African Cassava Leaf Soup (Saka saka): Your Protein Booster Recipe

Cassava leaves contain lysine, isoleucine, leucine, valine, and lots of arginine which are not common in green leafy plants, thus making it a great protein source. Up to 10 times more protein is found in cassava leaves than in the roots. The leaves also contain vitamin C, B vitamins, beta carotene, potassium, phosphorus, calcium, iron, copper, zinc, magnesium and manganese. 100 grams of cooked cassava leaves provides about 3.7 grams of protein which is pretty good for a green leafy veggie.

This cassava leaf soup also known as saka saka or pondu is a simple, yet tasty and substantial soup that is widely consumed in many parts of Central Africa especially in countries like Sierra Leone, and Liberia. This exotic cassava leaf soup is not actually a soup but sort of a stew. It can be prepared with any meat or fish. Most African countries use dry fish (smoked fish) in their soups for added flavor. But you may subs it with smoked chicken or smoked turkey. Here’s African cassava leaf soup recipe for your protein booster:

Ingredients:

  • 3 pounds frozen cassava leaves
  • 1 pound beef, cut in bite size pieces
  • ½ pound smoked chicken or fish
  • 1 medium onion, chopped
  • ½ - 1 cup palm oil
  • ¼ cup ground crayfish (dried shrimps)
  • 4-5 tablespoons ground groundnuts (or peanut butter puree)
  • 1 tablespoon Maggie
  • 1 scotch bonnet pepper (or ½ teaspoon cayenne pepper), optional
  • Salt and pepper to taste


Directions:

  1. In a large saucepan, season meat with salt, Maggie and onions and boil until tender, depending on the choice of meat. You should have at least 1-2 cups of stock. Remove the meat and beef stock, reserve.
  2. Bring drained cassava leaves to a boil; add meat, smoked chicken or fish. Let it simmer for 10 minutes, stirring frequently to prevent burns, you may add some beef stock.
  3. Then add onions, crayfish and palm oil, simmer for another 5 minutes.
  4. Finally add peanut butter or groundnut paste, Maggie and pepper, cook for another 5 minutes.
  5. Adjust seasonings, serve warm.

photo: akitcheninuganda.com

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