My name is Yoyotte – I’m self-employed, working independently in a hair salon here in Port Elizabeth. I’m a qualified nurse in the DRC, but due to the reality here [in South Africa] as a foreigner, I couldn’t find a job and so life was tough for me. Then, I decided to use what God has given me, so I decided to start my own business. Braiding hair is my passion, it’s like a gift God gave me, and this is why I’m using it. Like I said, I’m a certified nurse, but here in South Africa I also completed my certificate in Accounting Science and am currently doing daily financial accounting. I’m happily married and a mother of two. I’m a self-made woman who likes distinction in everything I do. I always push myself to be among the best. I detest humiliation, and this is why I give my best in everything, to be there… among the best! I know with the power of God, who made me who I am, I’m going to do good things. Amen! Thank you so much!

Pondu madesu

“I love this recipe because it reminds me of mum, it was her favourite! I also chose it because the ingredients that I’m going to add, like the garlic and the ginger, are very potent to boost the immune system. In this crisis, we need to be healthy! Our immune system has to be strong! That’s why in this recipe we are going to use all those ingredients, like ginger, like garlic, like onion. And our cassava leaves have a lot of iron. All those ingredients will help us to boost our immune system, that’s also why I chose it during this period, to keep our bodies strong! Thank you and may God bless you in this hard time period!”

Ingredients

  • Pondu- a bag of cassava leaves
  • Two bags of dried beans (I use brown beans, but other types or beans are also fine)
  • Onion
  • Ginger and garlic (be generous with these two, they are very nice with pondu madesu!)
  • Green pepper
  • Spring onion
  • Brinjal (aubergine/eggplant)
  • Cucumber
  • Carrots
  • 5 to 6 tablespoons of palm oil
  • Salt


Instructions

I’m going to start with my beans, clean them and put in a cooking pot with plenty of water for about one hour and a half to two hours – this depends on the beans you use. And for the quantity… it depends how many people are going to eat the meal. Like me, in my family we are five people, so I will use two entire bags. I boil them with just a bit of salt. In another pot I’m going to defrost1 my pondu. Meanwhile I’m going to cut my other ingredients, my tomatoes, my cucumber, my ginger… all the vegetables and put them together in a blender. Once it’s all mixed, add it to the pondu and boil them together until the smell2 of raw cassava is gone. After that, check the beans are well cooked and put them together with the pondu, all in one pot.

In another pan, I’m going to fry my palm oil until it melts and the smell is gone. Be careful, palm oil can make you cough while you heat it hehe! I then add the oil to the pondu and stir the mixture. I let it cook for another 15 to 20 minutes. Then my food is going to be ready!

In my family, we like to eat pondu with fried chicken, rice and pap.

 

1 The original recipe used fresh cassava leaves, but in South Africa and in many other countries you can only find these frozen. To defrost, place the pondu (inside its plastic bag) in a pot with hot water and let it boil for 10 to 15 minutes. Once it’s completely defrosted, carefully strain the pondu, removing the plastic. Place the defrosted pondu in a pot with clean water and carry on with the recipe.
2 Ah! In English I cannot describe the smell of raw pondu, but what I can say is that you should leave it to boil for 1 1/2 to 2 hours, until the water is almost gone.

 

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