Cameroon Ndole (Bitterleaf casserole ) – AFROVITALITYEATS (2024)

By Elsie Kriz Filed Under: RECIPE

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Cameroon Ndole! This rich , creamy casserole-like dish is a delicacy even in Cameroon.When this one is on the menu, I know we have some special guests coming over for lunch. On such days my mother will go to the local market at the crack of dawn, I’m talking6 am early to buy some fresh sweet bitter leaf. And yes, SWEET BITTER leaves, the leaves are BITTER. The sweet here helps distinguish how much bitterness is in the variety you buy. Getting them edibleis quite the task, hence the reason for this dish being considered a “special occasion ” meal.

PREPARING BITTER LEAF FOR CAMEROON NDOLE

First you remove the stem, then slice the leaves. Getting rid of that bitterness involves washing several times by rubbing between your palms. This produces a greenish foam which you rinse off. You repeat this process several times until the foam becomes white. At this point you taste for bitterness. Some of the bitterness will linger. Definitely not a taste for the impatient ones. We’re skipping all that though. Whenever I get to grow my own bitter leaf here, maybe we’ll revisit this process. Today however, I went to our local African store and bought some frozen bitter leaves from Cameroon. Pre-washed! Now how’s that for easy work? I will be telling a lie if I say i’ll rather have the fresh leaves. That is one task I’ll gladly pass on.

You might be thinking how do these leaves become edible. Think about radicchio for a minute, or any other bitter leafy vegetable. With the right pairing these make some amazing salads. With bitter leaf, that creamy, spicy and flavor packed peanut sauce is what makes this dish amazing!

Nutty and creamy with some heat.. I intentionally left out any peppers. Add a scotch bonnet or harbanero when blending the peanuts. My little one eats everything we eat, so I make pepper on the side quite a bit these days.

Boiled ripe plantains is the best carb for Ndole. For me at least. That sweetness is what this rich traditional dish needs.

Cameroon Ndole! If you go to a Cameroonian party in the Diaspora and Ndole is on the menu, you best believe your hosts care deeply. Deeply enough to go all out for their guests. Hope you get to try this one. Bitter leaf will likely be found at an African grocery store. Here is a store where you can buy fresh bitterleaf. You could maybe get some dehydrated bitter leaf online too but fresh bitter leaf is best.

Don’t forget to share and let me know what else you are cooking from the Afrovitalityeats kitchen.

Cameroon Ndole (Bitterleaf casserole ) – AFROVITALITYEATS (5)

Ndole ( Cameroon Bitterleaf casserole )

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Prep Time 15 minutes mins

Cook Time 1 hour hr 15 minutes mins

Total Time 1 hour hr 30 minutes mins

Ingredients

  • 20 oz frozen bitterleaf (thawed)
  • 2 cups of raw peanuts (peeled)
  • ~ 1lb beef stew meat (slightly bigger cuts)
  • ~ 1lb jumbo shrimp
  • 1 large yellow onion
  • 1/2 half small red onion sliced
  • 6 garlic cloves
  • 2 1 inch cubes ginger
  • 2 sprigs Of parsley
  • 2 Tbsp smoked crayfish

Instructions

Plantains

  • Wash ripe plantains, cut the tips off and slice into halves. Using a large enough pot, submerge plantains, bring to a boil and cook until plantains are soft and some of the skins split. Transfer into a cold water bath and peel off plantain skin once cool enough. Using a butter knife, carefully scrape the top thin layer off plantains. Enjoy with Ndole

Beef

  • Blend 1/4 of the onion, parsley, 1 garlic clove and a ginger cube. Rinse beef stew meat, transfer into a sauce pot, season with salt and add in blended spices. Bring to a quick boil and simmer for 10 minutes. Add in a cup and a half of water, reduce heat and simmer for 20-25 minutes until beef is tender.

Ndole

  • In a sauce pot, boil bitter leaf for 10 minutes. Let cool or transfer into a cold water bath. Wash, by rubbing bitter leaf between palms. Rinse and squeeze out water. Repeat two times. After final rinse, squeeze out as much water as you ca. Set aside.

  • Boil peanuts for 10-15 minutes. Blend peanuts with half of the onion, remaining ginger and garlic into a paste. ( Not too smooth, just a little grainy).

  • Slice the remaining quarter onion. In a large skillet, heat a tablespoon of peanut oil. Saute onions for 3 minutes. Add in peanut blend, 1/2 cup of beef broth and bring to a gentle simmer and cook for about 15 minutes. Stir occasionally to prevent the sauce from burning.

  • Season peanut sauce to taste. Then add bitter leaf and another half a cup of beef broth. Stir well and simmer for about 15 minutes. Add in crayfish and cook for another 5 minutes. Reduce heat to low.

  • Rinse and pat dry shrimp. Season with 2 pinches of salt and white pepper. In a separate skillet, heat oil and pan fry shrimp for 1-2 minutes on each side.

  • Add shrimp to Ndole, and stir. In the same skillet used to cook shrimp, add about 1/3 cup of oil and fry red onions until they start to brown. Pour contents of skillet over ndole. Simmer for about 3-5 more minutes.

  • Serve with boiled ripe plantains or fufu corn.

Keyword ndole

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Cameroon Ndole (Bitterleaf casserole )  – AFROVITALITYEATS (2024)

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