Tuesday, March 01, 2011

an African sauce recipe you can try at home!

Every Tuesday Rebecca and I go to Miriama’s hut. We enjoy hours of hanging out, language practice, culture learning and food! Each week, we make our favorite meal with Miriama. We bring the baguettes and she makes a wonderful sauce called “Chapatta sauce” which is named after the tree leaf they puree into it.

Today the kids are on school break so we wanted to bring them with us and have fun. So today Rebecca and I went with our little list of notes to the market and managed to buy all the ingredients ourselves. We showed up and told Miriama today was her day to kick back and relax and drink tea and let us make her family lunch! We had a great time and lots of laughs. And in the end- we were told our sauce was excellent! Every last morsel and drop was eaten. As they say in Tamasheq IZOD! (yummy!)

So for those of you at home- you can make the same recipe. We use a mortar and pestle and tree leaves, you can use your blender or food processer and spinach. Or be brave and go get some leaves off your tree! Here is the recipe. Totally yummy to serve with baguettes. You tear off the bread and use it as a spoon to eat this thick sauce. Let me know if you did it!


Miriama giving direction – we wouldn’t let her work!



The sauce is almost done. This is what it should look like.


Ingredients (for 2-3 people)

squash (Any kind) – at least 1 cup cubed raw

onion – 1 large- sliced

potatoes – at least 1 cup cubed raw

hot peppers- 2 small – pureed (add more if you like it spicy!)

garlic- 5 cloves- pureed

oil – 1/3 cup

smooth peanut butter – 1/3 cup (more if you like that peanuty taste!)

spinach – 2 packed cups of leaves, then puree or pound them down to a puree

tomato paste – 1/3 cup

salt – 2 tsp or to taste

bouillon cubes (preferably chicken)- two cubes (about 2 tsp)


heat your oil in a pot. Add pureed garlic and hot peppers. Add onion. Let simmer a couple minutes. Add peanut butter and tomato paste and mix well. Add 1 cup water and let simmer a couple minutes. Don’t let it burn to your pot! Add squash and a little more water if it is too thick. Let simmer a few more minutes. Add your pureed leaves or spinach and keep simmering. Add your salt and bouillon. Add 1 more cup of water. If it still looks thick add more water as you need to. You don’t want it runny like thin soup, but you don’t want it really thick like chili either. Add potatoes and simmer on low, stirring often, until the potatoes and squash and both really soft and easily mushed with a fork.

Serve hot with fresh baguette. Tear off chunks of bread and use the bread as spoons and eat from a communal pot in a circle for the full African experience! Hope some of you try this- it is easy and awesome!


Here are some more pictures of our meal today!

Bennett likes the job of pounding. He pounded up all the garlic, spices, peppers and tree leaves!20110301-IMG_7776-2

20110301-_MG_7779-2Everyone getting their “bread spoon” in there!


20110301-_MG_7789-2Arielle digging in! She is always the last one to walk away from the platter, even using her fingers to get every last drop!

20110301-_MG_7793-2A picture Bennett took of Miriama’s mom watching us all cook. She thought it was great fun and next week it is her turn to cook and join our cooking competition! Normally it is her daughter who cooks all the time, so we are excited to see what she comes up with.



Judy said...

I am definitely going to make that! We have friends that adopted two children from Senegal! They would love this recipe, so I see a great African themed dinner party in my future!

Dave said...

Mmm sounds warm and delightful!

Ellen said...

I wrote it down -- plan to try it. Not sure what my young renter will think of it!

Anonymous said...

I actually like the idea - the recipe sounds great too. heather

Angela said...

LOVE it! what a fun way to spend a day... The picture of Miriama`s mom is wonderful!

Jennifer said...

delicious! I'm glad to have a legit recipe now b/c trying it on my own hasn't worked out to well.. ;-) thanks for the recipe, Chantelle!