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excerpts from The Cookbook of the United Nations

1967: Barbara Krauss (part II)

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



  • 3/4 lb. groundnuts or peanuts, roasted and shelled
  • 6 okra pods, fresh or tinned
  • 1 lb. meat, cut in cubes
  • 2 small onions, sliced
  • 1 level teaspoon salt
  • 2 & 1/2 pints cold water
  • 1 lb. smoked fish, cut in cubes
  • 1 level teaspoon cayenne pepper
  • 4 tomatoes, chopped
  • 1/2 oz. salt fish
  • 3 small hard-boiled eggs, chopped
  • Salt

Remove skin from nuts and grind or mince to a smooth paste. Boil okra for 7 to 10 minutes if fresh.
Place meat in soup pot; add a quarter of the onion, salt and 1 pint water, and stew until brown. Add remaining water or enough cold water to cover and allow to simmer gently for 10 to 15 minutes.
Mix nut paste with 1 pint of the stock from the meat and cook over low heat until oil rises to the top; pour into the soup pot. Add smoked fish and stir gently.
Add pepper, tomatoes, salt fish, eggs and remainder of onion. Add whole pieces of okra and salt. Boil gently for 20 minutes, then reduce heat and simmer for 45 minutes. Serves 6.

PALAVA SAUCE Spinach stew

  • 2 lb. spinach, cleaned
  • 1/4 pint water
  • 2 lb. meat, chicken or dried fish
  • Salt
  • 1 spring onion, chopped
  • Water
  • 8 tablespoons palm or peanut oil, or 4 oz. butter
  • 2 medium onions, thinly sliced
  • 3 tomatoes, finely chopped
  • 4 small hard-boiled eggs, finely chopped
  • 2 eggs, beaten
  • 12 oz. cooked kidney beans
  • Salt
  • 1/2 nutmeg, grated, or 1 level teaspoon grated nutmeg

Place spinach in a saucepan, add water and boil for 10 minutes. Strain and reserve liquid. Chop the spinach.
Cut meat, chicken or fish into pieces; put in a saucepan and sprinkle with a little salt. Add chopped spring onion and water to cover. Simmer gently for 10 minutes.
Heat oil or butter in a saucepan; fry onions, tomatoes and hard-boiled eggs. Add beaten eggs. Simmer gently for 5 minutes; add beans, meat, chopped spinach and 1/2 pint stock from spinach and meat. Add salt and nutmeg. Stir well. Simmer gently for 1 hour, or until meat is tender. Serves 4 to 6.


  • 1 small onion, finely chopped
  • 3 fresh tomatoes
  • 2 oz. butter, melted
  • 1 lb. crab or lobster meat, fresh, frozen or tinned
  • 1/2 level teaspoon ground ginger
  • 1/4 level teaspoon white pepper
  • 1/2 level teaspoon salt
  • 1/4 pint water
  • Cooked rice or baked potatoes

Cook onion and tomatoes in melted butter in a medium-sized frying pan over low heat for 5 minutes. Add bite-sized pieces of crab or lobster meat, ginger, pepper, salt and water; simmer gently for 15 minutes. Serve hot over dry cooked rice or with baked potatoes. Serves 4.

FANTE MBIRE FLOWEE Beef and mushroom stew

  • 1 & 1/2 lb. mushrooms, washed
  • 1 & 1/2 lb. stewing beef, cut into small pieces
  • 1/2 level teaspoon salt
  • 1/4 level teaspoon pepper
  • 6-8 level tablespoons flour
  • 1/4 pint vegetable oil
  • 2 small onions, chopped
  • 1 large tomato, chopped
  • About 1/2 pint water
  • Cooked rice or mashed potatoes

Cut mushrooms in quarters; leave button mushrooms whole. Dredge mushrooms and meat with a mixture of salt, pepper and flour. Dip mushrooms in oil; lift from oil and set aside. Brown meat quickly on all sides in hot oil in a large frying pan. Remove meat from oil and add onions and tomatoes to same oil; cook until onions are light brown. Add remainder of seasoned flour to onions and stir until mixed. Add water slowly, stirring to produce a smooth sauce. Add mushrooms and meat, and stir until well mixed. Cover and simmer for 1 hour, adding extra water if needed during cooking. Serve with rice or mashed potatoes. Serves 6.


KANSIYÉ Guinean goulash

  • 1 lb. beef or lamb, or a small chicken
  • 3 tablespoons oil
  • 1 large onion, chopped
  • 1/2 level teaspoon salt
  • 1/8 level teaspoon pepper
  • 1/8 level teaspoon thyme
  • 2 cloves garlic, crushed
  • 1 level tablespoon very finely chopped parsley
  • 1 whole clove, crushed
  • 6 oz. tomato sauce
  • 1 & 1/4 pints water
  • 3 level tablespoons smooth peanut butter
  • Cooked rice

Cut beef or lamb into 1-inch cubes; if chicken is used, cut into serving pieces. Brown meat in oil in a sauté pan. Add onion, salt, pepper, thyme, garlic, parsley and clove. Combine tomato sauce with two-thirds of the water; add to seasoned meat and mix well. Dilute peanut butter with remaining water and add to mixture. Cook over medium heat for 1 hour, or until meat is tender. (Small chicken may cook more quickly than beef or lamb; amount of water may be reduced to 1 pint if necessary.) Serve hot over rice. Serves 4 to 6.


  • A 2 & 1/2-lb. frying chicken
  • Salt
  • 4 tablespoons peanut oil
  • 2 medium onions, chopped
  • 3 medium tomatoes, peeled and chopped
  • 10 oz. frozen or tinned okra
  • 2 medium green peppers, thinly sliced
  • 1/2 level teaspoon salt
  • Cooked rice


  • 1/4 pint cold water
  • 8 oz. smooth peanut butter

Cut chicken into serving pieces. Sprinkle pieces with salt, and cook in hot oil until chicken is golden brown. Remove chicken to shallow casserole; cover and keep hot. Add onions to oil and cook until soft but not brown. Add tomatoes, okra, peppers and salt. Cook over low heat until mixture is hot. Pour over chicken.
To make sauce: mix water and peanut butter until sauce is smooth. Pour over chicken and vegetables.
Cover the casserole and cook for 1 hour in a very moderate oven (325 degrees F. Mark 2 to 3). Place chicken on a dish with vegetables on top. Pour over sauce or serve separately. Serve with rice. Serves 6.

Ivory Coast

CHICKEN A LA N'GATIETRO Fried chicken with peanut butter sauce

  • A 2 & 1/2 to 3 lb. chicken, cut for frying
  • 3 tablespoons cooking oil
  • 1 medium onion, chopped
  • 3 spring onions, sliced
  • 1 large tomato, diced
  • 1 level tablespoon tomato concentrate
  • 1 level teaspoon salt
  • 1 level teaspoon paprika
  • 1 bay leaf
  • 3/4 pint water
  • 1/2 lb. peanut butter

Brown chicken in hot oil in a deep frying pan or sauté pan. Add onion, tomato, tomato concentrate, salt, paprika and bay leaf to browned chicken. Cover and cook over low heat for 5 to 10 minutes. Add water to chicken and simmer until chicken is nearly tender. Remove from heat.
Cream peanut butter in a mixing bowl and add enough chicken stock to make a light, creamy, smooth sauce. Pour sauce over chicken; cover and cook over low heat for about 10 minutes, or until chicken is tender. Serves 6.



  • 3/4 lb. dried beans (pinto or kidney)
  • 1 & 1/2 pints boiling water
  • 1 lb. stewing beef, cut into 1-inch cubes
  • 2 tablespoons oil
  • 1 large onion, coarsely chopped
  • 2 large potatoes, peeled and cubed
  • 3 stalks celery, cut into 1-inch slices
  • 3 medium carrots, peeled and cut in rounds
  • 6 oz. fresh or frozen corn
  • 1 level teaspoon curry powder
  • 1 & 1/2 level teaspoons salt
  • 1/2 pint boiling water
  • 1/2 lb. fresh or frozen Brussels sprouts

Add beans to boiling water in a 5-pint saucepan; boil for 2 minutes. Remove from heat and let stand, covered, for 1 hour. Return to heat and simmer in the same water for 1 hour.
Brown meat in hot oil; add onion and cook until brown. Add meat and onion mixture and all other ingredients, except the Brussels sprouts, to the beans; add boiling water. Simmer stew for 1 hour, then add sprouts and cook for 15 minutes longer. Serves 6 to 8.



  • A 2 & 1/2 to 3 lb. chicken, cut up
  • 5 pints cold water
  • 2 level tablespoons salt
  • 3 level tablespoons peanut butter
  • 2 level teaspoons tomato concentrate
  • 1 sprig parsley, chopped
  • 1/4 level teaspoon black pepper
  • 1 small potato, diced

Place chicken in a saucepan with cold water and salt; cover and bring slowly to the boil; remove scum. Simmer gently for 20 minutes. Mix peanut butter with 1/4 pint of the chicken stock and add to the boiling chicken. Add remaining ingredients and cover. Simmer very gently for about 1 hour, occasionally removing scum. Serve hot. Serves 8.

JOLLOF RICE Chicken and meat with rice

  • A 3-lb. frying chicken, cut into serving pieces
  • 4 tablespoons oil
  • 1/2 lb. smoked ham, cubed
  • 2 medium-sized onions, sliced
  • 1 level teaspoon salt
  • 1/4 level teaspoon pepper
  • 1/4 level teaspoon ground allspice
  • Two 14-oz. tins tomatoes
  • 6 oz. tomato concentrate diluted with an equal volume of warm water
  • 1/4 lb. French beans, fresh or frozen
  • 8 oz. rice
  • 3/4 pint water
  • 1 level teaspoon salt

Fry chicken in hot oil in a casserole or large sauté pan until brown. Add ham, onions, salt, pepper and allspice; cook until onion is tender, stirring occasionally. Add tomatoes, tomato concentrate and water; stir to mix ingredients. Place French beans on top of meat mixture; cover and simmer for 20 minutes, or until vegetables are steamed tender.
Cook rice for 10 minutes in salted water and drain in a colander. Add rice to meat and vegetables, and continue to simmer for 15 minutes, or until rice is tender and flavoured with sauce. Additional water may be added if necessary. Serves 6 to 8.


  • 7 oz. raw grated cassava or minute tapioca
  • 1/4 pint milk
  • 1 egg, beaten
  • 3 oz. butter
  • 8 oz. caster sugar
  • 2 & 1/2 oz. desiccated coconut
  • 2 oz. flour
  • 2 & 1/2 level teaspoons baking powder
  • Few grains of salt
  • 1 teaspoon vanilla essence

Mix cassava or tapioca with milk and egg, and allow to stand for 5 minutes. Cream butter and sugar and add tapioca mixture and coconut. Mix batter well.
Sift flour, baking powder and salt, and add to batter. Stir in vanilla and turn batter into an oiled and floured 8-inch-square cake tin. Bake for about 40 minutes in a moderately hot oven (40O degrees F. Mark 5). When ready, cut into squares or rectangles. This is delicious served warm with vanilla ice cream. Serves 8.


  • 5 oz. butter
  • 6 oz. caster sugar
  • 4 eggs
  • 9 oz. plain flour
  • 3/4 level teaspoon baking soda
  • 1/2 level teaspoon cinnamon
  • 1/2 level teaspoon ground allspice
  • 1/4 level teaspoon ground mace
  • 1/2 level teaspoon baking powder
  • 1/8 level teaspoon powdered cloves
  • 7 oz. golden syrup
  • 1/4 pint milk
  • 2 oz. citron [lemon] peel, cut very finely
  • 3 oz. seedless raisins, chopped
  • 2 oz. shredded coconut

Cream butter and sugar. Add eggs one at a time. Sift together dry ingredients and add to egg mixture alternately with mixture of milk and syrup. (Start and end with dry ingredients.) Stir just until smooth. Fold in fruit and coconut. Pour batter into two greased and floured loaf tins, 9 by 5 by 2 and 1/2 inches. Bake for 35 to 40 minutes in a very moderate oven (350 degrees F. Mark 3).



  • 1 & 1/2 lb. boneless lean lamb, cut into 1/2-inch cubes
  • 1 medium onion, finely chopped
  • 4 tablespoons olive oil
  • 2 level tablespoons tomato concentrate or ketchup
  • 2 level teaspoons salt
  • 1 level tablespoon crushed red pepper
  • 1 & 1/2 pints water
  • 6 oz. small noodles, uncooked
  • 3 level tablespoons chopped parsley or fresh mint
  • 1 & 1/2 tablespoons lemon juice

Cook meat and onion in hot oil in a deep pan for 5 minutes, stirring frequently. Add tomato concentrate, salt, red pepper and water. Cover and simmer for 1 hour; add the noodles, and additional water, if needed. Cook until noodles are tender. Add parsley or mint and lemon juice just before serving. Serves 6.

COUSCOUS North African lamb stew

  • 1 & 1/2 lb. boneless lean lamb, cut into 2-inch cubes
  • About 1/4 pint olive oil
  • 7 large onions, sliced 1/2 inch thick
  • 1 large tomato, cubed
  • 1 level tablespoon crushed red pepper
  • 1/2 level teaspoon ground allspice
  • 2 level teaspoons turmeric
  • 2 level teaspoons salt
  • 2 small tins (6 oz.) tomato concentrate
  • 1 & 1/2 pints boiling water
  • 4 medium potatoes, peeled and quartered
  • One 1-lb. tin chick peas
  • 1/2 lb. bulgar or 1 lb. couscous or semolina

Brown the meat in hot oil in a deep pan with a capacity of at least 5 pints. Add three of the onions and the tomato. Continue cooking over low heat for 10 minutes. Add the pepper, allspice, turmeric, salt, tomato concentrate and water. Cover and simmer for 1 hour; add the remaining onions and potatoes; simmer for 30 minutes, adding more water if needed. Add the chick peas with liquid and simmer for 10 minutes, or until mixture is hot.
Cook the bulgar or couscous according to package directions. Turn the cooked bulgar or couscous into a large serving bowl; pour the meat stew and sauce over it slowly. Let the dish stand for 5 minutes to permit the wheat to absorb some of the sauce. Serves 10.
Editor's note: If bulgar is not available, rice may be used instead.

ABRAK Stuffed grape leaves

  • 5 oz. rice
  • Generous 1/2 pint boiling water
  • 4 oz. minced lamb
  • 1 medium onion, finely chopped
  • 4 oz. (1/2 small tin) sieved tomatoes
  • 4 oz. butter, melted
  • 1 level teaspoon salt
  • 1/2 level teaspoon pepper
  • 3 level tablespoons chopped parsley
  • 40 grape leaves
  • Boiling water

Add rice to boiling water. Boil for 5 minutes and drain. Add the lamb, onions, tomatoes, a quarter of the melted butter, salt, pepper and parsley. Mix well.
Wilt the grape leaves in boiling water. Place about 1 tablespoon rice mixture on each grape leaf, then fold sides of grape leaf over the mixture and roll up loosely. Grease a 10-inch sauté pan with some of the remaining butter and place grape leaf rolls in pan, loose edges down. Pour remaining butter over top. Cover tightly and cook over low heat for 35 to 45 minutes. Makes 40 appetizers.


SOUPE À LA MALGACHE Vegetable soup

  • 3 lb. veal bones
  • 2 level tablespoons salt
  • 3 & 1/4 pints water
  • 2 large tomatoes, peeled and diced
  • 1 large onion, chopped
  • 3 medium potatoes, peeled and diced
  • 3 carrots, peeled and diced
  • 1 small turnip, peeled and diced
  • 1 leek (optional)
  • 6 oz. French beans (optional)

Place veal bones in a very large saucepan; add salt and water; bring to the boil and simmer for 1 hour. Add tomatoes and onion, and simmer for another 1 and 1/2 hours. Add remainder of vegetables and simmer until vegetables are tender, about 1 hour.
Remove the veal bones; sieve the vegetables and return to the liquid. Serve thick and hot. Serves 6.

VARENGA Browned shredded beef

  • 2 lb. boneless chuck steak, cut in small pieces
  • Water
  • 2 level tablespoons salt
  • 1 clove garlic, crushed
  • 1 onion, sliced

Place beef in a 3-pint saucepan; cover with water; add salt, garlic and onion. Cover; bring to the boil and simmer for 2 hours, or until the meat can be shredded with a fork. Add more water if necessary during the cooking period.
When the meat is tender, shred mixture and transfer to a 7 by 11-inch baking dish; roast in a moderately hot oven (400 degrees F. Mark 5) for 1/2 hour, or until meat is browned. Serves 6.

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

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