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Cameroon: How To Prepare Ndole (Bitterleaf Soup)

Ndolé is a Cameroonian dish consisting of stewed nuts, ndoleh (bitter leaves indigenous to West Africa), and fish or beef.

The dish may also contain shrimp or prawns. It is traditionally eaten with plantain, bobolo (a Cameroonian dish made of fermented ground manioc or cassava and wrapped in leaves), etc.

Ingredients

  • 2 cups dried bitterleaf (can substitute spinach, kale, collards, or turnip greens)
  • ½ pound cooked shrimp (or one cup dried shrimp, if available)
  • 1 cup natural-style peanut butter
  • 1 large onion, chopped
  • 2 cups water
  • 2 Tablespoons fresh ginger, grated
  • 2 cloves garlic, crushed
  • 6 tomatoes, chopped
  • 2 to 3 Tablespoons vegetable oil
  • Salt and pepper, to taste

Procedure

  1. (If using any greens other than bitterleaf, skip this step.) Soak the bitterleaf overnight; drain in the morning and press out the excess water.
  2. If using kale, collards, or turnip greens, wash the greens, chop them, and cook them in a pot of boiling water for 5 minutes.
  3. If using spinach, wash the leaves and chop the spinach.
  4. Heat 2 Tablespoons of oil in a large pot and add the onions, garlic, and ginger. Sauté for 3 minutes.
  5. Add the chopped tomatoes, reduce heat, and simmer for about 3 minutes.
  6. Add the greens and simmer, stirring frequently, about 5 minutes.
  7. Add the peanut butter. Stir to combine well, cover the pot, and continue simmering until greens are tender (about 15 minutes). If mixture seems too dry, add water, ½ cup at a time.
  8. Cut shrimp into small pieces.
  9. Cook for 10 more minutes, then add the spinach.
  10. Serve with rice or boiled plantains and fufu.
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Serves 6 to 8.

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