from: Central Africa | cooking method: boiling-simmering
Kpwem (Feuilles de Manioc)
Kpwem (Kpem, Kwem, Pkuem) — a soup, sauce, or purée de manioc from Southern Cameroon — is Cameroon's entry on the Central African menu of dishes made from greens, peanuts, and palm oil. Kpwem is made from feuilles de manioc (cassava, or manioc, leaves). Young, tender leaves, from the most recent growth of the plant, are the most desirable. Feuilles de manioc are available in markets all over tropical Central Africa, and are even exported to Europe and America where they are sold in African groceries and served in African restaurants.
What you need
- six cups water
- one or two onions, chopped
- two cloves of garlic, minced
- one hot chile pepper, cleaned and chopped
- one teaspoon fresh ginger root, grated
- salt to taste
- two to three pounds of cassava (manioc) leaves -- or substitute other greens; stems removed, washed, rinsed and drained, torn into pieces
- three cups canned palm soup base or palm nut pulp (canned, also called "sauce graine" or "noix de palme" or homemade moambé or nyembwe sauce)
- three tablespoons homemade peanut paste (or natural unsweetened peanut butter)
What you do
- Crush the cassava leaves (or other substituted greens) with a mortar and pestle, or mash them with the bottom of a sturdy bottle in a heavy bowl.
- In a large cooking pot, bring the water to a low boil. Add the onion, garlic, ginger root, and salt. Cook for a few minutes.
- Add the crushed greens and cook, bring to a boil, and cook for ten minutes more.
- Add the canned palm soup base (or palm nut pulp), and stir until smooth. Reduce heat and simmer for ten minutes.
- Add the peanut butter, stir. (The easiest way is to mix the peanut butter with a few tablespoons of very hot water, then add this mixture to the greens.)
- Continue to simmer until greens are cooked to your liking. Serve hot.
- Kpwem is usually served with Baton de Manioc, but could also be served with boiled Rice, Yams, or Plantains.
The multiple (but similar) names by which kpwem is known are a result of Cameroon's many languages and the irregular application of the Latin alphabet by German, French, and British colonial authorities.
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