Feuilles de Manioc: French, feuilles (approximately pronounced "foy") = leaves; manioc = Manihot esculenta or cassava. The cassava plant is grown all over the world's tropics for its edible tubers. The cassava plant is native to the tropics of the Americas and was introduced to Africa in the early 1500s. Africans, particularly in Central Africa, seem to be unique in their consumption of cassava leaves as a légume-feuille (leaf-vegetable or greens). Cassava leaf greens are cooked in many African stews and sauces.


2 - 4 pounds feuilles de manioc (cassava leaves) or similar; stems-removed, well-washed, rinsed, and drained

1 - 2 onions, peeled and chopped (optional)

piece of fresh fish or smoked fish [a minnow-like fish, Ndakala (Stolothrissa tanganicae, Lake Tanganyika sprat, Dagaa) is often used in Central Africa], (optional)

baking soda, or salt (optional, to taste)

hot chile pepper, cleaned and chopped (optional, to taste)

garlic, minced (optional)

palm oil or Moambé sauce (or canned Palm Soup Base (also called "Sauce Graine" or "Noix de Palme"), (optional)


Wilt the cassava leaves, a handful at a time, by briefly pressing them on a heated skillet or griddle. Use a mortar and pestle to crush them. (Placing the leaves in a large oven-proof glass bowl and carefully grinding them with the bottom or a sturdy bottle works too.) Grind the onion, if desired, into the leaves.

In an enameled pot (if you don't want to use a terra cotta pot over an open fire) bring a few cups of water to a boil. Place the crushed leaves in the pot. Keep the leaves at a low boil for an hour, adding water if needed.

Add the fish, baking soda (or salt), chile pepper, or garlic, as desired. Continue to cook until the liquid is reduced to a sauce and the leaves have lost their bright green color.

Add the palm oil or moambé sauce and cook for a few more minutes before serving.


Serves 4.


area : Central Africa

course : vegetable dish


source : The Congo Cookbook http://www.congocookbook.com/c0195.html