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 staple foods of the world at large.

These African staple foods 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) for instance, just like other to African countries, Cassava tuber products form part of the popular foods, even though the people call the final food a different name from what other Africans call it in their own localities.

This weekend, 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!


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Cooking Time: 240 minutes


Serves: 5


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 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.

Vegetable oil


Ingredients: 5 Cassava tubers

Banana leaves


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 was set aside (not the juice yet, keep saving that!).

Chopped celery


Add a few tablespoons of the oil that was used to brown the chicken above.  Cook on high heat for about 5 minutes.

poulet a la mambe.jpg 1


Add chicken, chicken juice, water, peanut butter, eggplant, salt and chili peppers.  Simmer for about 30 minutes.  Add additional salt to taste, if needed.

poulet a la mambe

Poulet-a-la-mwambe 2.jpg3

You can eat with rice and/or fried or boiled plantains, or some nice sticky chikwangue.


Cooking Methods: Kwanga

Soak the cassava tubers in a tub for three days or longer.


Peel the tubers, and wash them in large tub, changing water several times.

Dice the tubers into cubes for easy pounding.Using a mortar and pestle, pound the tubers into a thick, smooth paste.

Kwanga 1

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 inches 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).

Kwanga 1.jpg2

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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Recipe by: Katie R and Congo Cookbook

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