At the top of my favorite Cameroonian food is Ndole, which is always present at parties ,and when cooked properly flies off the table. It is an absolutely irresistible combination of peanuts, bitter leaves ( substitute spinach), meat (stock fish, shrimp,) crayfish (dried shrimps) and oil. If I could eat this every day I would, It is rich, high in calories and loved by many. It tastes like a stew spinach dip with all the spices and meat .
To make this recipe a little bit healthy cut back on oil and peanuts. If using fresh spinach, wash the leaves well, rinse properly and then chop the spinach and blanch for 2 minutes. Frozen chopped spinach works just as well. This dish is best with its time-honored mate, Miondo/Bobolo( fermented cassava ) or how my niece calls it “bobolow” and is exciting in the company of Plantains(boiled or fried).
Bitter leaf is one of those is one of those vegetables that can be cultivated anywhere as oppose to certain vegetables that can only flourish with certain temperatures and places .
So if you are a gardener you can plant it and enjoy fresh bitter leaf anywhere you are. True to its name bitter leaf is very bitter. You have to wash it (rubbing the leaves together) thoroughly before cooking till most of the bitterness is gone. Using bicarbonate soda can also aid in this process.
- 8 oz (1 cup) Groundnuts/Peanuts(Skinless)
- ½ pound shrimp
- ½ pound stockfish
- ½ pound Beef
- 4 garlic glove
- 1 large Onion
- ¾ cup Crayfish(ground)
- 2 Tablespoon Maggi( Bouillon)
- 1 pound Bitter leaves(Spinach)
- 3 cup oil
- In a large pan season meat with salt, maggi and onions and boil until tender depending on the choice of meat. Meanwhile, boil stock fish with salt and water; add it to the boiled meat. You should have about 3 cups of stock from the meat and stock fish. Reserve the rest or freeze it.
- Boil peanuts for about 10 minutes in a sauce pan. Let it cool and blend/pulse in a food processor or blender into a fine consistency use water to facilitate the blending .Add to the mixture of beef and stockfish.
- Blend one onion and garlic into a fine paste and add to the mixture of peanuts and meat.
- Pour in the crayfish and let it simmer for 10 minutes stirring frequently to prevent burns. Season with salt and Maggi. You might have to add more later
- Add the bitter leaves or spinach to the pot. Stir and simmer for several minutes more
- While the pot of ndole is simmering, heat oil in a fry pan or, preferably a cast iron. Add the shrimp, stirring constantly until they just turn pink. Slice and add the remaining onions stir for a few more minutes.
- Finally incorporate the mixture of shrimp, onions and oil into the pot of Ndole. Stir for a few minutes and serve hot with any of the sides mentioned above.