Chibwawa- pumpkin leaf

Pumpkins are grown in Sweden but many are unaware that pumpkin leaves are fully edible and are a great source of vitamins and Iron. I like to cook my pumpkin leaves with ground nuts or peanut butter, but you can exclude these if you wish although nuts do give an extra protein kick and will be a culinary treat for many in Sweden. Squash leaves, sweet potatoe leaves and beans leaves can all be cooked in a similar fashion. Chard (mangold) and cabbage can also be cooked with groundnuts with a much shorter cooking time. I suggest using fresh smaller pumpkin leaves. Older leaves will need to be peeled (almost like you would rhubarb) to remove the hairy bits. I also try to simplify my recipes so opt to use peanut butter as opposed to ground peanuts or crushed tomatoe instead of fresh tomatoe.

Fry an onion finely chopped, add a crushed garlic clove or two. Add a packet or tin of crushed tomatoes. Bring to boil and simmer. Roughly chop about 500g of your washed pumpkin leaves and add to the tomato relish. leave to boil for 15-20 minutes until greens are soft. Add 2 spoons of peanut butter and gently boil for an additional 3-5 minutes untill the peanut mixture feels creamy. 

I enjoy my ifisashi best served with Nshima (pup, nsima, ugali) however this vegetable is a great compliment to any rice dish and is great with grilled meat and potatoe.

Enjoy!

Chibwabwa

Pumpkin Leaves

 

Ifisashi- pumpkin leaves with ground nuts

Ifisashi- pumpkin leaves with ground nuts

 

A Herbal Infusion

I miss my all year round herb garden in Africa. I have struggled to nurture my herb enthusiasm. My seedlings froze soon after I transplanted them at the end of May.

Coriander is a must for my indian dishes.  Indian settlers moved to South Africa in the late 1800s and into Zambia ( Northern Rhodesia)  and Zimbabwe ( Southern Rhodesia) in the early 1900s. When my mother went to school in then Northern Rhodesia, coloured or mixed race children and Indians shared the same schools, so naturally she adopted some of their food culture.  The first meal I was taught to cook, was an indian vegetable curry with aubergines, green beans, peas and potatoes.

Tea drinking, a culture passed down from the English colonial era, lives on in me.  A herbal infusion or fresh herb tea, made from one sprig of rosemary, mint, parsley and thyme (or any herbs of your choice) brewed for a couple of minutes, is a fresh way to start any morning or to end an exhausting day.

Herb Garden, Oregano

Herb Garden, Oregano

Herb garden, Thyme and Rosemary

Herb garden, Thyme and Rosemary

Bunch of herbs from herb garden

Bunch of herbs from herb garden

Herbal Infusion

A Herbal Infusion, compliments to Mel.