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CongoHaving to miss out last nights destination due to unforeseen circumstances – the recipe will be saved in case we land there again – the globe was spun and we head back to the continent of Africa to explore The Democratic Republic of the Congo…which we know simply as Congo..

Located in Central Africa and was originally Zaire from 1971 to 1976, borders Zambia and Angola (previously visited) to the South, the Republic of Congo, the Central African Republic and South Sudan to the North. To the east there is Rwanda, Burundi, Tanzania and Uganda and on the West, The Atlantic Ocean. Congo is the eleventh largest country in the world and the second largest in Africa. Congo is the most inhabited with over 75 million people and  French is the official language… The country was shattered by the Congolese Civil Wars which started in 1996 –  causing the deaths of over 5 million people – and ended the 31year reign of Mobutu Sese Seko

The Congo is tremendously affluent in natural resources, but with the absence of organisation, with political unpredictability, exploitation which is deep seated, amongst other issues have restricted full growth and expansion…. The capital Kinshasa is a mining community with the greatest export being raw materials with half going to China. More can be found here.

The food in the Congo is varied and characterises the native people and Cassava is largely the essential food and is normally eaten with other dishes.

Food in the Democratic Republic of the Congo varies widely, representing thefood of indigenous people. Cassava is generally the staple food usually eaten with other side dishes. Amazingly less than 2% of the land is farmed and most is used for existence farming with a large variety of crops such as Cassava, sweet potato, taro, yam, rice and maize. Tomato and pumpkins are grown along with peas and nuts. Mushrooms, Fruits, wild plants, honey, fish and bushmeat are also gathered and used in many dishes…crops like those listed can be seen being sold by the roadside or at markets. The breeding of cattle and the growth of the farming conglomerates have been thwarted by the poor quality road system and the recent war.

Congolese meals often consist of ingredients containing carbohydrates along with meat and vegetables and form a stew… Poulet à la Moambé (chicken with a Moambe sauce) is considered the national Dish of the Democratic Republic of the Congo…So what better than to try and recreate it this evening. I am going to serve with sweet potato and also plantain chips – The recipe to be used can be found here

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The recipe was so simple, firstly browning the chicken and removing from the pan…then adding the onions, garlic and eventually ginger and cooking until soft…

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How easy was this, just what I needed after a busy day at the day job…week nights should be easy and no trouble, but the taste should be important, otherwise its pointless trying, and believe me our 11 year old – who’s idea this was – would tell us…

Tomato paste, puree and peanut butter – yes peanut butter – added to the sauce and chicken returned and cooked until cooked and I think it smells gorgeous, you get a small hint of the peanuts from the sauce. Whilst the flavours meld, I prepared the sweet potato, cutting into chunks – unpeeled – and placed on a baking tray/stone tossed with either the peanut oil or olive oil and roasted in the oven until done. I would say half an hour?? on maybe 190/200 celsius… be your own judge, you know your oven. The recipe doesn’t actually say…
DSCF2185The recipe said to serve with with plantain chips…so why not?  Sounded good and I like to try different things…Not sure about the others as some don’t mix fruit with savoury…

The spices mixed together were set aside for the plantain to be tossed in after frying.

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DSCF2189The banana(plantain) was fried in oil, wether peanut oil or olive oil – whatever you have really, then set aside and drained and then tossed in the spices in the recipe and my opinion was absolutely, undoubtably, gorgeous – could be served with many dishes.DSCF2191DSCF2194 DSCF2203

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Family Verdict: Delicious and tasty.. the flavours were gorgeous. Even though Ian ate this am not sure he really liked it, but everything was flavoursome and loved the chicken being cut into large chunks. The banana crisps were gorgeous and in my opinion could be served with other things. Sweet potato wedges  – oh the best… I think this makes an easy midweek meal…No stress and very tasty.  🙂

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