Congo, a country so famous for its natural resources, is known for its consumption of cassava leaves. While most people consume the cassava plant tuber, in Congo, the leaves are part of their traditional dishes. Other countries like Nigeria, Sierra Leone, Madagascar, and Liberia are also known to be leading consumers of this amazing plant. Though most people pay much attention to the tuber, studies have shown that consuming cassava leaves offer health benefits to the body. And before we teach you how to prepare Congolese Pondu, get to know more about cassava leaves.
Are cassava leaves poisonous?
People have different perceptions on how safe cassava leaves are. With some even wondering how a plant with harmful parts may be fit for human consumption. Cassava leaves have about quarter percentage of unique protein mix in human body. Does this offer a clue to where the unique food sources of Mandingo strength comes from?
With Pondu stew, you can’t but get more curious about African foods; their taste and their natural support for healing. Cassava leaves offer amazing benefits to the body, however, you should never consume them when raw. You can either prepare as stew or soup to enjoy all the benefits.
Health benefits of Cassava Leaves
- When boiled along with salt and garlic, cassava leaves can help improve eyesight
- Helps prevent diarrhea
- Rich in magnesium which helps lower blood pressure
- When ground, cassava leaves can help fight kwashiorkor
- Boosts digestion and immunity
- 2 pounds ground cassava leaves (frozen)
- 500g beef (reduced into sizeable pieces)
- Smoked fish 1 pc
- Okra pods (20 pcs)
- 4 cloves garlic
- 2 medium onions (chopped)
- ½ cup Canola or palm oil
- Parsley 1 bunch
- 2 Maggie cubes
- Peanut butter
- In a medium cooking pan, bring water to boil. Add salt, Maggie cubes, parsley, pepper, two garlic cloves, one onion, and meat. Make sure the water covers the meat entirely. Boil the mixture until your meat is tender.
- Remove the stock and put it aside
- In another cooking pan, sauté your onions and remaining garlic cloves. Add your smoked fish and peanut butter. Stir for three minutes
- Add your cassava leaves and meat stock. Cook them for 6 minutes and add your meat
- Stir and taste if salt and seasoning are well balanced. Add if more is needed depending on your preferences
- Simmer and cook for another 5 minutes. Serve with rice, bread, or fish of your choice.
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