KIU, Western Campus – Saka-Saka, also known as Mpondou, Mpondu, or Pondu, is the Congolese word for cassava leaves, and the name of a dish made from them is “saka”, being the Congolese pronunciation of “cassava”.
Central African people seem to be unique in their consumption of cassava leaves, which are cooked as greens. Elsewhere in the world, the cassava plant is cultivated only for its tubers.
This dish is also common among the bakonzo people of mainly Kasese district in Western Uganda, who call it “sombe”.
1. Cassava leaves
2. Onions, garlic (optional), tomatoes, green pepper, salt and any other ingredients you might like to add.
3. Cooking oil
4. Smoked fish
1. Thoroughly crush, mash, or grind the greens in a mortar and pestle or with whatever you can improvise.
2. Bring a large pot of water to a boil; add greens and cook for 30 minutes or more.
3. Add all the remaining ingredients to the greens and bring to a boil, then reduce heat and simmer. Do not stir. Simmer until the water is mostly gone and the greens are cooked to a pulp.
4. Serve. The dish can be eaten with mingled cassava flour, cassava, plantain, posho or sweet potatoes.
NB: Many Central African cooks use baking soda, or a piece of rough potash, to give a salty flavour to soups and sauces. This replicates the flavour of traditional salts which are obtained by burning the barks or leaves of certain plants. This was necessary because there is no other source of salt in much of Central Africa.
Recipe from The Congo Cookbook
Picture credit: Pinterest