One mans’ meat another mans’ poison

How the food is prepared determines a lot the preference of food in certain regions. For instance the communities who put ash in milk might not be viewed in good faith by other communities who normally take pure milk. Also some communities are rich in recipes while others still use the basic recipes for instance in the preparation of pumpkins, some community boil them and consume them. This has resulted to some people disliking the pumpkin, not because pumpkins are bad per se but due to the preparation methods. Hence some communities go a step in value addition of pumpkin by making pumpkin and seed flour ,which is then used to make soups, chapatti, maandazi, seed flour is rich in minerals especially zinc which is very important in keeping men very potent.

Lessons for village women

Under the food security project in Salabani Location in Marigat district which is supported by Mani Tese and implemented by NECOFA, village women were trained alternative methods of cooking pumpkin and Lablab beans (Njahi).

How food is prepared gives it the taste and its consumption should be a pleasurable moment. The morning of 27th July, 2013 saw more than 20 women from Longiron and Lekiricha benefitting from the culinary lessons.

The three recipes

The eager women arrived early, which is not the case in many meetings held in the village where the community arrives very late and sometimes don’t. They carried with them cooking pots,
utensils, charcoal and water. After a gathering of about 7 women, Monica who was the facilitator started by explaining in details the importance of value addition in pumpkin and other foods that are less consumed but have high nutritional values.

Recipes of that day included; lablab stew, pumpkin soup and pumpkin chapatti

Someone should ask as to why the women in Salabani were being trained how to cook chapatti pumpkin and the rest. This is to demonstrate to the women that that simple crop product like pumpkin which is neglected could be used to serve many people to their satisfaction for instance one pumpkin was used by 28 people who were there. Also training women on culinary lessons demonstrated to them that they should embrace diverse food apart from meat and milk which is believed in the community to be ‘real food’

The culinary lessons had an impact and have become the talk of the village in the past few weeks; women who were there still in disbelief while those who missed the occasion wishing they had been there.


1)       Pumpkin chapatti

·         The ingredients includes; pumpkin, wheat flour and cooking oil.

·         Preparation method;

o    Peel the pumpkin and chop it into cubes and boil it till soft

o    Mash the pumpkin into soft paste and add it into a mixing bowl/sufuria

o    Mix with wheat flour to make dough while adding little oil

o    Knead the dough and roll it into small balls of equal sizes

o    Roll it out into round shapes using rolling pin

o    Cook each chapatti on a well oiled pan until golden brown

It could be served with lablab stew

2)       Lablab stew

·         Ingredients to cook lablab stew includes: 3kgs lablab beans, 2large onions, 3tomatoes, dhania/coriander, 3tb oil, green bananas

·         Preparation method

o    Pre-boil lablab beans

o    Peel the onion and cut it vertically

o    Mix oil and onions and wait till the onion turns brown

o    Add the peeled green bananas

o    Add the lablab beans and little water

o    Add tomatoes after the mixture boils

o    When the food is nearly cooked add dhania

o    The stew is ready when a delicious thick stew is observed

The stew is served with pumpkin chapatti

3)       Pumpkin  soup

·         Ingredients includes; pumpkin, dhania, onion, tomatoes, cooking oil

·         Preparation methods

o    Peel the pumpkin and chop it into cubes

o    Boil it till soft

o    Mash the pumpkin till you obtain a soft paste

o    Chop the onions and add oil on the cooking pot. Do not let the onions turn brown

o    Add the mashed pumpkin paste and stir

o    Press the tomato to have its water and seed mix with the content in the pot

o    Stir and add dhania

o    Add water and keep stirring till the mixture is read

o    The soup is served when it is still hot



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