RECIPE for ACHOMO (from Ghana)
Traditional Fufu (Cameroon and Ghana)
Nkono is the cooking process.
Ngond is the word for pumpkin seeds.
Nkono Ngond originated from the Basaa of the coastal region of Cameroon. Many other ethnic groups have learned to make it and use it during special events.
Pumpkin seeds are widely used in Cameroon for special occasions. The seeds symbolize riches, fertility, growth, development. To get ready for a special occasion, people will start shelling the seeds months and months before the event. Nkono Ngond is prepared for special occasions such as rites ceremonies, naming ceremonies, baptisms, weddings, funerals, Christmas, New Year, Coronations, and clergy ordinations. It is also prepared for special guests. The one made for weddings takes days to cook and can be as big as a large drum. The cutting of Nkono Ngond is a very spectacular moment filled with suspense. When the Nkono is cut and people see that it is well done, the person who cut it gives some money to the woman or women that cooked it as a token of appreciation.
(Recipe for 4 persons)Ingredients
Preparation : 1h
In a medium-size pot, cook the beef, covered, in 1 cups water with salt and onions over medium to low heat for 45 minutes. Add the smoked fish and cook for another 15 minutes. Save the stock once the beef and fish are cooked.
Beat the eggs in a small bowl as if you were making an omelette.
In a large bowl, mix the gound pumpkin seeds and beef stock in small increments, stirring with a wooden spatula. Continue stirring until you obtain a homogeneous paste. Make sure the paste is not liquid. Add the beef and dried fish. Add the beef bouillon cube, salt and pepper to taste. Mix well. Add the beaten eggs and mix well.
In another large bowl, delicately double up the banana leaves and line the bowl with the leaves. The leaves should take the shape of the bowl to be able to contain the mixture.
Pour the mixture in the bowl-shaped leaves. Then gather the edges of the leaves at the center over the bowl and tie the whole thing securely with the cotton string about 3 inches from the edges of the leaves.
Line the bottom of a stock pot with banana leaves. Boil 3 cups of water in the pot. Carefully place the tied nkono inside the pot and cook in a bain-marie for 2 hours. If you have a double-boiler with the top part deep enough to hold the nkono, you can use it.
Serve hot or cold with minyondo, or bobolo, or steamed yucca (cassava), or steamed or fried plantains.
Note: Minyondo and bobolo are made with fermented yucca that has been pounded and steamed in leaves. They are also called cassava sticks.
(Recipe adapted from Afropop Worldwide )
Ndole is the national dish of Cameroon. It originated from among the Douala people along the Atlantic Coast, but it is now widely eaten throughout the country. Ndole is prepared for special occasions such as naming ceremonies, baptisms, marriages, funerals, Christmas, New Year, Coronations, and clergy ordinations. It is also prepared for special guests.
Ndole (Vernonia amygdalina) itself is not available in the States, and is a very bitter leaf that requires a complicated and fascinating process of "washing", in order to reduce the bitterness. Kale, mustard greens, or turnip greens can be used if ndole is not available. In Cameroon, It is common to hold ndole cooking competitions. My sister Dora has won many of these competitions. I wish you could sample her ndole one day.Ingredients
Clean the greens, removing the stems, and cut into small pieces.
Soak the peanuts in plain water for 30-45 minutes. While they are soaking, cut the meat into pieces, and boil with ½ the onions and a small quantity of salt, until well cooked. Note that once the meat is cooked, you will drain it and save the stock. Blend the tomatoes and 1/2 leek (the white part). Cut 1/2 onion, a bit of parsley, and a bit of celery leaves into small pieces. In your food processor, grind the other 1/2 leek, white pepper, hot pepper, ginger, and garlic. Now, drain the peanuts and puree in a blender with 1/2 onion and just enough water for the blending.
Heat the oil until very hot, and add the remaining sliced onions, parsley and celery leaves. After a couple of minutes, add the blended tomato mix. Let this cook for several minutes, and then add the meat. Now, take half of the ingredients that you ground in the food processor, and add to the sauce, along with some of the meat stock. Let this cook for 5 to 10 minutes, stirring periodically, and then add the blended peanut mixture, along with a bit of salt and the cubes. A note on the blended peanuts -- you want the peanuts to be noticeable in, but not dominate the sauce, so experiment with the quantity that seems appealing.
Add a small amount of meat stock (or plain water if the stock is insufficient) and the greens. Let this cook for a few minutes, and then add more water as needed, and the rest of the ground ingredients. Add salt to taste, and stir with regularity so that the sauce doesn't burn. I recommend a medium heat. As with many sauces in Cameroon, Ndole is thick and not watery. Let the sauce cook another 5 to 10 minutes, again stirring.
At the end, some people add oil which has been heated in a frying pan, so that you can see the oil floating on the surface of the sauce.
Ndole is great with plantains, rice, yams, and fufu. In Cameroon, it is also served with boiled tubers, or fermented cassava that has been pounded and steamed in leaves.