Togo is one of the African countries popular for its delicious fruits and mouth-watering dishes with French and Germany influence. One of the dishes you can never miss out there is Gboma Dessi. The dish is prepared with beef, spinach, and Gbotemi spice. The delicacy is perfectly spiced to satisfy your taste buds. The final dish is vibrant and sumptuous.

Dining culture

Women take part in food preparations. It is a taboo for women to use the left hand when handling food. Doing so is viewed as being dirty. The norm applies even when eating food. Food is served in large communal bowls, and washing hands is mandatory.

Guests are expected to receive food offered to them with appreciation. Asking about the ingredient used to prepare the meal or smelling it before eating is an insult to the hosts.

In Togo, smelling food or enquiring the ingredients used in preparing the dish is a taboo and an insult to the hosts Click To Tweet

After enjoying a meal, you don’t need to say “thank you.” A burp at the end of the meal speaks volumes and is a sign of satisfaction and appreciation.

Click To Tweet

Togolese culture

Togolese people are very welcoming. It is a norm to greet everybody you meet with a warm smile. Those who are familiar ask several questions like “how are you”?  “how is the family? “how is your mood today”?

When speaking to an elder, you have to keep a distance as a sign of respect. Touching is allowed but only on the shoulder and arms. Couples rarely touch in public, and if they do, they have to do it respectfully. It is common for family members or couples to put on a matching outfit.

Now that you’ve experienced Togo a bit, let’s switch gears and focus on our recipe.

Ingredients

  • 1 lb beef (reduced into sizeable pieces)
  • 500g spinach
  • 2 onions
  • 2 maggi cubes
  • 4 cloves of garlic (minced)
  • 1 1/2tbp ginger (minced)
  • 3 tomatoes (blended to make tomato puree)
  • Gboteni spice (anise, ground ginger, roasted cardamom seeds, ajwain, and cloves)
  • 6tbsp olive or palm oil
  • Pepper
  • Salt
  • 1 bunch coriander

Guide

  1. Put water in a cooking pot and add salt and pepper. Bring it to boil, and then add your beef. Boil it for 45 minutes under medium heat
  2. Transfer the stock to a cup and set it aside
  3. Sauté your onion, ginger, and garlic for two minutes. Add your beef and stir for three minutes
  4. Add your tomato puree and simmer for five minutes. Add your stock, Gboteni spice, and maggi cubes. Simmer and let it slowly cook for 15 minutes
  5. Wash your spinach and chop them into small pieces
  6. Add your spinach into your beef and let it cook for 10 minutes
  7. Garnish with coriander and simmer for two minutes
  8. Serve while hot with rice or Ugali

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