See How to Do It

Constance at the checkout

These are the frozen shredded cassava leaves (below) we're boiling with water.

They turn bright green, then darker, and that's when you add the peeled chunks of eggplant,

and a bunch of green onions and yellow onions, which cook for a while.

Constance trims some goat meat off the bone and adds it to the cassava leaves. She boils the rest of the goat pieces with bones in water until the meat pulls cleanly off the bone.

Once the cassava leaves have turned pea soup color, add palm oil (it's red!), and after that, peanuts that have been blended into a paste in the blender.

Here Constance is starting the filling for the fried appetizers called Sambusas. This is ground beef sauted with onions.

Here she's adding chunks of tomato flesh after discarding the seeds and juice.

She spices up the filling with Adobo seasoning, (a blend of salt, tumeric, and oregano), black pepper, and crushed beef bullion cube.

Add some broth from the boiled goat pan to the cassava leaves.

Once goat has been boiled until the bones are clean and the meat is cooked, remove from broth. Fry in skillet (in batches) until browned on many sides.

She splashes broth in as she's frying to keep the meat from getting to dry and chewy.

In the same oil you fried the goat, saute lots of sliced green pepper and onion until soft.

Then deglaze the pan with goat broth and pour it over the goat in large pot and simmer together for a while.
Ooo. This was the making of the orange ginger energy drink. Blend ten times more ginger than you have ever used at once into a paste with a little water. Strain fiber out in fine mesh strainer, so you have ginger juice. Blend with orange juice.

This is the beginning of the sauce she cooked the green bananas in. It's sauteed green pepper, onion, and tomato paste. After this is soft and thick, she'll add bay leaves, water, and as you'll see, the raw unripe bananas.

Add water to cover, and cook until bananas are a little firmer than cooked potato and the sauce reduces.

Here is whole phenomenal feast...

Constance's daughter says they cook like this all the time. (Three of them cooked for 4.5 hours!) If she's not pulling one over on me, then everyday is like Thanksgiving. I have a hard time imagining how anyone would have time to frequently cook like this until I remember that they told me women didn't work outside the home in Congo. When I asked why they cook so much, she said, "It's our culture." It sure is beautiful. I hope living in the United States doesn't whittle their cooking time to 15 minutes.

As I drove them home, Constance's daughter said, with no sarcasm, "That was fast." She appreciated cooking with many pots at once on the community center's 8-burner gas stove.