Pan Fried Omajowa | Namibian Cuisine

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Omajowa refers to termite mushrooms in Namibia. The mushrooms are associated with termites because they grow on their nests. Though this species of mushroom isn’t cultivated, it’s one of the best delicacies that one can enjoy.

According to some African beliefs, the uncultivated species of mushrooms especially those that grow around certain insects or certain tress hold a form of mystic components, and are usually recommended for rituals on certain cases.

Omajowa are seasonal and can be available fresh only during the rainy season. What you eat alongside the dish can vary as most most food tend to along well it. For example, chicken, and other starch foods are fine.

By fact, Omajowa is indigenous to Namibia. Its consumption, however, has spread to other parts of the world, and today we’ll teach you how to prepare a tasty pan-fried Omajowa.

But first, let’s have a look at Namibian culture.

Namibian Culture

Namibian culture is very diverse, and so is its population. Some of the cultural practices felt here have European influence. But despite the intrusion of colonialists, Germany to be precised, Namibians have managed to maintain vital parts of their cultural heritage which remains a part of their nation’s pride till date. You’ll find the influences of this cultural heritage in their culinary art, music as well as fashion.

The majority of Namibian population are Christians, again owning to its history of European dominance in the region. Most people in the range of 15-20 percent of the population still practices African traditional religions.

Like in most African cultures, turning off food is viewed as a sign of disrespect in Namibia. Handshakes and other forms of bowing greetings are popular, and should be duly reciprocated.

In Namibia, turning off food or a drink is a sign of disrespect Click To Tweet

Now that we’ve gained a little perspective about Namibian culture, let’s get to Omajowa recipe:

Recipe

2 pound of Omajowa mushrooms

150g chopped cashew nuts 

2 bunches of onions

Cooking oil

1 tablespoon of salt

Black pepper to taste

2 cloves of garlic

Procedure

  1. Heat the vegetable oil in a large pot.
  2. Add the chopped onions to the oil. Wash and cut the Omajowa mushrooms into small sizes. Chop the garlic and mix with the mushrooms and add to the sautéed onions. Leave to heat until they attain a light brown color.
  3. On a separate pan, add oil and put the cashew nuts then heat until they are soft.  Add to the mushroom stew and stir while stirring until they are thoroughly mixed. 
  4. Add black pepper and salt and simmer for about 5 minutes.
  5. Serve while hot with any starch food of your liking.

Note: When preparing the dish, you can opt to add more spicy ingredients to enhance the taste.

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