My friend Charles comes from Congo and I asked him for some typical recipes. He sent me a recipe for Pondu, and said it was a very typical dish. He also send me the recipe for lituma, mashed plantains, since that is usually served with pondu. I made the pondu from a combination of recipes including Cultured Cuisine and The Blue Fufu. Some recipes had peanut butter but I left that out. I added garlic and reduced to 1 scotch bonnet pepper, since they can be very spicy. The flavour came out well but next time I would boil it for longer to thicken the pondu.
Finding ingredients was surprisingly easy in London. Pilchards can be found at any large supermarket, though I had never heard of them before. The frozen cassava leaves and red palm oil were the only tricky ingredients, but there are plenty of African supermarkets around.
500g frozen cassava leaves
1 litre water
1 small onion, chopped
2 cloves garlic, peeled and minced
4 bunches spring onion, sliced thinly
1-2 Tins Pilchards in tomato sauce
4 Tbsp red palm oil
1 green pepper, finely chopped
1-2 Scotch Bonnet Peppers (to taste)
Salt To Taste
First, in a large pot, add the cassava leaves, water, chopped onions, garlic, sliced spring onion, and chopped green pepper. Bring to a boil and cook for 20 minutes. Add more water if the mixture is looking dry.
Next, add the palm oil and salt. Boil for another 20 minutes. Add more water so the mixture stays moist.
Finally, add the pilcher and the whole scotch bonnet pepper(s). Simmer for 60 minutes until the mixture is thick. Serve with lituma and/or rice.
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