Exploring African Flavors: A Vegan Twist on the Hearty Congolese Dish of Makondé


"Makondé" is a traditional Congolese dish that is both hearty and flavorful. The dish is made with Cassava leaves, a staple in Congo, Angola and other countries in the region. It is a vegan version of the traditional recipe that simmers the leafy greens with onion, garlic, ginger, and flavorful spices like cumin, coriander powder, and smoked paprika, resulting in a comforting and delicious stew. The Makondé is usually served as a main dish, accompanied with plantains or fufu (cassava or yam-based dough). This vegan version of the dish preserves all the traditional flavor and comfort of the original, making it an ideal choice for a satisfying and nutritious meal.


  • 3 cups of cassava leaves (substitute with spinach or collard greens if unavailable)
  • 1 onion, diced
  • 4 cloves of garlic, minced
  • 1 teaspoon of grated ginger
  • 1 teaspoon of cumin
  • 1 teaspoon of coriander powder
  • 1 teaspoon of smoked paprika
  • 2 cups of vegetable broth
  • Salt and pepper, to taste
  • Optional: 1 cup of cooked plantains
  • Optional : 1 cup of cooked fufu (cassava or yam based dough)


  1. Rinse and chop the cassava leaves and set aside.
  2. In a large pot, heat a tablespoon of oil over medium heat. Add the onion and sauté for about 3-4 minutes, or until softened.
  3. Add the garlic, ginger, cumin, coriander powder, and smoked paprika and cook for an additional 2 minutes.
  4. Stir in the chopped cassava leaves and vegetable broth. Bring the mixture to a boil, then reduce the heat and simmer for about 15 minutes, or until the leaves are tender.
  5. Season with salt and pepper to taste.
  6. If desired, you can serve Makondé with cooked plantains or fufu.

Traditionally, the leafy greens is being cooked with meat or fish, but in this vegan version, it's simmered with vegetable broth instead. It's a hearty, comforting and flavorful dish, perfect for a cold winter night.

Enjoy your vegan version of the traditional Congolese dish!

Note: Makondé is a dish that originates from the Congo and it's also enjoyed in other African countries like Angola. Cassava leaves are a staple in those countries and the dish is a great way to enjoy them.

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