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Sudanese Potatoes - Batatis -
with okra, rice, and salad

As John Yanga, from Kuli Papa village, Southern Sudan,
taught Lindsay Sterling, in Portland, Maine, January 2011

Serves 4
active time: 2 hours

2 Tbsp vegetable oil
2 yellow onions, rough chopped
1 pound beef, cut into bite sized pieces (bone-in for best flavor)
1 Tbsp tomato paste
5 cloves garlic
2 Tbsp oregano
1 bouillion cube
1/4 red onion or 1 shallot
1 cup rice
1 pound baby potatoes, peeled
2 Tbsp white vinegar
2 cups sliced okra (pinwheel shapes)
6 oz arugula
2 tomatoes
1 large cucumber
salad dressing (lemon and oil)
salt and pepper
ground chili

Coat bottom of soup pot with oil. Saute onions until soft, and add beef. Cook on medium until onions disappear (literally, they will over time!). Smash garlic cloves, remove skin, chop and then smash to a paste with the bottom of a glass. Add to the pot: tomato paste, garlic, salt and oregano, and stir. Cook for a while, and then cover everything in the pot with water, add boullion cube and simmer on low for 30 minutes. Shave onion/shallot super thin and cover with white vinegar, water, salt and a shocking amount of pepper, in a small dish.
Cook rice as you normally would. Split beef-sauce into two pots. Into one add the potatoes, and into the other add the okra. Use separate spoons for each so you don’t mix flavors. Avoid stirring either too much by keeping the heat medium low. The okra is done when it loses its crunch. Potatoes are done when you can push a fork into one without resistance (about 15 min.) Turn off heat.
Cut cucumber into rounds, then quarters, and tomatoes into wedges and then in half. Assemble plates: rice in the upper middle, with piles of potatoes and okra on either side, not touching one another. On the bottom half of the plate make big salad of arugula, cukes, tomatoes and marinated onions. Serve with any salad dressing you like. He says they usually use lemon because they have lemon trees there. Serve with ground chili pepper and/or hotsauce, and salt for people to add as desired.
Copyright Lindsay Sterling 2011