Gingered Fresh Bean Pasta with Bitter Berries (katunkuma)


I am a pasta lover and i will eat anything that is called pasta.About a week back, I was strolling through Kampala and passed by women selling fresh beans for 1000 Ugx a cup. I thought to myself, that is a good bargain! So I bought a cup and guess what I made with it? And…you are right! I cooked the beans in the pasta…err…the pasta in the fresh beans. Who doesn’t love the that beautiful savory filling taste of fresh beans. Without adding too much seasoning, I decided to cook the pasta in the bean soup, added in some fresh ginger, a handful of bitter berries (katunkuma/butakala) for a bitter kick, and garnished it with coriander.

Did I mention it is a one-pot meal too? If washing dishes is not your favorite thing to do, this is for you.

What you will need:

1 C. Fresh beans

250gm. Pasta noodles

A handful of bitter berries (katunkuma/butakala)

3 Small red onions, chopped

½ Tbsp. Ginger grated

1 Carrot, grated

A handful of fresh coriander

Salt and pepper to taste



  1. If you want your dish soupy, add more water
  2. While the beans boil, the water may reduce. Keep adding water to retain the aromatic soup
  3. Adding bitter berries later prevents them from overcooking.


  1. Wash fresh beans and place them in a saucepan.
  2. Add enough water to cover the beans by two inches.
  3. Place pan on high heat. Let the beans boil.
  4. When the beans start turning a grey color, add the ginger, onions, carrot and salt.
  5. Cover pan and let the beans continue cooking.
  6. Once the beans start releasing an inviting aroma (trust me, you will know) and have softened, add the pasta and bitter berries and let the pasta cook.
  7. Keep stirring so the noodles don’t clump together.
  8. When the pasta is cooked, add the black pepper and coriander and remove from fire.
  9. Serve this refreshing, simple, and easy dish hot.

In case you are wondering, I downed two bowls right away!

What do you call the small bitter berries in your language?




7 thoughts on “Gingered Fresh Bean Pasta with Bitter Berries (katunkuma)

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