutes. Add additional salt to taste, if needed.
You can eat with rice and/or fried or boiled plantains, or some nice stinky chikwangue.
Cooking Methods: Kwanga
Soak the cassava tubers in a tub for three days or longer.
Peel the tubers, and wash them in a large tub, changing the water several times.
Dice the tubers into cubes for easy pounding.Using a mortar and pestle, pound the tubers into a thick, smooth paste.
Put the paste into the leaves, fold them into packets, and tie them closed. (Make the packets uniform in size. Two sizes are common in Central Africa: either 1 to 2 inch in diameter by 12 inches in length; or 4 inches in diameter by 12 inches in length.)
Place sticks or a wire basket in the bottom of a large pot. Stack the packets on the sticks, add enough water to steam-cook them (the water level should be below the packets).
Cover tightly and boil for four to eight hours. The finished product should be very thick and solid.
Serve at room temperature, with the Poulet à la Moambe. The cooked baton de manioc will keep for several days if kept in the leaf wrapper in a cool, dry place.
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