from: Central Africa | cooking method: boiling-simmering
Saka-Madesu (Cassava Leaves & Beans)
Saka-Madesu, or Pondu aux Haricots, or Feuilles de Manioc aux Haricots or just Greens and Beans is a dish of cassava leaves and white beans that is popular in the lower Congo River region. If cassava leaves are scarce in your region, substitute other greens.
What you need
- two to four cups (one to two pounds) of white beans
- cassava greens (feuilles de manioc) [or substitute kale, collards, turnip greens, spinach, or similar], stems removed, cleaned, and cut or torn into pieces
- the beans and greens should be approximately equal in weight
- at least a few spoonfuls of palm oil, or any oil -- two cups, or more, of palm oil can be used (homemade Moambé, or a canned substitute, can be used in place of oil)
- one onion (and/or one leek), chopped
- sweet green pepper (optional)
- salt, or baking soda, to taste
What you do
- Soak the beans overnight in cold water. Drain, rinse, and drain again.
- Cover the beans with cold water. Bring to a boil. Reduce heat. Cover and simmer over low heat, stirring occasionally, until beans are tender. Remove beans from heat and set aside if beans are tender remaining steps are completed.
- While beans are simmering: Heat half of the oil in a skillet and fry the onions and green pepper for a few minutes. Add oil-onion-green pepper mixture to beans.
- Rinse cassava leaves in hot water then crush cassava leaves with a mortar and pestle (or improvise using a rolling pin and cutting board, or a heavy bowl and a sturdy bottle). Note: this step can be skipped with other greens.
- Bring a separate pot of water to a boil. Add greens, leek, and remaining oil. Boil for a few minutes, then reduce heat and and cook until greens are tender, stirring occasionally. (Cooking time varies depending on type of greens. Cassava leaves need to cook for one to two hours.)
- When beans and greens are tender: Combine greens and beans in the largest pot. Add salt to taste. Simmer over low heat for an additional 15 to 30 minutes.
- Serve with Chikwangue, or Rice, or boiled Yam.
Alternate cooking method: Soak and rinse the beans, as above. If using cassava leaves, rinse them in hot water and and crush them with the onion and green pepper. Combine everything in a large pot with water to cover. Bring to a boil, reduce heat, and simmer for an hour or two. Add palm oil or moambé. Continue simmering until all is tender.
Eggplant can also be added along with the onion and green pepper.
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