Rwanda Food, Cuisine, Recipes

Rwanda Food and Recipes

Rwandan diets are made up of meals that are simple that have been prepared using local ingredients and food that is not too spicy. Sweet potatoes, corn, beans, fruit and millet are the common foods that make up most diets eaten by Rwandan people. A typical traditional breakfast is made up of porridge and sweet potatoes. The porridge is a mixture of corn, millet and sorghum. However the urban dwellers in Kigali usually love to take tea that has a lot of sugar in it and milk and bread. The heaviest meal of the day is dinner and this is usually made up of dishes like ‘isombe’ (cassava leaves with eggplant and spinach), ‘Umutsima’ (a dish of cassava and corn) as well as ‘mizuzu’ (fried plantains). Locally brewed alcohol is mainly consumed by the men and a few women will be found engaging in this.

Described below are some recipes for foods eaten down here in Rwanda

Ø  Isombe

500 g cassava leaves, washed and chopped (or other greens such as kale, collard greens), 6 spring onions, chopped 500 g spinach, 2 medium cubed eggplants,
2 sliced green bell peppers, 3 tbsp peanut butter, 3 tbsp palm oil.

Wash the cassava leaves or other greens to free them from any dirt then add them to salted water, boil till tender. Once tender add the chopped onions, spinach, eggplants and green peppers and continue to cook for about 10 minutes.

To this add peanut butter and palm oil to the mixture and form a smooth paste. Simmer for 10 minutes till the sauce thickens. This can be served with any carbohydrate especially rice. With bread it is also a delicacy for those who have tasted it.

Ø  Bananas with Split Green Peas

4 ripe bananas, 400 g dried split green peas which have been soaked overnight, 2 tbsp palm oil or groundnut oil with 2 tsp paprika, 1/2 tsp salt, 1 small onion that is thinly sliced.
Place the peas in a pan with water and bring to boil. Once boiled, simmer for about 90 minutes until the peas are tender. When tender peel off the cover on the banana and cover it whole on the peas; do not mix. Continue to simmer the two for at least 10 minutes to get the banana soft.

Heat the oil in a separate pan that is large enough for the peas and bananas to fit. Add onions till they brown then add the mixture using a slotted spoon. Add salt to taste while stirring constantly but gently. Sere when still hot.

Ø  Kachumbari

2 very thinly sliced small onions, 5 thinly sliced tomatoes, 1 red chilli, cut lengthways into 5 strips, a handful of finely chopped fresh coriander, 3 tbsp olive oil, juice of 1 lime, Cayenne pepper for garnish, salt and freshly-ground black pepper.
Layer the tomatoes, chilli coriander, and sliced onions in a large serving bowl. To this add a mixture of the lime juice and olive oil then season with salt and black pepper. Lastly sprinkle a little cayenne pepper and serve.

Ø  Cassava Porridge (Ubugali)

1 liter of water, 800 g of cassava meal, Oil or spiced butter
Boil the liter of water and salt while stirring in the cassava meal until the mixture thickens appreciably. The texture is a very thick one, almost like mashed potatoes. Stir-in the butter thereafter and serve while still hot.

Ø  Peanut Nougat

450 g peeled, roasted, crushed or ground peanuts, 300 g sugar and lemon juice, to taste
Melt the sugar in a pan over low heat and to the melted sugar add peanuts while stirring with a wooden spoon. To the mixture add a little juice of lemon and stir. Then pour the mixture on a greaseproof paper and pat down to about 5mm thick. After cooling, cut this into squares of 5cm.


Ø  Rwandan Beef Stew

900 g stewing beef, 1 chopped onion, 3 large green plantains, 2 tbsp groundnut oil, 4 tbsp of freshly-squeezed lemon juice, 2 tsp salt, bouillon cube, 1 large blanched, peeled, de-seeded and coarsely chopped tomato and 1/4 tsp freshly-ground black pepper
Brown the beef and onions in oil using a heavy casserole over gentle heat then add plantain slices that have been rubbed in lemon juice. Cook this for 5 minutes while stirring constantly. Add the remaining ingredients thereafter and add enough water to cover. Keep adding water where necessary till the meat is tender. Serve while still hot with rice or a desired carbohydrate.


Try a Rwandan dish today and tell me the results tomorrow!!!


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