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excerpts from The Cookbook of the United Nations

1967: Barbara Krauss (part III)

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


LE TO Two-sauce stew

First sauce

  • 1/2 lb. minced beef
  • 1/4 lb. dried fish soaked in 1/2 pint water, or 1/2 lb. fresh fish, flaked
  • 1/2 level teaspoon salt
  • 2 medium onions, coarsely chopped
  • Water
  • 2 level teaspoons Filé powder or 1 level tablespoon cornflour mixed with 4 tablespoons water

Second sauce

  • 1/2 lb. beef, cut in 1/2-inch cubes
  • 1 tablespoon oil
  • 2 small onions, chopped
  • 3 level tablespoons tomato concentrate
  • 1/2 level teaspoon salt
  • Water

Cornmeal accompaniment

  • 5 oz. cornmeal
  • 1/2 level teaspoon bicarbonate of soda
  • 1 & 1/2 pints boiling water
  • 1/2 level teaspoon salt

To make first sauce: combine beef, flaked fish, salt and onions in a saucepan; cover with water. Cover and bring mixture to the boil; reduce heat and simmer for 20 minutes. If Filé is used, stir into the sauce immediately before serving and do not let sauce boil after adding it. If cornflour is used, let sauce simmer for 5 minutes more.
To make second sauce: brown meat in hot oil in a frying pan; add onions and cook for 5 minutes, stirring frequently. Add tomato concentrate, salt, and water to cover ingredients. Cook, covered, over low heat for 20 minutes.
To make cornmeal accompaniment: stir cornmeal and soda into the boiling water. Add the salt and cook until mixture is thick, stirring constantly. Reduce heat and cook for 20 minutes, stirring occasionally.
Combine the two sauces. Serve the cornmeal mixture in a shallow bowl and the "Two-sauces" in a separate dish. Serves 6.
Note: Filé, a green powder used in Creole cooking, is available in high-class food shops. Fresh okra may be used when available to obtain same result.


MICHOUI Stuffed leg of lamb

  • 2 oz. raisins
  • 2 oz. stoned dates, chopped
  • 2 oz. dried figs, chopped
  • 1 & 1/2 level tablespoons pine nuts or chopped hazelnuts
  • 1 small onion, chopped
  • 5 oz. bulgar
  • 1 & 1/2 level tablespoons chopped parsley
  • 1 level teaspoon salt
  • 1/4 level teaspoon ground coriander
  • 1/8 level teaspoon pepper
  • 1/2 pint stock or bouillon
  • 1 leg of lamb (about 5 lb.), boned

Combine the first ten ingredients listed with 5 tablespoons of the stock or bouillon and mix well. Stuff lamb with this mixture, filling bone cavities well; secure with skewers. Place stuffed leg on a rack in a shallow roasting tin and roast for 2 & 1/2 to 3 hours, depending on how well done meat is preferred, in a very moderate oven (325 degrees F. Mark 2 to 3). Baste lamb occasionally with the remaining stock and meat juices during cooking period. Serves 6 to 8.
Note: In Mauritania it is the stomach cavity of a whole young sheep that is stuffed.
Editor's note: Rice may be substituted for bulgar if not available.


TAGINE Braised chicken with olives

  • A 3-lb. frying chicken, jointed
  • 1 & 1/2 oz. butter
  • 1/2 pint water
  • 2 medium onions, chopped
  • 1/2 level teaspoon ground ginger
  • 1/8 level teaspoon paprika
  • 1/4 level teaspoon black pepper
  • 2 heaped tablespoons chopped parsley
  • 6 oz. pitted whole green olives
  • Water
  • 2 tablespoons lemon juice
  • 2 level tablespoons flour mixed with 2 tablespoons water

Brown chicken in hot butter in a 5-pint saucepan. Add water, onions, ginger, paprika, black pepper and parsley to browned chicken. Mix well; cover and simmer for 45 minutes.
Prepare olives: cover with cold water in a small saucepan, bring to the boil, and boil for 1 minute. Pour off water; repeat procedure and drain. Add to chicken shortly before serving.
Place chicken with olives on a heated serving dish and pour lemon juice over chicken. Thicken remaining liquid with flour and water paste. (Add water, if necessary, to make up to a generous 1/2 pint.) Cook for 3 minutes over low heat, stirring constantly. Pour sauce over chicken and olives. Serves 6.
Note: lamb may be used in place of chicken.



  • 3/4 lb. rice
  • 1 level teaspoon salt
  • 3 oz. raisins, plumped in boiling water
  • 3 oz. almonds, toasted and finely chopped
  • 1/4 level teaspoon ground ginger
  • 1/4 level teaspoon pepper
  • 1/4 level teaspoon cinnamon
  • Pinch of saffron
  • 2 frying chickens
  • 4 oz. butter
  • 1/2 level teaspoon ground ginger
  • 1/2 level teaspoon pepper
  • 1/2 level teaspoon cinnamon
  • Pinch of saffron
  • Salt
  • 1/2 pint boiling water

To make stuffing: simmer rice in 1 & 1/2 pints boiling salted water until water is absorbed. Add plumped raisins, almonds and spices. Mix lightly.
Brown whole chickens in butter and stuff with rice mixture. Close and secure openings with skewers. Place chickens in a pot with a close-fitting lid. Blend remaining ingredients in boiling water and add to chickens. Simmer for 1 & 3/4 hours over low heat. (Add more water if necessary during cooking.) Serves 8.

GDRA Chicken with chick peas

  • 6 oz. butter
  • 1/8 level teaspoon saffron
  • 1 level tablespoon salt
  • 1 level teaspoon ground pepper
  • 6 medium onions, finely chopped
  • Two 3-lb. chickens, split lengthwise, or 4 lb. shoulder of lamb, cut in serving pieces
  • Two 1-lb. tins chick peas
  • Water
  • 1 lb. rice
  • Few sprigs of coriander
  • 1 large bunch parsley
  • Juice of 1 lemon

Melt the butter in a deep pan. Stir in the saffron, salt, pepper and 1 chopped onion. Add chicken or meat and chick peas; cover with water and simmer for 1 hour.
Put rice in a clean muslin bag, half-filling the bag, tie securely and place in the pan containing the meat mixture. Rice should be completely covered with liquid. Remove bag of rice after 15 to 20 minutes and keep warm.
Continue cooking until meat is tender. During last hour of cooking, add remainder of onions, coriander and parsley. Serve meat in the centre of a large dish with the rice and chick peas arranged around it, and pour sauce over the meat. Pour lemon juice over the entire dish. Serves 8 to 10.

KAB EL GHZAL Almond croissants

  • 1 lb. 6 oz. plain flour
  • 3 oz. butter
  • Water

Almond filling

  • 1/4 teaspoon orange essence
  • 3 oz. butter
  • 1/2 lb. almond paste

Sift flour into a large mixing bowl; make a well in the centre and pour in 2 & 1/2 oz. melted butter. Blend with a fork; add water slowly and continue blending until mixture is consistency of bread dough and can be kneaded. Knead vigorously on a floured board for 20 minutes. Butter board, rolling pin, and tips of fingers lightly, using remaining butter. Divide dough into four portions. Roll out on buttered board, then stretch with fingers until dough is 1/8 inch thick. Cut into strips 5 inches wide. Cut the strips crosswise into triangles 3 inches wide at the base.
To make almond filling: add orange essence and butter to almond paste, and blend thoroughly.
Place 1 teaspoon almond filling on the base of dough triangle and roll up, curving the ends to form a crescent or croissant. Repeat procedure until all the dough is used. Place on a baking sheet and bake for about 15 minutes, or until lightly browned, in a very moderate oven (350 degrees F. Mark 3). Size of croissants may vary according to use and number desired. If pastry shows a tendency to puff, prick with a pin. Makes 50 croissants.


BONDO GUMBO Lamb gumbo

  • 3 lb. lean stewing lamb, cut into 2-inch cubes
  • 2 tablespoons peanut or other vegetable oil
  • 1 medium onion, very finely chopped
  • 3 level tablespoons flour
  • 2 small tins tomato concentrate
  • One 4-oz. tin pimentos
  • 1 & 1/2 level teaspoons salt
  • 1 & 1/2 pints water
  • 1 lb. fresh okra or a 10-oz. packet frozen okra

Whole wheat balls

  • 4 & 1/2 oz. whole wheat flour
  • Scant 1/4 pint water
  • Salted boiling water

Brown lamb in hot oil in a large pan. Add onion and flour to browned lamb; mix well and let flour brown. Add tomato concentrate, pimentos, salt and water. Simmer for 1 & 1/2 hours; add okra, cut in thin rounds, and continue simmering until okra becomes soft. Serve in a deep dish with whole wheat balls.
To make whole wheat balls: mix flour and water. Cook, covered, in the top of a double saucepan for 30 minutes. Stir; dip out balls of dough and drop into a pot of boiling salted water. Cook for 10 minutes. Remove with a slotted spoon and drain. Serves 6 to 8.


EWA AND DODO Seafood and black-eyed peas

  • 1 lb. dried black-eyed peas
  • 1 & 1/2 pints boiling water
  • 1 medium onion, chopped
  • 1 large tomato, chopped
  • 1 & 1/2 to 3 level teaspoons crushed red peppers
  • 2 level tablespoons tomato concentrate
  • 3 tablespoons oil
  • 7 oz. tinned tuna or 9 oz. tinned prawns
  • 3 large bananas, cut into 1/4-Inch slices
  • 1/2 level teaspoon salt
  • 1/2 pint oil for frying

Wash peas in cold running water. Cover with boiling water and boil for 2 minutes. Remove from heat and soak for 1 to 2 hours; simmer in the same water until tender. Add onion, tomato and dried peppers to peas; cook for 15 minutes. Add tomato concentrate, oil and fish to peas; cover and simmer for 10 minutes without stirring. Remove cover and simmer, stirring, for 5 minutes.
Sprinkle bananas with salt and deep-fry in oil until golden brown. Drain on absorbent paper. Serve black-eyed peas (Ewa) with bananas (Dodo). Serves 6.


  • 1 & 1/4 pints coconut milk
  • 2 level tablespoons chopped onion
  • 3 medium tomatoes, peeled and quartered
  • 1 level teaspoon salt
  • 1/2 level teaspoon pepper
  • 1 lb. crayfish, beef or chicken, cut into bite-sized pieces
  • 8 oz. bulgar

Combine coconut milk, onion, tomatoes, salt, pepper and fish or meat in a saucepan; simmer for 5 minutes. Stir bulgar into coconut milk mixture and simmer for 15 minutes, or until fish and bulgar are done. Serves 6.
Editor's note: Bulgar can be bought in specialty shops, but if not, available, rice may be substituted in the same proportion.

WOLOF RICE Steak stew with rice

  • 2 lb. frying steak, cut in 12 pieces
  • 1 & 3/4 pints water
  • 2 level teaspoons salt
  • 8 tablespoons peanut oil
  • 2 large tomatoes, chopped
  • 1 large onion, chopped
  • 2 level tablespoons tomato concentrate
  • 1 & 1/2 to 3 level teaspoons crushed red peppers
  • 8 oz. rice

Simmer steak in 1/4 pint water to which 1 level teaspoon salt has been added until water has evaporated. Brown steak in 4 tablespoons hot oil. Set aside and keep warm.
Combine in saucepan: 1 tomato, 1/2 onion, 1 level tablespoon tomato concentrate, dried red pepper, remaining oil and 3/4 pint water. Simmer until water has almost evaporated. Add browned meat to tomato mixture and simmer gently until mixture is thick and all water evaporated.
Cook rice for 15 minutes in remaining water to which 1 level teaspoon salt has been added. Add the remaining onion and tomato, and remaining tomato concentrate. Cover saucepan and simmer for 20 minutes. Combine steak and rice mixtures and simmer uncovered for 10 minutes. If desired, serve steak over rice instead of combining the two mixtures. Serves 6.



  • 1 & 1/2 lb. stewing beef, cut in 1-inch cubes
  • 1 medium onion, chopped
  • 2 tablespoons oil
  • 4 green bananas (plantains)
  • 4 tablespoons lemon juice
  • 4 tablespoons tomato sauce
  • 1 level teaspoon salt
  • 1/2 level teaspoon powdered sage
  • 1/4 level teaspoon pepper
  • Water

Cook meat and onion in hot oil in a heavy saucepan until brown. Add bananas, cut crosswise into 4 pieces and rubbed with lemon juice. Cook for 5 minutes over low heat, stirring constantly. Add tomato sauce and seasonings; cover mixture with water and simmer for 1 & 1/2 to 3 hours. Add extra water if needed during cooking. Serves 6.


BOULETTES Fish balls in sauce

  • 3 cloves garlic
  • 4 heaped tablespoons chopped parsley
  • 2 large tomatoes
  • 3-inch slice French bread
  • 2 lb. cod or haddock fillets
  • 1 onion
  • 2 level teaspoons salt
  • 1/4 level teaspoon pepper
  • Oil for frying


  • 1 onion, chopped
  • 3 level tablespoons tomato concentrate
  • 3/4 pint water
  • 1 level teaspoon salt
  • Few grains of cayenne pepper
  • 2 tablespoons vinegar

Mince first six ingredients, using fine blade of mincer. Add salt and pepper. Blend mixture well and form into balls about 1 & 1/2 inches in diameter. Fry until well browned in 1 inch of oil heated to 375 degrees F.
To make sauce: fry onion in 2 tablespoons oil left from frying fish balls; add tomato concentrate, 4 tablespoons water and seasonings; mix well. Add remaining water and cook until thick; stir in vinegar and fish balls, and simmer for 1 hour. Serve as appetizers. Serves 6 to 8.


  • 6 oz. plain flour
  • 1 & 1/2 level teaspoons baking powder
  • 1/4 level teaspoon salt
  • 1 egg, well beaten
  • 1/4 pint milk
  • 1 teaspoon vanilla essence
  • 2 drops orange essence
  • Fat for deep-frying

Sift dry ingredients together. Stir in beaten egg mixed with milk, vanilla, and orange essence, and stir until smooth. Drop from a spoon into deep fat heated to 375 degrees F., and fry to a deep golden brown colour.
For fruit fritters, use 6 bananas cut in thick slices, or sections of 3 oranges with seeds and pith removed. Add fruit to batter just before frying. Serves 6.

Sierra Leone


  • 6 well-ripened bananas
  • 4 oz. rice or wheat flour
  • 2 oz. sugar dissolved in 4 tablespoons water
  • 1/2 to l level teaspoon nutmeg
  • Fat for frying

Mash bananas with a fork or use blender to make pulp; add the flour, sugar dissolved in water, and nutmeg. Add water, if needed, to make batter of pancake consistency. Mix well and fry like pancakes in an oiled frying pan until golden brown. Makes 24 small fritters.


HURIS HILIB Veal with tomato topping

  • 1/2 green pepper, sliced
  • 2 small potatoes, peeled and quartered
  • Water
  • 1 medium onion, chopped
  • 1 lb. veal, cut into 1/2-inch cubes
  • 2 tablespoons oil
  • 1 level teaspoon salt
  • 1/4 level teaspoon white pepper
  • 1 level teaspoon basil
  • 1/2 level teaspoon very finely chopped garlic
  • 1 fresh tomato, peeled and sliced

Boil pepper and potatoes in a saucepan with water to cover until vegetables are half cooked. Put through mincer, using the fine blade. Cook onion and meat in oil for 15 minutes, or until brown; add potato mixture and seasonings to the meat. Put into a greased casserole and place slices of tomato on top of mixture. Cover and cook for 20 minutes in a very moderate oven (325 degrees F. Mark 2). Serves 6.

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