Makayabu is a traditional Congolese food prepared with salted fish, vegetables, and traditional spices. The dish is known for its un-resistible taste and is not only loved by local but also popular in Gabon and other West African countries. However, the preparation process may differ depending on one’s preferences. And this is the best part about preparing your meals at home. You not only save a few bucks but also have the freedom to customize it to suit your needs. But if you have a tight schedule, you can enjoy your Makayabu in your nearest restaurant.
But before we could teach you how to prepare this amazing dish, get to know Congo dining etiquette.
Congolese Dining Culture
Just like most African nations, food taboos and customs are not an exception in Congo. Women take part in all food preparation and serving. The kitchen is a no go zone for men.
Congolese are welcoming and guests are welcomed during meals. When invited for a feast, how the guests enter the house matters. Customs should be observed, and ignoring these traditions is not accepted.
Visitors are expected to remove their shoes as a sign of honor to the hosts before entering the house. Guests are expected to enter inside in order of their age with elders first. When sharing food from one communal bowl, everyone is expected to eat the food from the front part.
[bctt tweet=”In Congo, guests are expected to leave their shoes outside before entering the house as a sign of respect”]
Washing hands before meals is mandatory. Eating is done with the right hand. In case food requires a fork or spoon; holding should be done with the right hand. Women are expected to serve food with the right hand too.
The left hand is only allowed to be used when holding the lip of a communal bowl but should be done with the index or thumb. Table manners should be observed at all times. Minimal conversations are allowed during meals. When enjoying meals, your fingers or toes should not be pointed to others or their food.
Now, let us switch our focus from culture and hop into our recipe.
- 500g salted cod (salted and chopped into small sizeable pieces)
- 2 green bell pepper (diced)
- 2 onion (chopped)
- 3 garlic cloves (zested)
- 2 bay leaves
- ¼ sliced cabbages
- 3 Zucchinis
- 2 cubes
- Soak your salted fish in water to rehydrate it and remove any excess salt
- Sauté your onion, bay leaves, and garlic. Add your fish and fry it till golden brown. Remove and put it in a separate bowl
- In the same pan, add 150ml cooking oil and onions and sauté them. Add your Zucchinis and let it cook for 2 minutes
- Add your cabbages and stir for one minute. Simmer it for 4 minutes for the cabbage to cook
- Add your bell pepper and simmer it again for 4 minutes
- Add your fish and cubes to the vegetables, and stir for one minute. Simmer it for 3 minutes then serve with boiled cassavas or rice
Makayabu is an excellent source for Omega 3 and essential minerals. Adding it to your diet will help boost your immunity and keep your body replenished. Why not try it and drop us a few lines. If you love this dish, you may probably like