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excerpts from Eating in Africa

1958: Rosanne Guggisberg

Rosanne Guggisberg was born in Belgium and raised in Switzerland where she met and married Charles Guggisberg. They moved to Tanganyika (the mainland portion of modern Tanzania) in 1946, and later to Kenya. She wrote at least two African cookbooks aimed at the European immigrant community in Africa: Cooking with an African Flavour (Nairobi: Sapra Studio, 1973), and the earlier Eating in Africa (Cape Town: Howard Timmins, 1958) from which these recipes are excerpted. These excerpts are continued on part II.


Eating in Africa

Rosanne Guggisberg

Howard Timmins
Cape Town


1 Bananas in Jackets

  • 4 bananas
  • pepper
  • 4 rashers of bacon, rind removed

Peel bananas, wrap a rasher of bacon around each, sprinkle with a little pepper and fasten with a toothpick. Bake in a moderate oven (370°F) for about 15 - 20 minutes, or until the bacon is crisp and the bananas are cooked.

5 Cheese and Pawpaw

  • 1 firm, ripe pavvpaw
  • 4 tablespoons mayonnaise
  • paprika
  • ½ lb. cheddar cheese
  • green salad

Peel the pawpaw, remove the seeds. Cut into little cubes or balls as well as the cheese. Place onto lettuce leaves, sprinkled with salt and lemon juice. Top each serving with a tablespoon of mayonnaise and sprinkle with a little paprika.


21 Avocado Soup

  • 3 tablespoons flour
  • 2 avocados
  • 1 teaspoon crushed coriander
  • 1½ pints stock
  • ½ cup whipped cream
  • pepper and salt

Mix flour and stock and bring to the boil. Simmer until thickened, stirring all the time. Peel and core the avocados. Rub through a sieve, add to the stock and season to taste. Chill, and when the soup is cold, add the whipped, unsweetened cream and the coriander seeds, if available. Serve ice-cold, garnished with a little paprika, or if you want to give the soup a party-air, with a little red caviar.

23 Congo Soup

  • 2 coconuts
  • salt and pepper
  • bread cubes
  • 1 pint chicken stock
  • grated nutmeg
  • 4 tablespoons thick cream

Grate the coconut, keeping back half a cup. Press the remainder through a cloth or put into juice extractor. Mix the liquid thus obtained with the coconut milk. Add it to the chicken stock, bring to the boil. Add salt and pepper and a little grated nutmeg. Lightly fry the remaining coconut in butter. Also fry ½ cup bread cubes. Just before serving add the coconut, bread cubes and cream to the soup.

29 Groundnut Soup

  • 1 cup roasted and skinned groundnuts
  • 2 medium-sized onions
  • 1 tablespoon butter
  • 1 pint stock
  • ½ pint milk
  • salt and popper

Melt butter in a saucepan, add chopped onions and fry until soft, but not brown. Add the stock and simmer for 15 minutes. Grind the nuts and add. Cook, stirring occasionally, for 20 minutes. If liked, rub soup through a sieve. Add the milk, season to taste and reheat. Serve with croütons.


124 Chicken Pilau

  • 1 Chicken
  • 2 small onions
  • 2 cups of stock
  • 1 bay leaf
  • 2 oz. rice
  • 1 tomato
  • rind from half a lemon
  • 1 oz. bacon
  • salt and pepper
  • spicy tomato sauce

Skin and cut up the tomato. Put into a heavy saucepan, together with chicken cut into pieces. Cover with hot stock (or water), add bacon, spices and onions tied in a piece of muslin. Season with salt and pepper and slowly bring to the boil. Simmer until half done, depending very much on the age and kind of chicken. Add washed rice and continue simmering until rice and chicken are done and the liquid has evaporated. If necessary, more stock, should be added to prevent rice from burning. A young chicken should be cooked within an hour. Serve, after having removed the muslin, with a little tomato sauce poured over the rice and meat, and more tomato sauce served separately.

130 Groundnut Stew

  • 1 stewing chicken
  • 1 onion
  • 1 clove garlic
  • 1 lb. groundnut or ½ jar peanut butter
  • red pepper
  • 1 tomato
  • salt
  • 4 hardboiled eggs

Roast and peel groundnuts. Grind, if possible, in a meat mincer and then pound until they look like flour. This is best done in a mortar or by using a bottle instead of a rolling-pin. When absolutely floury, add sufficient water to make a smooth sauce. If peanut butter is used, add water to make it smooth. Fry onion, chopped, together with peeled tomato cut into small pieces, add chicken, cut into pieces, brown evenly. Lastly add garlic, chopped finely. Add groundnut mixture, season to taste, bring to the boil and simmer until chicken is tender, about 2-3 hours. Just before serving, add a little cream and the hardboiled eggs. Depending on the age of the bird more water may have to be added during cooking, but in the end the sauce should be thick and smooth and it should not be necessary to add any flour. Serve with rice, and same accompaniments as for curry.


141 Beef Curry

  • 1 ½ lb. steak
  • 1 tablespoon curry powder
  • 1 clove garlic, minced
  • ½ cup seedless raisins
  • 1 large onion, chopped
  • salt to taste
  • ½ cup flour
  • 2 tablespoons butter or oil
  • 2 cups water
  • 1 chopped cooking apple or same amount of unripe pawpaw
  • 1 lb. fresh mushrooms (optional)
  • 1 teaspoon sugar

Mix flour with curry powder (use more curry powder, if you want a really hot curry), dip the meat, cut into small cube, into the flour mixture, then brown in butter or fat together with garlic, until nicely browned. Add water, raisins, apple and onions. Cover and simmer until meat is tender. If mushrooms are added, put those in with the meat about 5 minutes before serving. Taste for seasoning. If liked, add a few drops of lemon juice and 2 tablespoons of cream before serving.

142 Biriani

  • 1 ½ lbs. mutton
  • 2 large onions, chopped finely
  • salt and pepper
  • 2 cloves
  • ½ teaspoon turmeric
  • 4 oz. butter or ghee
  • 1 lb. rice
  • 1 tablespoon curry powder
  • 12 almonds or nuts

Cut meat into small cubes, simmer in water until tender. Melt butter, fry onions lightly, then add washed rice and other ingredients, save turmeric. Mix well, then add sufficient stock to cover (the water in which the meat was cooked is suitable). Simmer until rice is tender and water has evaporated. Add turmeric and meat and serve.


201 Duiker Liver and Kidney Casserole

  • liver and kidney of a duiker
  • 1 clove garlic
  • ½ lb. cipolata sausage
  • 1 teaspoon paprika
  • pinch of mixed herbs
  • ½ glass red wine (if possible, otherwise substitute stock)
  • 1 tablespoon flour
  • 1 onion
  • 3 tablespoons butter
  • 2 slices bacon
  • pepper and salt
  • 1 cup cream

Cut meat into small cubes, chop onion and garlic. Heat butter, add meat and onion and garlic and fry, stirring all the time, until evenly browned. Sprinkle with paprika, pepper and salt and mixed herbs. Sprinkle with flour, then add cream and wine and simmer until sauce is smooth and thick.

202 Francolin with Apples

  • 1 francolin or guinea fowl
  • 3 tablespoons butter
  • 1 cup cream
  • 4 apples
  • salt and pepper

Brown the bird all round in butter, then place in a fireproof greased dish, surround with apples, peeled, cored and quartered. If the apples are of the variety that do not get soft easily, cook till half tender before placing around the bird. Add cream to the fat in the pan, mix well and pour over the bird. Cook in a hot oven about 45 minutes, or until bird is done, basting from time substituted for the apples. [sic] Serve with boiled rice or potatoes, mashed.

203 Francolin Casserole

  • 1 francolin
  • 2 rashers of bacon
  • 1 carrot, cut into pieces
  • stock
  • 2 oz. butter
  • 1 onion, sliced
  • 1 stalk celery, chopped
  • 1 tablespoon flour

Heat butter in a stew pan with a close fitting lid. Cut bacon into small pieces. Fry bacon with vegetables in butter, then remove. Add bird, cut up and brown pieces on all sides. If necessary, add more butter. Return vegetables, add seasoning and stock to cover about half the bird. Cover tightly and simmer for about 1 hour, until bird is tender. If liked, thicken gravy with 1 tablespoon flour. Serve with buttered peas.

204 Gameburgers

  • 2 cups cooked game meat
  • 2 egg yolks or 1 egg
  • salt and pepper
  • 3 tablespoons butter
  • 2 tablespoons sultanas
  • 2 slices bacon fat
  • 2 tablespoons cream
  • pinch of marjoram (if possible)
  • 2 tablespoons wine (optional)

Mince meat and bacon, add egg, cream, salt and pepper and herbs. Shape into patties, fry on both sides in butter until nicely browned. [Remove patties from pan.] Add wine or water to the drippings, as well as the sultanas. Season and add more cream, if liked. Cook until the sultanas are plump and soft, then pour over the patties. Without sauce, and placed between slices of buttered bread or split buns, they make a. good safari lunch.

205 Gamecakes

  • 2 cups cooked game meat
  • 2-3 tablespoons thick gravy
  • 2 tablespoons flour
  • dry bread crumbs
  • 4 oz. cooked mushrooms
  • salt and pepper to taste
  • 1 egg

Mince meat and mushrooms, add thick gravy to bind. Shape into little balls, dip in flour, beaten egg and breadcrumbs and fry in deep fat until nicely browned.

206 Game Casserole Germaine

  • 1 lb. game meat
  • 4 oz. sausage meat (pork if possible)
  • 2 onions
  • salt and pepper
  • pinch of grated nutmeg
  • 4 oz. bacon
  • 4 oz. mushrooms (optional)
  • 2 tablespoons butter
  • sprig of parsley
  • 1 glass of white wine or stock

Cut the meat into pieces, make small balls of the sausage meat, cut the bacon with scissors. Well butter a casserole dish, place alternate layers of bacon, meat, sausage meat into the dish, sprinkling seasoning and chopped onions as well as mushrooms in between the layers. Add wine or stock, cover and cook in a medium oven about 1 ½ hours (if Thommy meat is used it may be less, so check after about 1 hour). If liked, thicken the gravy with a little flour.

(continued on part II)

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

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Next: Rosanne Guggisberg (part II)