Cooking with cassava leaves

Style cooking cassava leaf from Congo


  • Remove the old leaves and stalks until you have ten handfuls of young leaves, enough for a meal for three to four people.
  • Heat a pan of water (five litres) to boiling point.
  • Submerge handfuls of cassava leaves in the water for 4–5 minutes so as to remove the poison, then squeeze them hard to remove all the green liquid from the leaves, and then place them on a clean shelf to cool.
  • Grind the leaves in a clean mortar.

Recipe one
  • Add onions, leeks or garlic, or aubergines if available.
  • Place in a pan with just enough water to cover the ground cassava leaves. Heat the mixture for 10–15 minutes, then add a little salt and at least 40ml of unrefined palm nut oil (or any other untreated vegetable oil).
  • Tightly seal the pan and leave on low heat for at least an hour.
  • Serve with dishes such as rice, plantain bananas, chikwange or fufu paste that is prepared using cassava flour.

Recipe two

Cook the ground cassava leaves with pieces of pork meat and fat, a little salt and enough water to cover. Cook gently for an hour.

Recipe three

Cook the ground cassava leaves with plenty of groundnut paste, a little salt and enough water to cover. Cook gently for 30 minutes.

Remember that some varieties of cassava contain a lot of the poison cyanide. Use ‘sweet’ cassava varieties. After cooking, the above mixtures should not taste bitter. If they do, they should not be eaten.

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