Here’s a recipe for a traditional Mozambican dish called “Matapa.” Matapa is a flavorful and aromatic dish made with cassava leaves and coconut milk, commonly served with rice or maize porridge.
- 500g fresh or frozen cassava leaves
- 400ml coconut milk
- 1 onion, finely chopped
- 2 cloves of garlic, minced
- 2 tomatoes, diced
- 2 tablespoons ground peanuts (optional)
- 2 tablespoons peanut oil or vegetable oil
- 1 tablespoon ground dried shrimp (optional)
- 1 teaspoon ground coriander
- 1 teaspoon ground cumin
- 1 teaspoon paprika
- Salt, to taste
- If using fresh cassava leaves, wash them thoroughly and remove any tough stems. Blanch the leaves in boiling water for a few minutes, then drain and chop them finely. If using frozen cassava leaves, defrost them according to the package instructions.
- In a large pan or pot, heat the oil over medium heat. Add the chopped onions and minced garlic, and sauté until they become translucent.
- Add the diced tomatoes to the pan and cook for a few more minutes until they soften.
- Stir in the ground peanuts, ground dried shrimp (if using), ground coriander, cumin, and paprika. Mix well to combine all the ingredients.
- Add the chopped cassava leaves to the pan and mix them with the other ingredients. Cook for about 10 minutes, stirring occasionally.
- Pour in the coconut milk and season with salt to taste. Reduce the heat to low and let the mixture simmer for another 10-15 minutes, allowing the flavors to meld together.
- Taste and adjust the seasoning if needed. If the mixture is too thick, you can add a little water or more coconut milk to achieve the desired consistency.
- Once the matapa is cooked, remove it from the heat and let it rest for a few minutes before serving.
- Matapa is traditionally served with rice or maize porridge. You can serve it as a main dish or as a side dish alongside grilled fish or meat.
Enjoy the rich flavors of this Mozambican specialty!