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Established 2008 Chic African Culture teaches the history of African-food recipes and African-cultures, art, music, and oral literature.

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The person who is not patient cannot eat well-cooked dishes. -African Proverb

Tuesday, March 31, 2015

Teff Banana Nut Bread

Teff Banana Nut Bread

Teff Banana Nut Bread African recipe
African recipes by African Gourmet

Teff flour is a finely ground whole grain flour popular in Ethiopian cooking. Our moist and delicious classic banana bread recipe made with teff is a unique tasting easy to make African recipe.

Prep time: Cook time: Total time:


Ingredients:

2 cups teff flour

2 very ripe bananas

½ cup unsalted walnuts

½ cup of chopped dates

2 large eggs

1 cup of white sugar

1 stick unsalted butter

½ teaspoon salt

½ teaspoon of baking soda

½ teaspoon of baking powder

1 teaspoon vanilla extract

½ teaspoon ground cloves

 

Directions:

Preheat the oven to 325 degrees. Cream butter and sugar, mix in eggs and bananas and add all dry ingredients to wet, including nuts and fruits, and mix well. Pour into 2 buttered and floured bread loaf pans and bake for 40-45 minutes or until a toothpick inserted in the center comes out clean.

Did you know...?
Teff grows mainly in the African countries of Ethiopia and Eritrea.

African Gourmet Banana bread photo by sajia hall
 

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Monday, March 30, 2015

Ghost towns and wild horses of the African Namib Desert

The Namib desert of Southern Africa is one of the worlds oldest and largest deserts, the origins of the wild horses of the Namib desert is a secret the desert ghost towns keeps to herself.


Ghost towns and wild horses of the Namib desertKolmanskop was a rich German diamond mining town but presently is a ghost town in the Namib Desert visited only by Namib wild horses and the occasional tourist. 

Origins of the wild horses of the Namib Desert remains a mystery fueled by theories and urban legends because originally there were no horses in southern Africa. There have been a number of theories proposed over the years as to the origin of the wild horses in the Southern African country of Namibia. One theory is around 1914 during WWI the Union of South Africa troops were stationed at the small town of Garub. The German forces set up a stronghold in the hills at the town of Aus, which bombed the Union camp sporadically. It is thought that the Union forces might not have had enough time to round up all the horses before advancing on the retreating Germans and thus horses were left behind.

Origin of the Namib Desert horses remains a mysteryAnother theory is Emil Kreplin, who was the mayor of the town of Lüderitz from 1909 to 1914, had a horse farm near the town of Aus. Kreplin bred 2,000 workhorses for the mines and racehorses however; he was drafted into the Union of South Africa Army and while fighting in the war he lost his fortune. Kreplin’s horses were ownerless began to scatter throughout the area. Whatever their origin’s, for nearly a century the Namib Desert horses developed generation after generation becoming a wild breed. The wild horses maybe regarded as a breed in their own right, the Namibs.

The desert horses gather in the area around the town of Aus, finding water at the springs and at the Garub borehole or well. Namibs gather-around the permanent water source Garub’s well which is a water drinking trough currently maintained by Namib Naukluft Park. The Garub well was originally created for topping off locomotives on the nearby railway line but today a scenic photo opportunity area and shelter was erected at the drinking trough at Garub to give visitors the opportunity to watch and study the Namib wild horses. The Namib desert of Africa is one of the worlds oldest and largest deserts, the origins of the wild horses of the Namib desert is a secret the desert keeps to herself.

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Sunday, March 29, 2015

Celebrating Easter in Africa: 1994 Public Holidays Act

South Africa has an almost 80% Black-African ethnic group and the majority of South Africans practice the Christian faith.


Baptism is a Christian ritual of importance and significance.

Many Christians in South Africa celebrate Jesus Christ's resurrection on Easter Sunday. 


The Easter weekend in South Africa begins with Good Friday and closes with Family Day, more commonly known as Easter Monday, on Monday April 6, 2015 this year. 

On December 7, 1994 Nelson Mandela and the African National Congress worked together to create The Public Holidays Act. In 1994, the South African Government renamed Easter Monday to Family Day to include all religions and the non-religious in the Rainbow Nation of South Africa. 

South Africa's homeland policy was dissolved in 1994 and all the homelands in the country were absorbed into South Africa.


The former Republics of Transkei, Bophuthatswana, Venda and Ciskei were also known as homelands or Bantustans that were supposedly created to allow Black South Africans to govern themselves, but in reality denied any opportunity to participate in South African politics by losing their South African citizenship.
The Dutch Reformed Church is a Christian denomination

Post-apartheid in 1994, South Africa has a government including all races, and is often referred to as the rainbow nation which is a phrase coined by 1984 Nobel Peace Prize winner Desmond Tutu. 

South Africa has an almost 80% Black-African ethnic group and the majority of South Africans practice the Christian faith; Protestant 36.6%, Catholic 7.1%, Muslim 1.5%, other Christian 36%, other 2.3%, unspecified 1.4%, non-religious 15.1%.


Did you know?
The Public Holidays Act of 1994 repealed the Public Holidays Act of 1976, of the former Republic of Transkei homeland, Public Holidays Act 1978 and 1979 of the former Republic of Bophuthatswana homeland, Public Holidays Act 1980 of the Republic of Venda homeland and Public Holidays Act 1981 of the former Republic of Ciskei homeland

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Thursday, March 26, 2015

Stewed African Peanut Butter Okra Soup

Okra is a popular vegetable which originated from present-day Ethiopia in Africa. Stewed African Okra Soup is made with peanut butter, tomatoes, corn and spices to create a flavorful filling soup the entire family will love.

Stewed African Peanut Butter Okra Stew

Stewed African Peanut Butter Okra side-dish
African recipes by African Gourmet  

Get this easy-to-follow Stewed African Peanut Butter Okra side-dish from the African Gourmet. Okra is a popular vegetable which originated from present-day Ethiopia in Africa.

Prep time:
Cook time:
Total time:

Ingredients:
2 cups of fresh or frozen okra
3 ripe tomatoes, chopped
1 cup canned whole kernel corn
1 medium onion, chopped
1 bunch green onions, chopped
2 tablespoons palm oil
½ teaspoon red pepper flake
1 tablespoon peanut butter
¼ teaspoon salt
1 teaspoon sugar
2 cups vegetable broth or water

Directions:
In a large pot over medium heat, sauté palm oil and onions until the onions become translucent, about 2 minutes. Add green onions and mix well. Add tomatoes and dry seasonings. Cook about 10 minutes. Add okra, corn, peanut butter and broth, cover and simmer on low for about 20 minutes. Serve over rice or as a side dish.
Okra originated from present-day Ethiopia in Africa 










Did you know…?
The ripe seeds of okra are sometimes roasted and ground as a substitute for coffee.

Okra originated from present-day Ethiopia in Africa









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Wednesday, March 25, 2015

The “The” officially belongs in front of Gambia since 1964

The Gambia Name


Yes it is officially true, the “The” officially belongs in front of Gambia since 1964. 

Gambian Woman by gisela gerson lohman braun The Permanent Committee on Geographical Names says "A letter dated May 1964 from the Gambian prime minister's office instructed that The Gambia should be used with a capital T. One of the reasons they gave was that Gambia could be confused with Zambia, which was a new name to the international community at the time."

Interesting facts about The Gambia


1. The official name is Republic of The Gambia.

2. The Gambia gained its independence from the United Kingdom in 1965.

The Gambia banned gambling March 1, 2015
The Gambia banned gambling March 1, 2015
3. The Gambia is Africa's smallest mainland country at 11,295 sq km or 4,361 sq miles.

4. The Gambia is geographically surrounded by Senegal.

5. From 1982-1989 The Gambia and Senegal formed Senegambia.

6. The 1,130km or 700 mile long Gambia River runs through the middle of the country and using the ferry or small privately owned wooden pirogues boats as means of transportation across the river to Senegal is common practice.

7. The peanut crop dominates The Gambia agricultural exports about 75% of the population depends on the agricultural sector for its livelihood as well as one of the larger markets for tourism in West Africa.

The Gambia Capital city is Banjul
The Gambia Capital city is Banjul
8. The median age of the nearly 2 million Gambians residents is 20.2 years old.

9. The Gambia banned gambling March 1, 2015, denouncing the industry as "exploitative" and saying the government acted to prevent its youth from becoming a generation of addicts.

10. The Gambia ethnic groups mainly fall into the Mandinka 42%, Fula 18%, Wolof 16%, Jola 10%, Serahuli 9%, other 4%, and non-African 1%.

11. The Gambia religions are divided roughly into Muslim 90%, Christian 8%, and indigenous beliefs 2%.

12. The government of Yahya Jammeh changed the long-form name to Islamic Republic of The Gambia in December 2015. In January 2017, the new president Adama Barrow changed the country's name back to Republic of The Gambia.

13. The Gambia national symbol is the lion and national anthem "For The Gambia, Our Homeland".

14. Administrative divisions are one city of Banjul and five divisions of the Central River, Lower River, North Bank, Upper River, and Western.
The Gambia flag
The Gambia flag


15. The Gambia flag; three equal horizontal bands of red (top), blue with white edges, and green; red stands for the sun and the savannah, blue represents the Gambia River, and green symbolizes forests and agriculture; the white stripes denote unity and peace.



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Monday, March 23, 2015

Africa in the Bones: Witchdoctors, Sangoma, Nyanga and Traditional Healers

In Southern African society, the Sangoma acts as a therapist for issues of health, luck, love, dream interpretation, sexual problems, or business ventures. 


African Witchdoctors, Sangoma, Nyanga and Traditional Healers


Nyanga’s seek the nature of the illness and its cure by meditating or going into a trance in order to get advice from a God or spirit. Sangoma's and Nyanga's are not witch-doctors however the term is unofficially used interchangeably by the general population, the official term is traditional healer used by governments and organizations. Traditional healing is linked to wider belief systems and remains integral to the lives of most Africans. 

Traditional healer in Uganda photograph by Panos Jim Holmes
A traditional healer in Uganda treating a patient’s dizziness.
Photograph by Panos Jim Holmes
Health is defined in The World Health Organization’s Constitution as a state of complete physical, mental and social well-being and not merely the absence of disease or infirmity. WHO states this definition extends beyond the traditional 

Western biomedical standard which treats body, mind and society as separate entities and reflects a more holistic understanding of health. Some African peoples have a similar understanding of health as well-being and the harmony that exists between individuals, communities and the universe.  

WHO estimates there is around 80 percent of the population in developing countries around the world rely on traditional healing systems as their primary source of care. It is estimated that there are approximately 400 million Traditional Health Practitioners (THPs) around the world, often providing access to health care in remote and rural areas. 

In Zulu societies, the Sangoma is a highly respected traditional healer and Nyanga is the esteemed traditional herbalist. The Sangoma may act as a therapist for issues of health, luck, love, dreams, sexual problems, or business ventures.
Animal bones, sea shells, and nuts used by Sangoma’s for readings
Slaughtered animal bones, sea shells, and nuts
 are usually used by Sangoma’s 
for bone divination readings


Men and women take up the profession after a long training period; a sangoma in training is called an itwasa. Some believe that each person has a fixed number of souls. 

These souls may leave the body and wander around, especially at night when people dream. Nyanga is a traditional herbalist using ancestors or amadlozi as a medium of prayer to God. Nyanga’s seek the nature of the illness and its cure by meditating or going into a trance in order to get advice from a God or spirit. 

Some traditional healers use good magic as a cure because they believe that illnesses including psychological issues have supernatural origins. Nyanga’s are mislabeled evil witchdoctors. A true healer cannot take part in any action that can harm or negatively influence another person and believes God has the ultimate power, it is a spiritual calling. 

Protest march in 2012 against witch killings photo by AP
Protest march in 2012 against witch killings
in Northwest Tanzania
While it is true a healer cannot take part in any action that can harm or negatively influence another, in 2015 Tanzania banned all witchdoctors or traditional healers to stop attacks on people with albinism and women thought to be witches. More than 70 people with albinism have been killed since 2000. Tanzania has one of the largest populations of people with Albinism in the world with an estimated 170,000. In the heart of Lake Victoria, Ukerewe Island is home to a large community of people with albinism.

People with albinism are killed and dismembered due to a belief that charms made from their body parts bring good fortune and prosperity. There is a great black market demand for the body parts of people with albinism selling for around US$600. Thousands of women in Tanzania have also been burned to death or hung because they were thought to be witches with red eyes. Having red eyes is a supposed sign of practicing witchcraft. This witchcraft belief is a small sect but a treacherous one.

Sangoma's are revered and respected
Sangoma's are revered and respected for predicting
the future trough bone divination readings
The Traditional Healers Organization (THO) organizes, trains and certifies traditional health practitioners. Each society has different kinds of traditional healers. In one ad a witch doctor states he “returns back the lost love ones, make a partner faithful, recovers stolen property, offers protection from witches and criminals, helps with troublesome teens, assist with finding jobs and to be favored in the workplace, and bestow blessings and good luck in anything. 

Some believe in the power of the traditional healer and some believe they are burglars who steal money from vulnerable people. Whatever the opinion traditional healers have a major influence on parts of African society and that influence is a deep-seated belief in traditional healing practices. Traditional healing is linked to wider belief systems and remains integral to the lives of most Africans. People consult traditional healers whether or not they can afford medical services.

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Sunday, March 22, 2015

Kenyan Amaranth Ukwaju Fish Soup

Kenyan Amaranth Ukwaju Fish Soup by jules stone soupThe amaranth plant is an ancient food crop, with cultivation dating back as far as 6700 BC. Cooked Amaranth leaves are eaten as vegetables, soups, stews and relishes. Leaves and young plant stems are cooked in Kenya and throughout Eastern and Southern Africa as spinach. Kenyan Ukwaju or Kenya tamarind is a sour tasting paste used as a spice. Amaranth leaves have a mild flavor and when paired with another local favorite, Ukwaju Kenyan Amaranth Ukwaju Fish Soup makes delicious satisfying African meal. 



Kenyan Amaranth Ukwaju Fish Soup


African Recipes by

Kenyan Ukwaju or Kenya tamarind is a sour tasting paste used as a spice. Amaranth leaves have a mild flavor and when paired with Ukwaju, Kenyan Amaranth Ukwaju Fish Soup makes delicious satisfying African recipe. 

Ingredients: 
1 pound red snapper fillets 
2 large handfuls amaranth or spinach leaves 
1/2 cup tamarind juice 
1 tablespoon tamarind paste 
1 large red onion, chopped 
2 tablespoons tomato paste 
1 teaspoon shallots, chopped 
1 teaspoon onion salt 
1 teaspoon onion powder 
1 teaspoon garlic powder 
1 teaspoon salt 
1/2 teaspoon red pepper flakes 
2 tablespoons salted butter 
4 cups fish stock or water 

Directions:
Add all ingredients except amaranth or spinach leaves into a large pot and simmer 30 minutes. Add leaves simmer 5 minutes and serve.

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Saturday, March 21, 2015

Ostrich Frikkadels Spaghetti and Meatballs Recipe

Ostrich recipes

Ostrich Frikkadels spaghetti and meatballs recipe


Frikkadel is the Afrikaans word for a meatball and ostrich is a very popular meat eaten in Southern Africa.

Ostrich meat is very lean with very low fat content and is a healthier red meat. Frikkadel ostrich meatballs is a very versatile recipe used for spaghetti and meatballs, stews, sandwiches and in any of dish as a substitute for beef.


Ostrich Frikkadels Spaghetti and Meatballs


Ingredients:     
1 pound ground ostrich meat     
1 onion finely chopped
1 teaspoon minced garlic
1 teaspoon minced fresh mint
1/2 teaspoon red pepper flake
1 teaspoon salt
1 teaspoon ginger
1/2 cup fine breadcrumbs

Directions:
In a large bowl mix all ingredients well and form into equal size balls. In a large frying pan set to medium heat, add 1 tablespoon olive oil cook covered 5 minutes and uncovered 10 minutes until cooked through. Serve as an appetizer, a meatball sandwich with homemade barbeque sauce or as spaghetti and meatballs.

Ostrich Frikkadels Spaghetti and Meatballs Recipe


What does ostrich taste like

Ostrich meat tastes like beef and is used for frying, stewing, sautéing or in any of dish as a substitute for beef.

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Thursday, March 19, 2015

Savory Garlic Butter Potbrood

Potbrood is delicious African food

Potbrood or Pot Bread is one of South Africa’s favorite rustic outdoor cooking and camping African bread recipes. Potbrood is delicious African food made in a cast iron pot traditionally cooked over barbecue coals or braai in South Africa. The varies of Potbrood are endless, the classic recipe can be easily made at home and you can also add cheese, rosemary, onions, beer, raisins, apricots, billabong or any of your favorite ingredients.

 

Savory Garlic Butter Potbrood

Savory Garlic Butter Potbrood

Potbrood is bread made in a cast iron pot traditionally cooked over barbecue coals or braai in South Africa.
 
Ingredients:     
2 cups self-rising flour     
2 medium eggs
1 teaspoon garlic salt
1 teaspoon white sugar
1/3 cup unsalted softened butter
1 teaspoon garlic powder
   
Directions:
In a large bowl, mix butter and sugar, then mix in eggs and spices. Mix flour into moist mixture. Transfer mixture to a greased cast iron pot with a lid. Allow the dough to rise 2 hours covered in a warm place. Over very low coals, bake for about 30 minutes. Insert a knife into the bread, if it comes out clean the Potbrood is ready. Finding the right temperature to make the Potbrood on the grill can be tricky but practice makes perfect.

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Tuesday, March 17, 2015

Anopheles mosquitoes the deadliest insect's in sub-Saharan Africa

There are about 430 Anopheles species of mosquitoes of which 30-40 transmit life-threatening malaria. Anopheles mosquitoes are the deadliest insect's in sub-Saharan Africa where it causes nearly a million deaths a year.





Malaria parasite by the National Institutes of Health
Malaria parasite by the National Institutes of Health
Malaria is caused by a one-celled parasite called Plasmodium and female Anopheles mosquitoes can only transmit malaria. The adult females can live up to 7-28 days in nature. Once a mosquito ingests the Plasmodium parasite it undergoes development and an incubation period from 10 to 21 days. The mosquito must have been infected through a previous blood meal from an infected person.  Female mosquitoes take blood in order to carry out egg production. When a mosquito bites an infected person, a small amount of blood is taken in which may contain malaria parasites. About one week later, when the mosquito takes its next blood meal, these parasites mix with the mosquito's saliva and are injected into the person being bitten. Malaria parasites multiply rapidly in the liver and then in red blood cells of the infected person.


Symptoms of malaria include fever and flu-like illness, including shaking chills, headache, muscle aches, and tiredness. Nausea, vomiting, and diarrhea may also occur. Malaria may cause anemia and yellowing of the skin and eyes because of the loss of red blood cells. If not quickly treated, the infection can become severe and may cause kidney failure, seizures, mental confusion, coma and even death. There are four types of human malaria: Plasmodium vivax, P. malariae, P. ovale and P. falciparum. P. vivax and P. falciparum are the most common forms. Falciparum malaria is the most deadly type and the most common in sub-Saharan Africa, where it causes nearly a million deaths a year.


Malaria prevention
Malaria prevention
Target 6C on the UN Millennium Development Goals is to have halted by 2015 and begun to reverse the incidence of malaria and other major diseases. In the African country of Benin 64 percent of children slept under bed nets in 2010, up from 20 percent in 2006. The number of pregnant women sleeping under bed nets rose from 20 percent to 60 percent during the same period. In 2010 an estimated 219 million cases of malaria occurred worldwide and 660,000 people died, 91% lived in the African Region. In 2012 malaria conditions slightly improved, there were an estimated 207 million cases of malaria in 2012. Unfortunately, 90% of all malaria deaths occur in sub-Saharan Africa and 77% occur in children under five. Malaria has been the number one reason for health center visits in Benin for the last decade. Severe malaria kills 1,500-2,000 Beninese children every year and causes anemia in most children. About 40% of malaria deaths occur in just two countries: Nigeria and the Democratic Republic of the Congo. 
 

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Sunday, March 15, 2015

Swahili Proverb: Chickens Prayers Does Not Affect the Hawk

Dua la kuku halimpati mwewe is Swahili proverb for ”A chicken's prayer doesn't affect a hawk” As Martin Luther King, Jr. said  “The ultimate measure of a man is not where he stands in moments of comfort, but where he stands at times of challenge and controversy.” Standing strong in the face of controversy remembering, adversity is another way to measure the greatness of a person.



Swahili proverb



Dua la kuku halimpati mwewe is Swahili proverb for ”A chicken's prayer doesn't affect a hawk” Swahili translation by Kali Mata Ki Jai Foundation

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Friday, March 13, 2015

Lake Naivasha Rose Water Honey Syrup

Kenya is world famous for its cut flower farms especially the roses. Main growing areas are around Lake Naivasha. Floriculture pioneer Oserian Farms was founded in 1982 and was the first flower farm on Lake Naivasha.

Kenya is world famous for its cut flower farms especially the roses

Honey is valued in Africa as food, medicine and as an important economic activity. Since honeys are of different flavors and compositions, however, such replacements may result in changes of flavor, consistency, and the quantities of honey. The color and flavor of honey vary depending on the bees’ nectar source; lighter colored honeys are mild in flavor, while darker honeys are usually more robust in flavor. 

Lake Naivasha Rose Water Honey Syrup

African Rose Honey Syrup

Across the African continent, there are many ways of preparing African Rose Honey Syrup. Honey can replace sugar in almost any drink recipe but is most popular in flavoring teas.
 
Ingredients:     
¼ Cup Light Colored Honey     
Petals from Two Sweet Smelling Roses
4 Cups Water
   
Directions:
In a large pot simmer water and rose petals on medium low 15 minutes, remove from heat let sit for 2-24 hours. The longer the mixture sits the stronger the infusion of roses. Filter out rose pedals and mix the rose water with honey until mixture is the consistency of syrup. Use African Rose Honey Syrup as a sweetener for teas, oatmeal, pancakes, ice cream etc…

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Wednesday, March 11, 2015

Simple Mabuyu Baobab Seed Juice Recipe

Mabuyu Baobab Juice



Mabuyu Baobab (bay-oh-bab) Juice is popular in sub-Saharan African countries especially in Zimbabwe, Malawi, and Tanzania.


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Prep time: 5 min 

Mabuyu Baobab Juice
Mabuyu Baobab Juice
Chill time: 5 min
Total time: 10 min
Yield: 2 servings
Serving size: 8 ounces
Calories per serving: 15 calories
Fat per serving: 0 g


Mabuyu Baobab Juice

Ingredients:

Dried baobab fruit powder:
2 tablespoons
Sparkling water: 2 cups
Sugar: to taste
Add an additional fruit juice: optional


Directions:

1. Add all ingredients into a large jar and mix well.
2. Add ice and serve.
3. The taste of dried baobab pulp is rather mild.


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Tuesday, March 10, 2015

Smoked Fish Okra Stew

Smoked Fish Okra Stew

Okra is an ingredient in many soup and stew recipes throughout Africa. The young leaves and flowers of the okra plant are edible; also, okra leaves are frequently boiled or used dried ground into a powder to thicken soups and stews.



Okra tastes like okra having a unique flavor and texture. Okra naturally releases a gooey material called mucilage when cut, mucilage makes okra a natural thickener to soups and stews. Any type of acid such as tomatoes, vinegar or lemon juice will counteract the mucilage of okra.


30-Minute Smoked Fish and Okra Stew Recipe


Ingredients:
5 ounces any smoked fish
Smoked Fish and Okra Stew Recipe
Smoked Fish Okra Stew.

3 cups sliced okra or two handfuls small okra
1 handful okra leaves chopped
2 ripe tomatoes diced
2 onions finely chopped
2 garden eggs or one small eggplant chopped
1 hot pepper finely chopped
¼ cup palm oil
4 cups water


Directions:
Heat palm oil over medium heat in a large pot, add onions and garlic. Add remaining ingredients and simmer for about 30 minutes. Serve over fufu or rice.



Did you know?
Abelmoschus esculentus or Okra is a plant native to Africa and a member of the hibiscus family.


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