murenda

Jute Mallow, A.K.A Murenda, is one of the healthy dishes you can never miss in the Luhya community in Kenya. By mere looking at Murenda, you may not get impressed, but the health benefits are incredible. And today, we feature not only the recipe but also the dining culture in the Luhya community. But before then, here is a lowdown of the benefits of Murenda.

Health benefits of Murenda

  • Improves eyesight
  • High in fiber  which aids in digestion
  • Has Vitamin C which helps boost immunity minimizing any chances of getting colds and flu
  • Has anti-inflammatory properties that help relieve joint pain, headaches, and stomach pains
  • It lowers cholesterol levels.

Dining Culture

According to Luhya customs, women and children take charge of cooking and maintaining household chores. When food is ready to serve, tradition calls for women to serve the husband first, followed by the kids in age order.

Men enjoy meals with fellow men, and washing hands is mandatory before taking meals. Visitors are welcomed with food and drink, not unless they are from a rivalry tribe. Informal invitations are common, and neighbors are allowed to join the meal without invitation. Turning down food is not allowed, and it is viewed as a sign of rudeness.

In Luhya community, strangers and neighbors are allowed to join meal sessions without invitations but they should not be from rivalry tribes Click To Tweet

It is taboo for girls or boys to sit on their father or uncle’s favorite chair. Doing so is a sign of rudeness and a disrespect to the elders.

Marriage customs

Before a guy could marry, he’s supposed to investigate about the lady’s character to help determine if she is fit to be wooed. The lady too, is allowed to do the same. She can employ the support of her extended family to determine if the man will be her best suitor.

Once the dowry payment negotiations are over, feasts are held at both bride and groom’s residence. The groom then makes arrangement with his friends to go pick up his bride from her place.

When the husband dies, his brother is expected to “inherit” his wife. It goes in the order of age with the eldest brother having the first right. If there is no any brother available to marry her in the family, the right shifts to cousins; again in age order. Though as times go by, this culture is losing relevance, it’s still practiced today in certain parts of Kenya.

Now that you’ve got a glimpse of Luhya’s culture and tradition, let’s get to Murenda recipes and cooking guide!

Ingredients

  • 300g murenda
  • 200g cowpeas leaves (fresh)
  • 2 tomatoes
  • 100g canola oil
  • 250g fresh milk
  • 1 onion (large)
  • 1 tbsp. turmeric powder
  • Salt

Guide

  1. Wash your Murenda, and cowpeas leaves thoroughly on running water
  2. Put water (500ml) in a cooking pot and add salt
  3. Add your Murenda and cowpeas in the pot and cook it for 15 minutes under a moderate flame
  4. Turn off the heat and transfer the greens in an empty bowl
  5. Sauté onions in a cooking pan for two minutes
  6. Add your tomatoes and stir for three minutes
  7. Add your mixed greens and stir for another three minutes then leave it to cook for 5 minutes
  8. Add your milk and stir until everything mixes well
  9. Add your turmeric and stir thoroughly to blend well. Let the mixture boil for 7 minutes
  10. Turn off the heat and serve with obusuma

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