Ndole (Spinach/Bitterleaves and Peanut Soup) (2024)

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Ndole – An aromatic Cameroonian spinach stew made of spinach and bitter leaves – flavored with garlic, crayfish and fortified with shrimp and beef. Comfort food at its best.

Ndole (Spinach/Bitterleaves and Peanut Soup) (1)

At the top of my favorite Cameroonian dishes is Ndole. Oh yes! A dish I learned to cookfrom my childhood friend Lawrence, who is an amazing cook.

If you attend a Cameroonian party it is always present and when cooked properly flies off the table. You know why?

It is absolutely irresistible!!!

A combination of peanuts, bitter leaves (substitute spinach), meat (stock fish, shrimp,) crayfish (dried shrimp) and oil. It tastes like stew spinach dip, but even better! With aromatic spices and meat.Can be prepared in so many ways with more or less vegetables and meat depending on personal taste.

If I could eat this every day I would, It is rich, high in calories and loved by many. Often referred to as the national dish of my home country Cameroon.

Ndole (Spinach/Bitterleaves and Peanut Soup) (2)

For my health conscious peeps;cut back on the the oil and peanuts. And go heavy on the spinach. (If you are watching your waistline.)

If using fresh spinach, wash the leaves well, rinse properly and then chop the spinach and blanch for 2 minutes. Frozen chopped spinach works just as well. If you can’t get a hold of bitter leaves then by all means use spinach.

Ndole (Spinach/Bitterleaves and Peanut Soup) (3)

Bitter leaf is one of those vegetables that can be cultivated anywhere as oppose to certain vegetables that can only flourish in certain temperatures and places.

Ndole (Spinach/Bitterleaves and Peanut Soup) (4)

So if you are a gardener you can plant it and enjoy fresh bitter leaf anywhere you are. True to its name, bitter leaf is very bitter. You have to wash it (rubbing the leaves together) thoroughly before cooking till most of the bitterness is gone. Using carbonated soda can also aid in this process.

Notes

  • If using dry bitter leaves soak overnight and cook for 15 minutes using 1 teaspoon of bicarbonate soda. Rinse thoroughly and drain.
  • You can use any combination of the meat. More or less according to preference
  • Dry Crayfish can be bought in African Stores and if you are lucky you can get some at hispanic or asian markets. It is still delicious without it.
  • Soak stockfish overnight to help tenderize the fish
  • This dish is best with its time-honored mate, Miondo/Bobolo (fermented cassava)or how my niece calls it “bobolow” and is exciting in the company of Plantains (boiled or fried).

Ndole (Spinach/Bitterleaves and Peanut Soup) (5)

Ndole (Spinach/Bitterleaves and Peanut Soup) (6)

Ndole (Spinach/Bitterleaves and Peanut Soup) (7)

Ndole (Spinach/Bitterleaves and Peanut Soup) (8)

Ndole (Spinach/Bitterleaves and Peanut Soup) (9)

Ndole (Spinach/Bitterleaves and Peanut Soup) (10)

Nutrition Facts

Ndole ( Spinach/ Bitterleaves and Peanut Soup)

Amount Per Serving

Calories 668Calories from Fat 423

% Daily Value*

Fat 47g72%

Saturated Fat 8g50%

Cholesterol 214mg71%

Sodium 964mg42%

Potassium 1255mg36%

Carbohydrates 18g6%

Fiber 4g17%

Sugar 1g1%

Protein 47g94%

Vitamin A 9100IU182%

Vitamin C 113.8mg138%

Calcium 297mg30%

Iron 5.6mg31%

* Percent Daily Values are based on a 2000 calorie diet.

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Ndole ( Spinach/ Bitterleaves and Peanut Soup)

An aromatic Cameroonian spinach stew made of spinach and bitter leaves – flavored with garlic, crayfish and fortified with shrimp and beef. Comfort food at its best.

5 from 11 votes

Prep: 20 minutes mins

Cook: 50 minutes mins

Total: 1 hour hr 10 minutes mins

African

Servings 5 -6

Ingredients

  • 2 Tablespoons Maggi ( Bouillon)
  • 1 large Onion ( sliced)
  • 1 pound (about 2 cups )Groundnuts/Peanuts(Skinless)
  • 1/2 pound shrimp
  • 1/2 pound stockfish
  • 1/2- 1 pound Stew beef (cut in chunks
  • 4-5 garlic cloves
  • 3/4 cup Crayfish (ground)
  • 3/4 -1 pound Washed bitterleaves (sub frozen spinach)
  • 2-3 cups oil

Instructions

  • In a large pan season meat with salt, maggi and onions and boil until tender depending on the choice of meat. Meanwhile, boil stock fish with salt and water; add it to the boiled meat. You should have about 3 cups of stock from the meat and stock fish. Reserve the rest or freeze it.

  • Boil peanuts for about 10 minutes in a sauce pan. Let it cool and blend/pulse in a food processor or blender into a fine consistency use water to facilitate the blending .Add to the mixture of beef and stockfish.

  • Blend one onion and garlic into a fine paste and add to the mixture of peanuts and meat.

  • Pour in the crayfish and let it simmer for 10 minutes stirring frequently to prevent burns. Season with salt and Maggi. You might have to add more later

  • Add the bitter leaves or spinach to the pot. Stir and simmer for several minutes more

  • While the pot of ndole is simmering, heat oil in a fry pan or, preferably a cast iron. Add the shrimp, stirring constantly until they just turn pink. Slice and add the remaining onions stir for a few more minutes.

  • Finally incorporate the mixture of shrimp, onions and oil into the pot of Ndole. Stir for a few minutes and serve hot with any of the sides mentioned above.

Nutrition Information:

Calories: 668kcal (33%)| Carbohydrates: 18g (6%)| Protein: 47g (94%)| Fat: 47g (72%)| Saturated Fat: 8g (50%)| Cholesterol: 214mg (71%)| Sodium: 964mg (42%)| Potassium: 1255mg (36%)| Fiber: 4g (17%)| Sugar: 1g (1%)| Vitamin A: 9100IU (182%)| Vitamin C: 113.8mg (138%)| Calcium: 297mg (30%)| Iron: 5.6mg (31%)

Author: Imma

Course: Main

Cuisine: African

Tag Us On Instagram!Did you make this recipe? I love hearing how it turned out! Tag me on Instagram @ImmaculateBites and be sure to leave a rating below!

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Comments & Reviews
  1. Reginald says

    You’re right, this is hard to get tired of. When I make it, I do eat it everyday; till it’s gone. I usually use a double amount of a combination of equal parts spinach and kale (no bitterleaf is available in my parts so this makes a nice, greensy, substitute). And I use dry roasted nuts and dried fish (is that what stock fish is?). It’s killer with coconut rice and peas with ginger rubbed, sauteed, ripe plantains and a cold ginger beer!

    Reply

    • Imma says

      Great! Thanks for the awesome suggestions.❤️ Yes, dried fish can make stock.

      Reply

  2. Jenny says

    Hi Ma’am. I wanted to know if I still have to soak frozen bitterleaf overnight. Or can I just boil it with soda?
    Thanks!

    Reply

    • Amina says

      You may not need to wash and soak frozen bitter leaf, but I would at least rinse it before adding it.

      Reply

    • imma africanbites says

      That’s about 1 cup or 250 grams. And also, please keep in mind that the nutritional information shown in the recipe card is a rough estimate and can vary significantly based on the products used in the recipe.

      Reply

  3. Michelle says

    Whenever the Olympics are going on, I make a full month of international dishes for my family to try. I have used your site on more than one occasion because your instructions are clear and you offer good substitutions for those of us far from cities. We having a thriving ethnic market scene here, but sadly no African-specific stores. Perhaps someday! Thanks for all your work and step-by-step photos.
    South Dakota, USA

    Reply

    • imma africanbites says

      That’s so nice of you, Michelle. I also do the same here at home. I’m glad my little corner here in this big online space has helped you out in some ways. Hopefully, you’ll have an African specialty store one of these days. To good food – cheers!

      Reply

  4. Kallie Hy says

    I needed to send you that little remark to be able to say thank you the moment again over the splendid solutions you have shared on this website. This is incredibly open-handed with people like you to supply extensively all many individuals could have sold for an e-book to help with making some profit on their own, precisely considering that you might well have done it if you wanted. The things in addition served like a fantastic way to understand that other people online have a similar passion like my own to learn many more on the topic of this matter. I am certain there are lots of more pleasurable situations up front for individuals that start reading your site.

    Reply

  5. AKOMA JOY says

    Thank God I discovered this today. Cameroon dishes here I come. J’adore

    Reply

  6. Mojca Kastelic Nzotam says

    This is a dish I prepare for my husband when he has one of those ”homesick days”. I use your recipe and instead of beef, cook with goat. Makes for a village grade ndole.

    Reply

    • Immaculate Bites says

      Yum! Thank you, Mojca! Speaking of goat, have you tried my Goat Pepper Soup yet? 🙂

      Reply

  7. Michaela Lucas says

    Hallo. I learned how to prepare this by my Cameroun Husband. You explained it so good and with love. Thanks. This is real African Citchen

    Reply

    • Immaculate Bites says

      Thank you, Michaela! 🙂

      Reply

  8. Steve says

    I had Ndole for the first time yesterday at a Cameroonian restaurant in Los Angeles. It was one of the happiest culinary moments I have had in years. Thank you for this recipe. I will try it at home. I could only eat half of it at the restaurant, and after seeing the calorie numbers here, I know why! Please keep spreading the word on West African cuisine. It is amazing and delicious.

    Reply

    • Immaculate Bites says

      Thank you, Steve! 🙂

      Reply

  9. RICH says

    I am eager to make this but it’s quite the calorie bomb. Good thing I only ate it infrequently when I was in Yaounde for several weeks 25 years ago. But I think I can risk it once and I’ll give you a full report.

    Reply

    • ImmaculateBites says

      Yes you have too! It is SOOO worth it

      Reply

  10. Juan says

    I tried this in Bamenda a few years ago and finally did it! It’s delicious, although I think I should have washed the frozen bitter leaf a bit more hahah. Of course I did too much. Does it survive in the freezer?

    Reply

    • Immaculate Bites says

      Hi Juan! I have one commenter here who made more and froze them, still turned out great 🙂

      Reply

  11. Yon says

    Why do you add spinach? Our Cameroonian recipe of ndole doesn’t include spinach. Only bitter leave as a green and you will enjoy it. That’s why it called ndole.

    Reply

    • ImmaculateBites says

      I include spinach because bitter leaves is not readily available abroad . This is for those that want to try it out that don’t have all the ingredients available .

      Reply

  12. Mar says

    Hi where can I buy groundnut peanut? I suppose it’s not peanut butter right?

    Reply

    • ImmaculateBites says

      You are right it is not peanut butter . It is skinless raw peanuts. It is mostly available in Asian or Indian markets.

      Reply

    • Bertrand says

      Hi,
      Your recipe is very interesting. Now I want to know a number of grams for 668 kcal/serving.
      Thank in advance.

      Reply

  13. Carmen says

    Hi is the 668kcal per meal/servings or for the whole pot ??

    Reply

    • ImmaculateBites says

      Hi Carmen. It is per serving.

      Reply

      • Sandrine says

        Hello,
        I really want to try this. I really miss my home food & have forgotten to cook everything from home. Almost 20 years since I made this dish. My cooking is so bad now my fiancé doesn’t even eat my food lol. It bothers me and I need help.
        Where do you get/buy the peanut? Is the skinless peanut the same as roasted peanut here? I live in California.
        I am having trouble finding raw skinless peanut. Is it raw, roasted or boiled you buy?
        I am thinking of making it with fresh spinach for a start as I don’t have ndole readily available and the last time I tried a yr ago w Ndole it was extremely bitter and not edible… I also used peanut butter… u can imagine what kind of disaster that was.
        Thank you so much.
        I need help.

      • ImmaculateBites says

        Hello Sandrine,
        I hear you ! The peanuts I use are skinless and are available at Indian or Asian markets. Ask one of the associates , if you can’t find it. Spinach is a good replacement, if good quality bitter leaves is not available.
        Hope this helps.

      • Sandrine says

        Thank you very much! I’ll try looking at Indian or Asian markets. Will let you know if I find anything and will definitely let u know if my cooking is successful. Thank you !!!!

      • ImmaculateBites says

        Great! Looking forward to your feedback, Sandrine :).

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Ndole (Spinach/Bitterleaves and Peanut Soup) (2024)

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