Congo is ripe with a large number of dense forests, aplenty grasslands, and tracts of swamps. Thus, it delights its inhabitants with an abundance of Congolese vegetables that are popular in Congo food. The country boasts a mighty reservoir of native plants and trees. As a result, vegetable growing is a prevalent practice and one can expect this in Congolese dishes.
Usually, people of Congo like to use fresh vegetables mixed with a variety of spices. Otherwise, they simply boil vegetables to prepare their meals. Following is the list of the top 5 Congolese vegetables locals use to make scrumptious Congolese dishes. Every vegetarian would love to devour and nutritionally benefit from them.
Cassava is popular in Congolese Dishes
Cassava is the primary Congo food crop. The country produces Cassava significantly with the highest volume. It is one of the staple ingredients in Congolese dishes. Cassava or manioc is a nutty-flavored, starchy root vegetable. There are myriads of dishes Congolese make using Cassava. Vegan Cassava Leaf Stew, Cassava Leaf Soup, Fufu, Pondu (or Saka Saka or Le Saka), Kwanga (or Chikwanga), and Tshomba tshia kabiola are a few examples to name. Moreover, Congolese like to nosh on boiled cassava leaves with other meals. These include Moambe (or Mossaka) and Madesu.
Particularly, Pondu and Fufu are the most popular Congolese dishes. Pondu or feuilles de manioc in French is the love of every Congolese. People routinely make it using ground cassava leaves, palm oil, peanut paste, garlic, onions, green peppers, scallions, beans, and smoked fish.
Fufu, in simple terms, is a small round ball of bread. Locals eat Fufu with almost every Congolese food. To illustrate, Fufu is a flour dough. Congolese prepare it with boiled cassava, plantains, yams, and other starchy ingredients.
Tshomba tshia kabiola is a dessert. Generally, it includes cassava, milk, sugar, and peanuts. People of Congo cook Kwanga from fermented cassava and wrap in banana leaves. It is Congo’s other traditional bread.
Wild spinach or Fumbwa (in Congolese language) or Gnetum africanum (in English) is another Congolese vegetable. Locals like to eat it more often than not. One can prepare Fumbwa in palm oil and peanut butter with tomatoes, peanuts, and onions.
Dongo Dongo is a Congolese name of Okra. It is yet another traditional Congo food. People of Congo usually cook this dish either as soup or sauce using Okra, onions, garlic, and preferably animal protein.
Congolese locals also love to relish sweet potatoes. This starchy root vegetable is easily available in almost all parts of Congo. Sweet potato is essential for preparing delectable Congolese dishes. These include Matembele, Makayabu, and mbala.
Matembele is made from the leaves of sweet potatoes and added with only a few spices and oil.
Another favorite delicacy of Congolese is Makayabu. It is also known as Sauce aux Feuilles de Patates Douces (in French). It comprises salted fish protein and sweet potatoes.
Mbala is of two kinds. Mbala ya sukali includes sweet potatoes. While mbala ya mungwa has unsweetened potatoes.
Yams are a staple in Congo Food
A variety of Congolese dishes incorporate yams such as Fufu and Futari . While Futari is a combination of squash, yams, and coconut milk. People like to eat boiled yam with Pondu, Liboké de viande, and other Congo foods.
It doesn’t matter whether you’re planning to visit or stay in Congo for your work or any other reason. These west African vegetarian dishes are a must-try. Tell us in comments which Congolese vegetables you would like to eat.
Have you tried any of these Congo foods before? How do you typically eat them?