Congo Brazzaville – Saka saka and Becuakaoka

Emily, from neighbouring Congo Brazzaville, brings out a bag of what looks like frozen spinach. It is saka-saka, a staple food of central Africa. It is boiled for 6 hours and then seasoned and cooked with other vegetables.

She travels to Dublin regularly to buy ingredients. Since they can only afford enough for four days or so, she and her family find themselves eating smaller and smaller meals to make their food last the week. Beceuakaoka is a type of dried fish and is cooked in a green tomato pulp or puree called dungo dungo. It can also be cooked in muramba, a special sauce.

  • Saka-saka
  • Onions
  • Aubergine
  • Garlic
  • Salt
  • Pepper
  • Parsley
  • Mixed herbs
  • Dried fish (beceuakaoka if available)
  • Pulped green tomatoes (dungo dungo)

Boil the saka-saka for 6 hours. Chop the onions, garlic and aubergine and sauté before adding to the pot. Season to taste and simmer for 30 minutes to an hour.

Chop and gently simmer the dried fish in green tomato pulp until cooked.

Serve with rice or semolina.