Cassava and Pumpkin Leaves Recipe
Learn how to make a complete dinner meal of cassava Nsima and pumpkin leaves from Eastern Malawi today with the African Gourmet.
Pumpkin Leaves Ingredients
3 medium red tomatoes, diced
4 handfuls of chopped pumpkin leaves
1 cup groundnut powder
2 cups vegetable broth or water
Pumpkin Leaves Directions
Add all ingredients to a large pot, cover and simmer 15 minutes. Serve over nsima, directions are below.
How to make cassava Nsima.
Traditionally Nsima is used as a side dish to soups and stews in Malawi Africa. Nsima takes about 30 minutes to make and makes anything more delicious. It pairs well with anything from sautéed vegetables to slow-cooked stews. Nsima needs to be stirred and stirred a lot for a smooth consistency. Nsima is very easy and quick to make, just remember to gradually pour and stir at the same time so it does not get any lumps. When you are making your African food recipe of Nsima, cook it for the correct amount of time, so you do not have a lingering gritty taste. Nsima should be thick enough to pick up with your hands and use in the place of a fork or spoon.
|Peeled cassava for drying and cooking|
1/2 cup cassava flour
1 teaspoon salt or to taste
3 cups water
Add water in a large pot, add garlic and salt. In a large bowl mix meal and flour together well and add to water. On high heat bring mixture to a boil stirring constantly until thick paste forms. Remove from pot and allow to cool slightly before serving. Mealie meal is eaten by out pulling small pieces and squeezing it lightly to form the dough to scoop to pick up chicken and sauce. Use mealie meal in place of your fork and spoon.
How to naturally make dried cassava and vegetables
Vegetables and fruits can be processed and preserved by drying. Drying preserves food because the microorganisms that spoil food need water to grow. Drying also concentrates food's nutrients and preserves them for times when fresh food is not available. Improved technologies, such as solar dryers, retain higher quantities of vitamins in food than can be retained using the traditional method of sun drying.
Surpluses of different home garden vegetables and fruits like green leafy vegetables, pumpkins, tomatoes, peppers, okra, onions, sweet potatoes, cassava, papayas, mangoes, and bananas can be dried easily when these vegetables and fruits are in season. Sweet fruits such as mangoes, bananas and papayas do not need to be dried as thoroughly as vegetables because their high sugar content acts as a preservative.
Dried leaves can be added directly to soups and stews as required. Dried cowpea leaves can be fried, as well as boiled. These are especially tasty and nutritious when they are fried in oil like red palm oil, crumbled and then sprinkled over maize porridge, sadza or nshima as a relish.
Dried fruits and vegetables, such as cassava, sweet potato or banana chips, or slices of mango, pineapple, and papaya make excellent snack foods for children. They are delicious, sweet and contain a lot of energy.
Sun Drying Vegetables
Although the most widely used method of drying foods in Africa is sun drying, sunlight destroys vitamin A. High temperatures destroy vitamins A and C, as well as some other vitamins. As a consequence, it is better to dry food in the shade.
Shade Drying Vegetables
Shade drying requires full air circulation. It should not be undertaken inside conventional buildings but in an open-sided shed purposely built for shade drying. Most foods to be dried are sliced like peppers, okra, onions, tomatoes, eggplants, yams, sweet potatoes, and carrots, as sliced food generally dries faster. The slices should be only about 1 cm thick so that they dry thoroughly and quickly.
The food should be placed on mats or trays and well off the ground in order to avoid contamination from dust or soil. Turn over the slices daily to ensure that the food dries quickly. To store well, the slices should be quite dry. Because of their higher sugar content, this acts as a preservative, dry fruits only until they are leathery.
Leafy vegetables, such as amaranth, are dried whole because they are thin. Small okra may also be dried whole. Chili peppers, onions, and garlic are often left whole and hung in strands for drying and later storage. Shade drying takes a little longer than sun drying, but it prevents the loss of a food's natural color and better preserves its vitamins and minerals.