The Sierra Leone Web


Meat Stew

Contributed by Dennis Deen-Sie Sawaneh
Author of "Sierra Leone Cookbook"

750 grams meat (depending on number of persons)
1 large onion
6 garden eggs/aubergines (eggplant)
20 grams tomato purée
1.5 liters water
3 fresh tomatoes
Salt and (chili) pepper to taste


1. Trim, wash, and cut the meat into small pieces, and put in a pot.
2. Add water, some salt, and allow to boil for about 5-8 minutes, stirring occasionally.
3. Add the garden and pepper. Cook on low heat until vegetables are tender.
4. Slice the onion and the tomatoes into small pieces and add to the soup. Allow to simmer.
5. Remove and grind/blend the cooked vegetables, mix with water and strain.
6. Return the vegetables to the soup, and add the tomato purée. Allow the soup to simmer on low heat until meat is tender.
7. Serve with rice or root vegetables like cassava, yam, potatoes (sweet or "Irish").


Egusi Soup

Contributed by Dennis Deen-Sie Sawaneh
Author of "Sierra Leone Cookbook"

500 grams meat
150 grams ground egusi
1 maggi cube (beef bouillon cube)
200 grams stockfish (optional)
100 ml. palm oil
200 g. smoked fish
200 g. tomatoes
10 g. (chili) pepper
25 g. onion
Salt to taste
250 g. vegetable leaves (optional, but if you can lay your hands on washed and ready bitter leaves or "shakpa" (sorrel leaves or flowers) they will do just fine.


1. Season and boil the meat and the stockfish (if used, has to soaked in hot water and allowed to stand for at least a day/overnight) for about 45 minutes, or until tender. Remove and put aside.
2. Blend/grind the pepper, tomatoes and onion.
3. Heat the palm oil, and add meat, stockfish and the ground/blended ingredients. Cook for about 25 minutes (less without stockfish).
4. Add the ground egusi, maggi cube and fish, and cook for another 10 minutes.
5. Add the vegetable leaves (optional) to the soup.
6. Cook for about 5-10 minutes on low heat. Stir and taste for salt.
7. This sauce can be eaten either with fufu, rice or root vegetables like yam and cassava. For lunch, a very cold Bud. or Heineken to wash the throat is recommended. For dinner, chilled white wine is recommended.


Chicken Stew

Koso Weller
Reprinted from the Wisconsin State Journal

2 pounds stewing chicken
1 tsp. salt
1/2 tsp. black pepper
1/2 tsp. poultry seasoning
1 tsp. "Mrs. Dash" seasoning
1 tsp. garlic powder
2 cups oil
1 large pepper, chopped
2 large onions
4 oz. tomato paste
2 tbsp. lemon juice (juice of 1/2 lemon)
1 large tomato, chopped or diced

Skin and trim fat from chicken. Cut 8 to 10 pieces. Rub in lemon juice. Rinse and drain chicken. Add spices and rub into chicken. Refrigerate for 10 hours. Heat oil and brown chicken. Sauté onions and pepper for 1/2 hour; add tomato and tomato paste. Stir to distribute evenly. Add salt to taste. Add chicken and 1/2 cup water. Simmer over low heat 10-15 minutes  until chicken is tender.


Groundnut Stew

Koso Weller
Reprinted from the Wisconsin State Journal

1 pound stewing meat
2 large tomatoes, diced
1/2 cup oil
1/4 cup groundnut paste (peanut butter)
1/2 tsp. "Mrs. Dash" seasoning
1 large onion, chopped or sliced
1 large pepper, finely chopped
1/2 tsp. cayenne pepper, optional
salt to taste

Season meat with Mrs. Dash. Let it absorb for three hours. Brown meat in oil. Add some water and simmer until tender. Remove and set aside. In the same oil, sauté pepper and onions. Add tomatoes and stir briskly. Mix groundnut paste with 1/2 cup water to form a thin paste and add to stew. Stir, add meat, salt to taste and let simmer 15 minutes over low heat. Serve with rice, boiled yam, cassava and green vegetable.


Spinach Plasas

Koso Weller
Reprinted from the Wisconsin State Journal

2 packages frozen chopped spinach
1/2 pound smoked fish, flaked
1 large onion, chopped
1/4 cup groundnut paste (peanut butter)
3 cups water
1-1/2 cups palm oil
2 hot peppers or 1 tsp. cayenne pepper
1 pound meat, stewing or chuck roast

Cut meat. Put in saucepan with two cups of water, salt, onion and pepper. Bring to boil and add palm oil. Continue cooking partly covered. Cook for 1-1/2 hours over medium heat. Add spinach (previously thawed and drained), flaked fish and groundnut paste mixed with water. Stir, cover and simmer for 10 minutes. Serve with steamed rice.


Binch Akara

Koso Weller
Reprinted from the Wisconsin State Journal

1 pound black-eyed beans 
2 tsp. salt
1 small onion, very finely chopped
2 cups oil

Pour dry beans in a blender with a cup of water. Chop for one minute. Pour in large bowl and add water. Stir until skins float. Strain into colander; allow all skin and eyes to flow out. Blend beans, onion and pepper. Pour in a bowl, add salt, and stir with a wooden spoon for two minutes. Heat oil until moderately hot. Drop mixture into oil with spoon. Fry until golden brown. Drain on absorbent paper. Small balls can be served with toothpicks.