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excerpts from The Cookbook of the United Nations

1967: Barbara Krauss

These African recipes are from The Cookbook of the United Nations (first published in Great Britain, 1967; these excerpts from London: Cookery Book Club, 1969) by Barbara Krauss.

The excerpts are presented in four parts:


The Cookbook of the United Nations

Compiled and edited by Barbara Krauss
British edition revised by Marion Howells
The Cookery Book Club



  • 2 slices dry bread
  • 1/4 pint milk
  • 1 lb. beef or lamb, minced
  • 1 large onion, finely chopped
  • 1/2 level teaspoon dried dill
  • 4 tablespoons chopped fresh parsley or 2 tablespoons dried parsley
  • 1/2 level teaspoon dried mint or 1 level teaspoon chopped fresh mint
  • 1 egg, lightly beaten
  • 3/4 level teaspoon salt
  • 1/4 level teaspoon pepper
  • Oil or fat for deep-frying

Soak bread in milk until soft; squeeze out excess milk. To the bread add all ingredients listed, except fat for frying. Mix all ingredients very thoroughly; if too thick to shape easily, add some of the milk in which the bread was soaked. Roll mixture into 1-incb. balls. Fry a few at a time in deep fat at 370 degrees F. until balls are golden brown. Remove from fat, drain and serve. Makes 18 to 24 appetizers.

CHAKCHOUKA Mixed vegetables with eggs

  • 4 large onions, sliced
  • 3 tablespoons oil
  • 4 large tomatoes, peeled and sliced
  • 3 large sweet green peppers, chopped
  • 1 small chilli, chopped
  • 1 tablespoon vinegar
  • 1 & 1/2 level teaspoons salt
  • 6 eggs
  • 1 green pepper, grilled, skinned and cut into thin strips

Cook onions in oil in a 10-inch frying pan until golden brown; add all the ingredients except the eggs and pepper strips. Simmer until the vegetables are reduced to a pulp.
Make six indentations in the vegetables and carefully break an egg into each one. Cover the frying pan and cook over low heat until eggs are well set. Garnish each serving with the strips of green pepper. (Eggs may be beaten with 6 tablespoons milk, poured over the vegetables, covered, and cooked until set.) Serves 6.


IBIHARAGE Fried beans

  • 3/4 lb. white haricot beans
  • Boiling water
  • 1/4 pint cooking oil
  • 3 large onions, sliced
  • 1 clove garlic, crushed
  • 2 level teaspoons salt
  • 1-2 dried chillies

Wash beans and remove any foreign matter. Put beans in a large saucepan and cover with 2 or 3 times as much boiling water as beans; boil for 2 minutes; remove from heat and allow to soak for 1 hour or more; simmer in the same water until tender. Heat oil to 375 degrees F. in a 12-inch saucepan; add onions and garlic to hot oil and cook until onions are transparent and soft. Drain cooked beans and add to onions; cook for 5 minutes. Add salt and chillies; mix well. Serves 8 to 10.



  • 2 slices onion
  • 5 tablespoons oil
  • 3 level tablespoons tomato concentrate
  • 2 & 1/2 lb. fish, boned and cut in large pieces
  • 1 & 1/2 pints water
  • 2 level teaspoons salt
  • 2 carrots, sliced
  • 1/2 lb. cabbage, shredded
  • 2 small sweet potatoes, cut in 1-inch cubes
  • 1/4 lb. okra (1/2 packet frozen okra)
  • 1 lb. cooked rice

Cook onion in hot oil in a 6-pint saucepan until yellow but not brown; add tomato concentrate and fish. Cover and cook over low heat for 1/2 hour. Add water, salt and vegetables to fish mixture; cook gently for 1 hour.
Place a portion of rice in the centre of a soup bowl or plate; ladle stew over rice, serving some fish, vegetables and sauce. Serves 6.
Editor's note: Okra is available in tins in high-class stores and in some places can be bought frozen or fresh. Jerusalem artichokes may be substituted for sweet potatoes.

Central African Republic


  • 2 onions, chopped
  • 2 tablespoons oil
  • 2 tomatoes, thinly sliced
  • 1 green pepper, chopped
  • 2 packets chopped frozen spinach, thawed
  • 1 level teaspoon salt
  • 1/2 level teaspoon pepper
  • 4 oz. peanut butter

Sauté onions in oil until tender; add tomatoes and green pepper, and cook for 1 minute. Add spinach, salt and pepper; cover and simmer for 5 minutes. Add peanut butter to spinach mixture; mix well and cook for 10 minutes over low heat, stirring occasionally to prevent sticking. Serve hot. Serves 6.



  • 2 & 1/2 to 3 lb. summer squash, courgettes or vegetable marrow
  • Salt
  • Water
  • 1/2 lb. shelled, roasted peanuts
  • 1 oz. butter
  • 1 level teaspoon sugar (optional)

Wash squash; cut off stems but do not peel. Cook in a small amount of boiling salted water, or steam until tender. Drain well and mash.
Chop peanuts coarsely, or use a mincer or blender. Combine squash, peanuts, butter, and sugar if desired. Simmer and serve hot. Serves 6.


  • 2 lb. beef or lamb, cubed
  • 1 oz. fat
  • 1 medium onion, chopped
  • 1 level teaspoon salt
  • 6 oz. tomato concentrate
  • 8 fresh okra pods or 5 oz. frozen or tinned okra
  • Boiled rice

Brown meat in fat. Add onion and cook until golden. Add salt, and tomato concentrate diluted with an equal amount of water. Cover and simmer for about 1 & 1/2 hours, or until meat is tender. Add water as needed. Add okra 30 minutes before end of cooking period. Serve with boiled rice. Serves 6.

Congo Brazzaville


  • 1 large onion, chopped
  • 1 sweet green pepper, sliced
  • 3 tablespoons oil
  • 1/4 level teaspoon black pepper
  • 1/2 level teaspoon paprika
  • 3/4 lb. frozen kale or other green vegetables
  • 1/2 pint water
  • 3-4 oz. butter, as desired
  • 1 & 1/2 lb. frozen fish, thawed

Cook onion and green pepper in oil in a large sauté pan for 5 minutes. Add black pepper, paprika, kale and water. Cover and simmer for 5 to 10 minutes. Add butter and fish, cut in finger-strips. Cover and simmer for 20 minutes, or until fish is tender and flaky. Serve as main course with yams or sweet potatoes. Serves 6.

Congo Democratic Republic

CHICKEN A LA MOAMBE Fried chicken with peanut butter sauce

  • A 3-lb. frying chicken, cut into joints
  • 6-8 tablespoons oil
  • 6 oz. tomato concentrate
  • 1/2 pint water
  • 1 & 1/2 level teaspoons salt
  • 1/2 level teaspoon pepper
  • 2 oz. peanut butter

Brown chicken pieces in hot fat in a 12-inch sauté pan. Drain and discard oil from pan when chicken is browned. Combine tomato concentrate and water, and pour over chicken. Loosen chicken from pan and simmer for 10 minutes. Add salt, pepper and peanut butter; simmer for an additional 20 minutes. Serves 6.

Dahomey [Benin]


  • 1 lb. stewing beef, cut into 1-inch cubes
  • 1/2 level teaspoon salt
  • 1/4 level teaspoon pepper
  • 1 clove garlic, cut in half
  • 1 large onion, diced
  • Water
  • 1 & 1/4 lb. frozen chopped spinach
  • 3 tablespoons oil
  • 4 tomatoes, peeled, seeded and diced
  • 1/2 lb. prawns, shelled and deveined
  • 1/2 level teaspoon powdered thyme
  • Cooked rice

Place meat, salt, pepper, garlic and half the onion in a 5-pint saucepan. Cover with water; cover saucepan and simmer for 2 hours, or until meat is tender.
Cook frozen spinach according to directions; drain well. Heat oil in a 12-inch sauté pan and cook remaining onion and tomatoes until onion is transparent. Add prawns and thyme to the onion and tomato mixture, and simmer for 10 minutes. Add the cooked beef with liquid and drained spinach to the prawn mixture. Simmer for 5 minutes, or until sauce is thick, stirring occasionally.
Serve with hot rice. Serves 6.


  • 7 oz. plain flour
  • 1 level teaspoon salt
  • 3 oz. butter
  • 4 tablespoons water
  • 1 tablespoon oil
  • Fat for frying
  • 4 oz. caster sugar
  • 1/2 level teaspoon cinnamon or mace

Sift flour and salt into a mixing bowl, and cut in the butter until mixture resembles coarse breadcrumbs. Stir in half the water; add the remainder and the oil; mix only until dough holds together when pressed. Place dough on a floured board and knead gently eight to ten times. Roll out dough to 1/4-inch thickness; cut into strips of various widths and about 2 inches long, or into triangles or circles. Fry in 1 inch of fat in a heavy frying pan at 375 degrees F., turning once, until delicately browned on both sides and cooked through, 8 to 10 minutes. Drain on absorbent paper. Dust with mixture of sugar and spice. Serve warm or cold as dessert or snack. Serves 6.
Note: For large-scale recipe, roll a quarter of the dough at a time, keeping remainder covered.


RETFO Minced beef with peppers

  • 1 large onion, diced
  • 1 medium green pepper, diced
  • 1 & 1/2 oz. butter
  • 1 & 1/2 lb. minced beef
  • 1 or 2 dried chillies
  • 1 & 1/2 level teaspoons salt
  • 1/4 level teaspoon pepper
  • Cooked rice

Cook onion and green pepper in butter in a 10-inch sauté pan until onion is yellow and pepper is tender. Add minced beef to cooked vegetables and cook over medium heat for about 3 minutes. Crush chillies; mix with salt and pepper, and add to meat mixture. Continue cooking until meat is brown. Serve with rice. Serves 6.

DORO-WEUTT Chicken with hot sauce

  • A 2 & 1/2-lb. frying chicken
  • Boiling water
  • Juice of 1 lemon
  • 1 level teaspoon salt
  • 6 medium-sized onions, chopped
  • 2 oz. butter
  • 2 level tablespoons chilli powder
  • 2 level tablespoons tomato concentrate
  • 4 tablespoons red wine
  • 1/2 level teaspoon ginger
  • 1/2 level teaspoon black pepper
  • 6 hard-boiled eggs

Cut chicken into serving pieces, put into a pan and just cover with boiling water (about 1 & 1/4 pints). Add lemon juice and salt. Cover and simmer for 10 minutes. Remove chicken and strain, reserving stock.
Brown onions lightly in butter. When brown, add 1 pint of the hot chicken stock, chili powder and tomato concentrate. Blend well and simmer for 5 minutes. Add red wine, ginger, pepper and another 1 pint hot stock. Place the chicken in this sauce and simmer until chicken is tender, 30 to 40 minutes.
Pierce each hard-boiled egg several times to permit sauce to penetrate and add to chicken about 3 minutes before serving. Serves 4 to 6.

MEAT "WAT" Meat stew

  • 1/4 lb. butter
  • 2 large onions, chopped
  • 1/2 pint water
  • 2 lb. boneless beef, lamb or veal, cut in 1-inch pieces
  • 1 level teaspoon salt
  • 1/8 level teaspoon cayenne pepper
  • 1 level teaspoon black pepper
  • 1 level tablespoon cornflour
  • 4 tablespoons cold water
  • Hot buffered noodles (optional)

Melt half the butter in a heavy saucepan; add onions and cook over medium heat until onions are soft. Mix in remaining butter and the water, and cook uncovered for 5 minutes. Add meat and seasonings. Cover pan and simmer mixture for 1 to 1 & 1/2 hours, or until meat is tender.
To thicken sauce, blend cornflour with water. Add to hot stew and continue cooking, stirring constantly, for about 5 minutes. Serve with hot buttered noodles. Serves 6 to 8.


POULET AU GNEMBOUE Chicken with nuts

  • 6 oz. palm or macadamia nuts
  • 3/4 pint water
  • 1/2 level teaspoon cayenne pepper
  • 1/4 level teaspoon black pepper
  • 1 level teaspoon salt
  • 1 clove garlic
  • 3 spring onions, thinly sliced
  • A 2 & 1/2-lb. frying chicken, cut in serving pieces

Pulverize nuts with mortar and pestle and mix with the water, or put nuts in blender with the water. Pour into a 12-inch sauté pan or a saucepan. Stir in the peppers, salt, garlic and spring onions; mix ingredients well.
Place pieces of chicken in the nut mixture; cover and cook over very low heat for 1 & 1/2 hours. Check often and stir and add water if necessary. Serves 4 to 6.
Editor's note: Hazelnuts may be substituted for palm or macadamia nuts if these are not available.

The Rare Recipes pages contain African and African-inspired recipes from antique and out-of-print cookbooks.

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Next: Barbara Krauss (part II)