Rwanda – Mlenda Stew

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by Alkased Mamim

Mlenda is a “all African green leaf stew”, it is prepared almost in every part of the continent, but where for real does it originates, the answer comes from our title, in Rwanda.

Rwanda is a country occupies a small land area in kilometers. It is located in the east Africa part bordered with Tanzania to it’s east, D.R.C Congo to its west side, Burundi to the south part and Uganda to the northeast part.

Mlenda is loved by a many people in the country as many of them are Nyarwanda tribe, the rest areas from neighbour countries. The cuisine takes us back during the civil wars in the country as most of people consumed Mlenda at large since meat were in scarce.

Mlenda is prepared in two ways, through mixing green leaves with okras and by cooking the real Mlenda leaf.

Welcome to the kitchen at large on how to cook Mlenda using okras, this is the most tricky to many cooks.

Prepare the followings

  • – 2 handy bunch of pumpkin leaves (2 handy bunch of Mlenda leaves)
  • 10 big but immature okras
  • ¼ dry vinegar tsp
  • ½ salt tsp
  • water

Cooking procedures

Cooking with Mlenda leaves only

  • Cut Mlenda leaves into pieces, put aside.
  • Boil up water of about ½ teacup, then add the leaves. Leave to boil for 10-13 minutes.
  • At this stage, leaves should be very soft, add vinegar and salt at the same time and beat up to mix.
  • Keep on beating the stew until it becomes soft sticky. Allow the soup to be thick.
  • Serve warm.

Cooking with Okras

  • Clean leaves and chop to most smaller pieces you can.
  • Slightly blend may work best.
  • Chop okras to pieces.
  • Heat up coming pan with water if about ½ teacup.
  • Once water boils, add leaves and okras. Cook for about 10 minutes less.
  • Add both dry vinegar and salt at the same time.
  • Mix thoroughly until all okras are mixed well with the green leaves.
  • Cook for more couple of minutes before serving warm.

Mlenda do better with Ugali (stiff porridge) than any other dish, enjoy with family and friends.

Mlenda with stiff porridge and fried fish
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