Rwanda gained independence from Belgium in 1962 along with its neighbour, Burundi. It has the highest population density in Africa and so far has been able to match the fertility of its people with the fertility of its land to feed the rapidly growing numbers. The staple foods are root crops, especially sweet potatoes.

Coffee is the main export and producer of foreign exchange, but the Government is hoping for a switch away from dependence on this crop. Its sights are set on tourism following the publicity from the film ‘Gorillas in the Mist’, set in Rwanda, about the naturalist Dian Fossey.


1 cup / 225 g pinto, rosecoco or borlotti beans, almost cooked

pound / 225 g cassava / manioc or potatoes, cut into chunks

4 celery stalks, chopped

1 onion, sliced




When the beans are almost cooked, add the cassava / manioc or potato chunks and boil for 10 minutes or so until they are all tender.

While this is happening, heat the oil in a pan and cook the onion gently until it turns golden. Add the celery and let it soften.

Now drain the beans and cassava / manioc or potatoes and add them to the pan with the onion and celery. Mash the beans and cassava / manioc or potatoes a little, season, and mix everything well.

Allow the mixture to heat through and blend for 5 - 10 minutes before serving with a green vegetable and piquant sauce such as Kachumbari.


Serves 4 - 6.


country : Rwanda

course : vegan dish


source : The World in Your Kitchen : Vegetarian recipes from Africa, Asia and Latin America for Western kitchens with country information and food facts / Troth Wells