How to Make Pumpkin Greens

Lightly fried nutritious and delicious pumpkin greens. Great for stew when cooked with groundnuts and as a side dish when lightly sauteed. Video demonstration attached. 

There is a misconception that African food is not diverse, varied and nuanced. This misconception is heightened by international aid organizations marketing hunger to donors. I am sure you have all seen undignified images of Africans one way or the other. But what they don’t tell you is that most of our food is plant based, medicinal and freshly grown. Take pumpkin leaves for example, not only do we eat the pumpkin but find use and nutritional value in the greens as well. This is true for so many edible plants and vegetables on the continent and explains why we eat a lot of leafy greens. To prepare pumpkin greens, we remove the thin hairy outer layer on each leaf which I cannot quite find a word for in English. I hope the video demonstration below makes it easier to understand. Pumpkin greens are cooked in various forms depending on which region a person comes from.

Pumpkin Greens Recipe

What you will need: 

3-4 Handfuls of chopped pumpkin greens
3 Garlic cloves, crushed and chopped
1 Large Onion, chopped
3 Medium Tomatoes, chopped
1 Small Green pepper, Diced
1 Tsp. Curry powder
1/2 Tsp. Black pepper
2-3 Tbsp. Oil
Salt

Observations: 

  1. Use soft and tender pumpkin leaves to cook. 
  2. Removing the thin hairy outer layer on each leaf helps make the greens softer.  
  3. Adding salt and baking soda helps remove impurities from the greens. 
  4. Letting the greens sit in water allows all the sad to settle at the bottom. 

Method

  1. Peel off the thin hairy outer layer on each leaf stalk and thinly slice the greens. 
  2. Add water in a large bowl. Add about 2 teaspoons of salt and a teaspoon of baking soda. Add the greens and let them sit in the water for about 10 minutes. Thoroughly wash the greens and then drain them completely.
  3. Place a clean pan/ pot on high fire. Add oil and let it get hot.
  4. Add the garlic and onions and le then cook for about 2 minutes.
  5. Next, add the tomatoes and green pepper  and stir well. 
  6. Le the tomatoes cook until tender. This can take about 3-5 minutes. Once they are tender, use your wooden spoon to mash them. 
  7. Add your pumpkin greens and mix well. Let them cook for about 5-10 minutes or until tender. 
  8. Serve with your favorite meal.

Use #AkitchenInUg to share your creations.

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