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excerpts from The Cookbook of the United Nations

1967: Barbara Krauss (part IV)

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

South Africa

BOBOTEE Meat timbales

  • 1 medium onion, chopped
  • 1 oz. butter
  • 1 slice white bread
  • Scant 1/2 pint milk
  • 2 eggs, beaten
  • 1 lb. raw meat, minced
  • 1 to 1 & 1/2 level teaspoons curry powder
  • Juice of 1 lemon
  • 12 almonds, chopped
  • 8 dried apricots, soaked and chopped
  • 2 oz. chutney, chopped
  • Salt and pepper
  • 2 bay leaves, broken in pieces

Sauté onion in butter until golden brown. Soak bread in milk, remove, and squeeze dry. Add eggs to milk. Mix the meat with the bread, onion, curry powder, lemon juice, almonds, apricots, chutney, salt and pepper. Add half the egg mixture and blend well. Place in a greased shallow baking dish or 6 individual baking dishes. Hollow centres slightly to allow for rising. Stick pieces of bay leaves on top. Bake for 20 minutes in a very moderate oven (350 degrees F. Mark 3). Remove bay leaves and pour remaining egg mixture on top. Return to oven and continue baking until custard sets, about 25 minutes. Serves 6.


  • 8 oz. rice
  • 3/4 pint boiling water
  • 1/2 oz. butter
  • 1 & 1/2 oz. brown sugar
  • 1 & 1/2 level teaspoons turmeric
  • 1 & 1/2 level teaspoons salt
  • 3 oz. seedless raisins

Wash rice and place with remaining ingredients in a covered saucepan. Bring rapidly to boiling point and stir with a fork. Reduce heat to low and cook covered until rice is tender, 25 to 30 minutes. Serve in a ring as an accompaniment to curried meat. Serves 6.

SOSATIES Skewered lamb with sauce

  • 1 leg of lamb
  • 1 level teaspoon salt
  • 1/2 level teaspoon pepper
  • Scant 1/2 pint vinegar
  • 1 medium onion, thinly sliced
  • 12 dried apricot halves, cut in small pieces
  • 1/2 level teaspoon curry powder
  • 2 level tablespoons sugar
  • 3/4 pint water
  • 1/2 lb. fat salt pork, cut in 1-inch squares and 1/2 inch thick
  • 2 level tablespoons cornflour
  • 4 tablespoons cold water

Cut lamb crosswise into 1-inch slices; cut again into 1 & 1/2-inch squares for skewering. (Reserve badly shaped pieces for another dish.) Season meat with salt and pepper.
Prepare a marinade of vinegar, onion, apricots, curry powder, sugar and water. Boil for 3 minutes; cool and pour over lamb in a deep container. Add extra water, if needed, for sauce to cover lamb. Refrigerate lamb with sauce for 2 days.
Remove lamb and drain. Skewer lamb and fat salt pork alternately on 12 skewers. Grill over red-hot coals until meat is brown and tender.
Blend cornflour [cornstarch in the U.S.] smoothly with the water and add to marinating sauce. Cook until sauce thickens; serve the Sosaties with sauce and chutney or Yellow Peach Pickle (see below). Makes 12 Sosaties.


  • Two 15 & 1/2-oz. tins sliced yellow peaches
  • 8 fluid oz. vinegar
  • 1 level teaspoon peppercorns
  • 1 level teaspoon coriander seeds
  • 1 level teaspoon whole allspice
  • 1/2 level teaspoon salt
  • 2 oz. brown sugar
  • 1/2 level teaspoon turmeric
  • 1 level teaspoon curry powder
  • 1 level teaspoon cornflour [cornstarch in U.S.]
  • 1 medium onion, chopped
  • 1 hot chilli pepper, chopped, or 1/2 level teaspoon crushed dried chillies

Drain peaches and measure about 1/4 pint of the juice. Simmer peach juice and vinegar for 10 minutes with peppercorns, coriander seeds and whole allspice, tied loosely in a muslin bag.
Mix salt, sugar, turmeric, curry powder and cornflour; add about 1/4 pint pickle mixture; blend and add to rest of pickle mixture. Cook until thickened, stirring constantly. Add onion, peaches and chilli, and cook for 10 minutes. Remove spice bag. If not to be used soon, fill jars and seal. Serve as a relish with chicken, turkey, lamb or fish. Makes 1 & 1/2 pints.


SHORBAT ROBE Yoghourt and cucumber salad

  • 2 large cucumbers
  • Three 5-oz. cartons yoghourt
  • 1/2 level teaspoon salt
  • 1/8 level teaspoon garlic powder
  • 1/8 level teaspoon black pepper
  • Lettuce

Peel and chop cucumbers; combine with yoghourt, salt, garlic powder and pepper. Serve on a bed of lettuce. Serves 6.

SHORBA Peanut butter soup

  • 2 lb. beef bones
  • 1/2 lb. lean beef, minced
  • 2 & 1/2 pints water
  • 1 onion
  • 2 cloves garlic
  • 6 peppercorns
  • 1 & 1/2 level teaspoons salt
  • 1/2 cinnamon stick
  • 2 cardamom seeds
  • 2 level tablespoons peanut butter
  • Juice of 1/2 lemon

Bring bones, minced meat and water to the boil; add onion, garlic, peppercorns and salt. Boil for 1/2 hour; add cinnamon and cardamom seeds, and continue boiling for 1 hour; strain. Combine peanut butter and 4 tablespoons of the stock, and add to remaining strained stock. Simmer for 3 minutes and add lemon juice. Serves 6.



  • 1 lb. beef, cut into 1-inch pieces
  • 1 large onion, chopped
  • 3 tablespoons cooking oil, preferably peanut
  • 1 level teaspoon salt
  • 1/4 level teaspoon pepper
  • 3/4 pint water
  • 1 lb. prawns, cooked and deveined
  • 1 lb. tinned crab meat
  • 4 tomatoes, peeled and diced
  • 1 level teaspoon crushed red peppers
  • 1 & 1/4 lb. frozen chopped spinach
  • 1/4 level teaspoon ground ginger
  • 2 level tablespoons flour mixed with 2 tablespoons water
  • 1 onion, sliced
  • Cooked rice

Cook beef and chopped onions in fat in a 12-inch sauté pan over low heat for 15 minutes. Add salt, pepper and water, and simmer until meat is tender. Add the prawns, crab, tomatoes and red pepper. Simmer for 15 minutes, stirring occasionally.
Cook spinach and drain well. Add spinach, ginger, flour paste and sliced onion to the meat mixture. Cover and cook over low heat, stirring occasionally, for 10 minutes, or until onion is soft. Serve as entrée with rice. Serves 6.


MARKET-ZEÏTUN Braised beef and olives

  • 1 & 1/2 lb. top side beef, cut into 1-inch cubes
  • 2 tablespoons oil
  • About 1/4 pint water
  • One 14-oz. tin tomatoes
  • 1 level tablespoon very finely chopped parsley
  • 1 clove garlic, crushed
  • 1/4 level teaspoon pepper
  • 4 oz. pitted green olives, sliced

Brown beef cubes in oil in a 10-inch sauté pan; add water to loosen browned bits in pan. Combine tomatoes, parsley, garlic and pepper, and simmer for 5 minutes. Add to meat and simmer for 1 hour. Add olives and continue to simmer for 30 minutes, or until beef is tender. Sauce should be thick. Serves 4 to 6.


  • 1 medium onion, finely chopped
  • 1/2 lb. beef sausages, cut in bite-sized pieces
  • 2 tablespoons olive oil
  • 1 medium aubergine [eggplant], peeled and cubed
  • 1 & 1/2 level teaspoons salt
  • 1 pint water
  • 4 medium tomatoes, sliced
  • 1 medium green pepper, cut in rings
  • Cooked rice

Sauté onion and sausages in oil until delicately browned. Combine cubed aubergine, salt, water, sautéd onion and sausages, tomatoes and green pepper in a saucepan. Cover and cook for 20 to 30 minutes over low heat. Serve on rice. Serves 4 to 6.


  • 1 medium cucumber
  • Salt
  • 2 medium tomatoes
  • 1 medium onion
  • 1 medium green pepper
  • 3 hard-boiled eggs
  • Lettuce


  • 4 tablespoons olive or salad oil
  • 1 tablespoon vinegar
  • 1 tablespoon lemon juice
  • 1/4 level teaspoon salt
  • 1/8 level teaspoon sugar
  • 1/8 level teaspoon dry mustard
  • 1/8 level teaspoon paprika

Slice the cucumber finely, sprinkle with salt, and let stand for 1 hour; drain. Slice tomatoes, onion, green pepper and eggs. Arrange vegetables and eggs on lettuce in a large salad bowl or on individual salad plates. Pour dressing over salad and chill. Serves 4.
To make dressing: blend all ingredients and shake well.



  • 2 lb. plantains or green bananas
  • Water
  • 1/2 level teaspoon salt
  • Few grains of pepper

Chicken stew

  • A 3-lb. frying chicken, jointed
  • 4 tablespoons oil
  • 1 large onion, sliced
  • 2 large tomatoes, peeled and cut in wedges, or 1 small tin tomatoes, drained
  • 2 potatoes, peeled and sliced
  • 1 level teaspoon salt
  • 1/2 level teaspoon pepper
  • 3/4 pint water

Peel the plantains or green bananas and place in a steamer or a saucepan with a rack in the bottom. Add water, leaving the bananas above the level of the water. Add salt and pepper. Bring contents to boiling point; reduce heat and steam bananas until soft. Lift bananas from the liquid and mash well. Place in top of double saucepan over simmering water until ready to serve with chicken stew.
To make chicken stew: fry chicken in hot oil in a heavy sauté pan until brown. Add onions, tomatoes, potatoes, salt, pepper and water. Cover tightly and simmer for about 1 hour, or until chicken is tender.
Pour chicken stew over plantains. Serves 6.
Note: The plantain and the green banana (not the banana used generally in its green unripe state) as prepared above taste similar to mashed white potatoes.

United Arab Republic (Egypt)

EGGAH Egyptian lamb omelette

  • 3/4 lb. cooked lamb, chopped
  • 1 medium onion, very finely chopped
  • 4 tablespoons vegetable oil
  • 2 level tablespoons flour
  • 6 large eggs, beaten
  • 1 small clove garlic, crushed
  • 1 level teaspoon cumin
  • 1/8 level teaspoon pepper
  • 2 level tablespoons finely chopped parsley
  • 3/4 level teaspoon salt

Brown lamb and onion in 2 tablespoons oil; mix the flour into the lamb and onion mixture, and set aside.
Mix beaten eggs, garlic, cumin, pepper, parsley and salt. Add onion and meat mixture; pour into a sauté pan in which the remaining 2 tablespoons oil have been heated. If an electric frying pan is used, turn heat to 300 degrees F.; otherwise cook over low heat. When the mixture is no longer liquid, increase heat for a few seconds to brown the bottom. To turn omelette, place a plate over it and turn it out on to the plate; return to pan to finish cooking and browning. Serves 6.


  • 3 Cornish Game Hens, halved
  • 1 level teaspoon salt
  • 1/4 level teaspoon pepper
  • 2 tablespoons lemon juice
  • 2 tablespoons onion juice
  • 1 & 1/2 oz. butter
  • 1/2 pint water

Pound each half Cornish Game Hen flat with a meat mallet. Brush hens with mixture of salt, pepper, lemon and onion juices. Let stand for 15 minutes or longer. Place hens in hot butter in a heavy pan; cover and cook until brown, then turn hens; cover and brown other side. When brown, add water and continue cooking until hens are done. Serve with natural sauce or sauce thickened with browned flour. Serves 6.
Editor's note: Guinea fowl, which have similarly tender flesh, may be substituted for Cornish Game Hens and cooked in the same way.

TAGIN ORZ Baked rice with chicken livers

  • 1 large onion, thinly sliced
  • 1 oz. butter
  • 1/2 lb. chicken livers, rinsed with cold water and dried
  • 1/8 level teaspoon pepper
  • 3/4 lb. rice
  • 3/4 pint chicken stock or 2 chicken stock cubes and 3/4 pint water
  • 1/2 level teaspoon salt

Cook onion in 1/2 oz. butter in a deep frying pan until onion is golden brown. Remove onion and reserve; place livers in the same pan; add pepper and cook slowly until brown. Place onion and livers in a 3-pint buttered casserole.
In the same frying pan cook rice in remaining butter until slightly browned. Add chicken stock and salt, and boil for 5 minutes. Mix rice with liver mixture in casserole; cover and cook for 20 minutes in a very moderate oven (325 degrees F. Mark 2). Remove cover and brown slightly. Serves 6 to 8.

GRABIE Shortbread biscuits

  • 1/2 lb. butter
  • 5 oz. icing sugar
  • 1/2 lb. plain flour, sifted

Cream the butter; add the sugar gradually and cream thoroughly. Stir in the flour. Roll the dough about 1/4 inch thick on a board lightly coated with flour. Cut with a 3-inch pastry cutter and place on baking sheets. Bake for about 25 minutes in a slow oven (300 degrees F. Mark 2.). The biscuits should be dry but still white in colour. Do not remove from baking sheets until thoroughly cooled. Makes 3 to 4 dozen biscuits.

United Republic of Tanzania


  • 1 lb. red kidney beans
  • Boiling water
  • 2 lb. beef soup bones
  • 2 large onions, chopped
  • 1 oz. butter
  • 2 tomatoes, cut in small pieces
  • 1 level tablespoon flour
  • 1 level teaspoon salt

Wash beans and cover with two or three times as much boiling water as beans. Boil for 2 minutes; remove from heat and soak for 1 hour or more. Simmer beans and beef bones in same water until tender (about 1 hour). Remove the bones and reserve them; mash the beans. Sauté onions in butter until soft; add tomatoes and flour. Stir and cook over low heat until colour changes to golden brown. Add onion mixture to mashed beans with salt, bones, and more water if necessary. Simmer for 30 minutes. Remove the bones and serve the soup as it is or strained. Serve very hot. Serves 6 to 8.

NDIZI NA NYAMA Banana medley

  • 8 bananas, peeled and cut in circles
  • 1 large onion, chopped
  • 2 medium tomatoes, cubed
  • 1/2 pint coconut milk
  • 1/2 oz. butter
  • 1/2 level teaspoon salt
  • 1/4 level teaspoon turmeric

Combine all ingredients listed in a 3-pint saucepan. Bring to the boil; reduce heat and simmer for 15 minutes. Serve with roast or boiled beef. Serves 6 to 8.

Upper Volta [Burkina Faso]

MAAN NEZIM NZEDO Fish stew with vegetables

  • 1/4 pint vegetable oil
  • 3/4 pint tomato sauce
  • 1 onion, thinly sliced
  • 1/4 level teaspoon cayenne pepper
  • 2 level teaspoons salt
  • 1 & 1/2 lb. fresh-water fish (bream or roach preferred)
  • 1 packet frozen okra or 1/2 lb. tinned okra, pods cut in halves
  • 3 carrots, cut in 1/4-inch slices
  • 1 small head cabbage, quartered and sliced
  • 1 packet frozen French beans
  • 8 oz. rice

Combine oil, tomato sauce, onion, pepper and salt in a 12-inch sauté pan, and bring to the boil. Add to this mixture the fish cut into 6 serving pieces, okra, carrots, cabbage and beans. Cover; bring mixture to the boil and cook over low heat for 5 minutes. Add rice and continue cooking for 25 minutes; add extra water during cooking if necessary. Serves 6.

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

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