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Burundi Goat Rehabilitation Project

Alliance Burundaise pour la Coopération et le Développement &
Austrian Help Program

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A "Taste" of Africa & the Middle East

The following recipes are unique to areas of Africa where I have lived or traveled, and represent a broad range of cooking styles, food types, and ways of eating.  Some have pictures - others, not.


Sautéed Ndagala (Whitebait) in Tomato Sauce (Burundi)

Green Mealie Bread (Botswana, Southern Africa)

Bushmeat, Black-eyed Peas, Greens & Pili-Pili Ho-Ho (Nigeria)

Yogurt-making in the Tropics (Burundi)

Some Yogurt-based Recipes (Egypt)

Sosaties - Sweet & Sour Kebabs (South Africa)

Sombe - Manioc Leaves & Goat Meat in a Hot Sauce (Burundi; Rwanda' Eastern Congo)

A Goat-based Feast for 30 (Burundi)

Crocodile Tail Curry (Lake Tanganyika)

Biltong-African Dried Meat (Southern Africa)

Egyptian Fatah - Upside-down Lamb or Goat Casserole (Egypt)

Veldt Bread (South Africa)

Veldt bread - Steam Cooking (South Africa)







 Here is a West African dish that uses bushmeat.  Included in the meal is a black-eyed pea-rice dish, greens, and a hot sauce – all recipes are below.

 Background Information

* Bushmeat can be any animal caught in the wild - from large, rodent-type animals to feral goats or gazelles.  Large lizards and various kinds of birds also qualify as bushmeat but are not cooked in the same way.  These free meats from the veld, forests or plains constitute a primary source of animal protein for many rural people throughout Africa.

* The dish is generally accompanied with a black-eyed pea/rice dish as well as with boiled greens and a hot sauce.


* GROUNDNUTS (PEANUTS) that have been pounded into a powder are commonly used in West and Central African Cooking, with meat and poultry and greens as a thickener and flavor enhancer.

 * THE BLACKEYED PEAS AND RICE mixture will be recognized by those of you who live in the south of the USA as 'Hoppin' John' - traditionally eaten to welcome in the New Year.  Hoppin' John is a dish that was brought over to America by slaves from West Africa.  Black-eyed peas, or cowpeas, originated in West Africa about 5-6000 years ago, where they were domesticated as a major pulse crop as agricultural development took place.  They are quite high in protein - about 25% - and are traditionally used in a variety of ways the tender green leaves are prepared as a vegetable, small bean pods are cooked like snap beans, mature, fresh beans are prepared as a vegetable, and the bean is also dried for later use in recipes such as the following.  So, if any of you live close to people growing black-eyed peas, try something different with this versatile crop!   Because they are leguminous and therefore help restore nitrogen/fertility to soils, they are generally intercropped or alternately cropped with pearl millet and sorghum. The leaves and vines provide an important post-harvest fodder in some areas, and are high in protein.

* COLLARD GREENS also are of West African origin and varieties have spread all across the continent.  In East African the name for collards is 'sukumu wiki' - a Swahili word meaning 'extending / stretching out the week' – just like we look to economical dishes that will stretch out to feed over a number of days.  Here in Burundi, there are 2 greens of the collard family; one, a daily fare called 'linga-linga' that is often cooked with a groundnut sauce.  The second, 'osombe', is for feasts and celebrations - it requires extended pounding of the raw leaves in a large wooden mortar (the one we have is about 3' high).  It is then cooked with groundnut sauce and often with a bone thrown in as well as some small, indigenous African eggplants. No African full meal would be complete without some kind of greens as an accompaniment.

 * PILI-PILI HO-HO (Hot-hot Sauce!) has variations all over sub-Saharan Africa; the recipe given here is pretty basic.  Use as a condiment with this meal, also use as a marinade for meat-poultry-fish and as a basting sauce.  A little goes a long way, and we always have some spare in the freezer. 



1      pound bushmeat – bone-in for enhancing flavor, but chopped in serving pieces
6      T.  groundnuts (dry roasted peanuts) - pounded (or use peanut butter)
2      medium onions -- chopped
1      pound ripe  tomatoes -- peeled and chopped
2      medium onions
6      cloves garlic or more (I like lots!)
1      chile pepper, seeded, minced
2      green peppers, cored, chopped
3      fresh chilies
1      pound carrots (or a mixture of carrots-turnips, and chopped tomatoes to make up1lb)
         pinch of mixed herbs
         piece of grated fresh root ginger or dried ginger
         salt and pepper

  Mix spices, groundnut and vegetables together.  Place meat pieces in bottom of a HEAVY   casserole / Dutch oven.· Put vegetable-spices mix on top.  Cover TIGHTLY - use foil under lid if  necessary, to keep steam in

· Cook very slowly on top of the stove for approximately 1 hour or until carrots are ala dente and meat  is nearly tender.  Don't worry about apparent lack of liquid because the meat and vegetables will provide enough.  Place meat/veg mixture in a bowl

· Make a roux with about 2T flour in some oil.  Slowly add juices; add more water gradually until you have a nice, gravy-texture sauce

· Put meat/vegetables back in the pan.  Continue cooking until all is thoroughly cooked.


PILI-PILI HO-HO (Hot-hot sauce!)

1 lb   butter - clarified
3  red chilies
6  cloves garlic or more
1/2 tsp  hot Paprika
1/2-1 tsp  chile powder
 lemon or limejuice

· Pound chilies & garlic in a mortar.  Add to melted butter.  Add lime or lemon juice to taste

· --->Can use this as a basting sauce, too or marinade (but not very long!)



1/2 lb.    black-eyed beans soaked overnight
1  green pepper
1  onion
Some salt pork, cubed
1/2 lb.  rice

  Cook beans for one hour or until just ala dent.  Drain and keep the juice

· Cook rice in double its volume of salted water for 15-20 mins; drain

· Cook salt pork.  Add onion & green pepper and cook till soft

· Add water to bean liquid to make about 2 cups.  Add salt pork, onion and green pepper to the liquid. Bring to a boil - season with salt/pepper, as needed.  Add beans & rice to the liquid.  Simmer slowly for about 15 min, covered and don't look..  Remove from heat & fluff.  Cover again and let steam till ready to eat



1-2  bunches of any kind of young leaves/shoots/vines from greens (black-eyed peas young vines/leaves, manioc (cassava) young leaves, pumpkin shoots, sweet potato vine & soft green leaves, taro leaves, watercress, beet and turnip tops, etc.)

Some salt pork, cubed
Onion, chopped - to taste
Garlic, chopped - to taste
Tomatoes, chopped - to taste
Salt and pepper

Wash & remove tough stems of the greens - chop.  Prepare/chop vegetables

Fry onion and garlic in the cubed salt pork.  Add tomatoes & cook a little bit.  Add greens.  Add boiling water to cover.  Cook until tender - cooking off liquid, as necessary.  Adjust pepper and salt

Pre-cooked rice can be added to this - in which case don't cook off the liquid until rice is added

Several Tsp. of ground peanuts (groundnuts) can also be added during the cooking time

For bitter leaves (cassava and taro)  place in a pot with lots of water. Bring to a boil - boil 5-10 minutes with no lid.  Throw away water.  Proceed as above

Serve as an accompaniment to the stew and black-eyed peas-rice dish, and with fresh banana, mango and papaya to follow.

Be sure you have plenty of village-brewed palm wine or banana beer on hand to accompany this fine meal!


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This is how I learned to make yogurt (zabaadi) in Egypt - but it works equally well here in central Africa.  In the Middle East, where yogurt originated, it is made from the milk of water buffalo, goats, sheep, camel, or cattle

I have a little electric yogurt maker given me by a good Greek friend who was returning to Greece.  It has 6 glass containers holding 1/2 cup each; however, I also make yogurt in a casserole if quite a bit is needed or if the electricity is out (happens a lot here).

I put little containers in the freezer, for emergency use if none is available.  It's a great and inexpensive probiotic (which we don't have here in Burundi, anyway). 

During the dry months, when the goats are browsing shrubs that have older/stronger leaves, the yogurt is thicker and stronger tasting than during the rainy season and so very tasty to make into soft cheeses and dips.  Some recipes for these will be found below.

Yogurt makes an excellent marinade – especially for chicken – mixing  into it lots of garlic, other spices, salt, pepper, oil & lemon juice.  It is also very nice to use as a base sauce in a lot of meat recipes, but cornflower must first be mixed in with it so that the yogurt doesn't separate (1T to 2c) or with some eggs.

ZABAADI (yogurt)

  • Use any commercial yogurt for a starter; Greek is best, if you can find it
  • Measure 1 part yogurt to 5 parts goat milk into a casserole
  • Mix very well with a whisk
  • Warm slowly on stovetop until almost uncomfortable to keep you hand on the casserole (112 degrees)
  • Strain milk/yogurt mixture through some cheesecloth into a bowl (or use paper towel or porous napkin specially kept for this)
  • If you are using a yogurt-maker - skip the warming on the stove step - strain & measure into the containers & set timer
  • If you are using a glass casserole/bowl, cover that - wrap in a large towel - set in a warm place – we use the oven; be sure it is off.
  • Either way, we find that 6 hours (or overnight) does the trick
  • Yogurt will gain consistency and taste after 1 day of resting in the refer
  • Be sure you don't warm the milk so much that the yogurt culture is killed
  • You can also use the milk that is still quite warm after pasteurizing to
    avoid a 2nd heating but it's not as smooth

If you end up with a 'grainy' texture in the yogurt, you may not have mixed and/or strained the mixture well enough prior to heating.


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Now that you can make goat yogurt, here are several dishes that I learned while working with small farmers in Upper Egypt, where there is no refrigeration.  Consequently, milk and yogurt are converted into foodstuffs that will keep from several days to several weeks - or longer in the winter.  

Versions of these dishes are found throughout the Middle East and also in Greece.


LEBNA (Yogurt Cheese)

4  c. goat yogurt
2.5+ t. salt

Mix salt and yogurt
Place in a porous, clean dishtowel or cheesecloth
Pull up ends & tie
Hang over a bowl over night or until a firm, soft cheese consistency is attained

Form into rounds or loafs
Store in refrigerator or freezer if not used in a few days

Or, store in brine
Use on toast for breakfast
Add various spices as a spread

LABNAH MAKHBUS: (Yogurt Cheese Balls in Olive Oil)

Labnah (above)
Olive oil
Herbs/Spices of your choice (parsley; oregano; cracked pepper; cayenne; hot
paprika; crushed garlic; etc.)

If you want to spice it up mix the labnah with one or more of your choice (above)
Form labnah into small balls - smaller than golf ball
Labnah can be rolled in spices, as well
Store in glass jars covered in olive oil
Use as spreads; in dips

LABNAH TA'AMIYYAH (Spiced/Fried Yogurt Balls)

Labnah Makhbus (see above)
breadcrumbs or flour
Cracked pepper
Olive oil

Flatten labnah makhbus balls into rounds, 1 cm thick.
Dip in Olive oil  (NOT corn oil)
Roll in bread crumbs or flour with pepper added
Cook on grill or fry in a little oil or samnah (clarified butter -better
than  oil), turning CAREFULLY once, until brown and crisp
Serve with Ayish (bread - literally means  'life' in Arabic)  and zabaadi
bil-tahini  (Yogurt & Tahini Sauce-(below)

ZABAADI BIL-TAHINI (Yogurt & tahini/sesame paste) sauce/dip

1/2 c Tahini
1/2+ c yogurt
2+ cloves Garlic
1/2+ lemon

Begin with tahini in a bowl/blender - add alternately lemon & yogurt
Add salt and garlic
Adjust amounts according to the consistency and to your taste preference


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"Foreign visitors are often taken aback when they are introduced to dishes like sosaties,  bobotie or curry for the first time in South Africa - apparently the curiously tasty mixture of sweet and savoury achieved by adding dried fruits, especially peaches, apricots and raisins, is peculiarly South African, a legacy from the Malay cooks who adapted oriental recipes and used local ingredients to create a unique culinary tradition.  Cooking is influenced by the colonial past (immigrants from Holland, England, India, and Malaysia) as well as by indigenous, African cooking styles.

"Another characteristic of South African food is the 'braai'.  South Africa has a climate that lends itself to outdoor cooking and eating the 'braai' or barbecue is very popular.  The South African military has several thousand peace keeping forces here in Burundi, and they talk always of missing  their 'braais'."

- "What's Cooking in the Commonwealth? – Commonwealth Veterinary Association recipes
from around the world".  CVA.


1kg leg lamb, in cubes
1 kg leg pork, in cubes
125 gm mutton fat, cubed
75 g apricot jam
25 g brown sugar
3 cloves garlic
1 tab cornflour
2 bay leaves
2 tab curry powder
2 tab wine vinegar
1 tab salt
¼ tsp coarsely ground black pepper
3 onions, quartered
250 g dried apricots, soaked in warm water till plump

  • Combine jam, sugar, garlic, cornflour, bay leaves, curry powder, vinegar, salt and pepper, and onion quarters.
  • Cook until slightly thickened.  Cool
  • Place meat cubes in the mixture – marinate min 4 hrs to 24
  • Turn frequently
  • Remove meat from marinade & thread onto skewers
  • Alternate with mutton fat, apricots and onion
  • Braai over coals till done

Serves 6-8

Source:  Anne Bath, wife of Professor Gareth Bath, Commonwealth Veterinary Association Councillor, South Africa


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