Congolese Cooking

ACALA learners, Faida and Gracia, taught us how to make some of their favourite meals from the Democratic Republic of the Congo. Watch the video here to see how they prepared these delicious dishes!

See below for written instructions with photos!

Foufou is made from cassava, which is a root vegetable like a potato/yam.  You soak in water for a week and then cut it up and pound it into a powder.  When you cook this it is called foufou.  Foufou can be served with pondu, which is made from the cassava leaves; or a side dish of soup made from dried fish called makayabwa. Sometimes you serve foufou with dongo dongo, which is made from okra and fish or other meat. We also sometimes serve it with fumbwa, which is a vegetable cut very small and allowed to dry.  When it becomes green, it is dry enough to mix with dried fish or eel. 

All of these dishes are prepared with palm oil, a natural oil from a palm tree.  Another common side dish is chikwanga, which is also made with cassava and potatoes soaked in water for one week.  You mix this in a powder form with plantain, which is similar to a banana.

Foufou

Ingredients

  • 2 lbs (.9kg) cassava tuber* (white sweet potato/yam)
  • 1 quart (1l) water
  • Salt to taste
  • 3 tablespoons (43g) butter

Instructions

  • Peel and dice cassava into 1 in (2.5cm) cubes and presoak.*
  • Place in saucepan and cover with cold water by 1 in (2.5cm).
  • Bring to boil over high heat.
  • Reduce heat to low and simmer for 20 minutes, until tender. Strain.  Add to food processor with butter.
  • Puree in food processor for 4 minutes scraping the sides and bottom several times.
  • Roll into small balls or spoon right onto plate for serving.

* Cassava should generally be soaked in water for 4-6 days.

Pondu

Ingredients

  • 5oog frozen cassava leaves
  • 1 cup of palm oil or canola oil
  • 2 bell peppers, finely chopped
  • 1 bunch of spring onion, chopped
  • 2-3 garlic cloves, minced
  • 6-8 pieces of grilled chicken thighs
  • 1 large smoked fish, deboned and thoroughly cleaned
  • 500ml chicken stock
  • salt to taste

Instructions

  • Thaw the frozen cassava and rinse thoroughly in a colander under running water. Squeeze out excess liquid. Transfer in a pot.
  • Pour in the stock and add rest of ingredients to the pot.
  • Bring everything to a boil under medium heat cooking for about fifteen minutes then, reduce heat to simmer for the rest of the time until vegetables are tender.
  • Adjust salt to taste and serve with fufu, rice, yam, potato or plantain.

    Makayabwa

    Ingredients

    • ¼ onion, chopped 
    • 1 bell pepper, chopped
    • 1 tsp Tomato puree 
    • ½ tsp of garlic paste 
    • 1 tsp of chicken bouillon 
    • 3 tbsp of canned tomatoes  
    • 1 tsp of chili sauce 
    • Vegetable Oil  
    • Water 
    • 2lbs Salt Fish

    Instructions

    • Heat enough oil for the salt fish to sit shallowly over medium heat until simmering in a large skillet. 
    • Add salt fish skin down in the skillet and fry for 5 minutes. Flip salt fish over so the other side can cook for 2 – 3 minutes. When the salt fish starts changing to a golden color, remove it from the skillet.
    Sauce
    • Add 3 tbsp. of vegetable oil to a skillet over medium heat until it is simmering. 
    • Add onion to simmering skillet and wait to soften. 
    • Add bell pepper, chicken bouillon, canned tomato, tomato puree, garlic paste, and chili sauce to simmering skillet, stirring all ingredients together often. 
    • Add water up to the same level as the ingredients stirring occasionally, and leave to simmer on low heat for 5 minutes 
    • Add sauce on top of cooked salt fish and enjoy! 
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