In Cameroon the green-leafed vegetable traditionally added to an egusi-based stew is called bitterleaf. This combination makes a delicious sauce called ‘Ndole’ which is never absent at wedding celebrations. many other leafy vegetables could be used to make similar sauces when bitterleaf is out of season. In such cases the sauce is named after the vegetable it contains, such as ‘egusi spinach’ and ‘egusi cabbage’. If green vegetables are used, do not cover the saucepan when cooking, as this helps to keep the fresh green appearance. Fried pieces of fish or meat can be added, if desired.


2 lb spinach

6 tbsp peanut oil

4 tomatoes, peeled and chopped

1 medium onion, chopped

2 small cloves of garlic, crushed

1 small slice ginger, finely chopped

lb egusi, ground

2/3 cup water

hot pepper, to taste

salt, to taste


Slice the spinach, a small bundle at a time, quite finely. Put into a large bowl and pour over it a kettleful of boiling water, then immediately pour the water off. When a bit cooled, press the spinach in a sieve or colander to remove excess water. Set aside. Mix the egusi in a bowl with enough water to form a paste. Heat the oil in a heavy-bottomed saucepan, and add the tomatoes, onion, garlic and ginger. Mix well and fry together for 10 minutes, stirring frequently. Add the egusi paste, water, hot pepper and salt. Cook for approximately 10 minutes. Add the spinach, stir well into the sauce and cook for 15 minutes. Stirr well. Do not cover the saucepan. serve with boiled rice or root vegetables.


Serves 4.


country : Cameroon

course : vegan dish


source : Rosamund Grant’s Caribbean and African Cooking / Rosamund Grant