Fumbwa Recipe: Delicious Vegetarian Dish from Cameroon


Fumbwa Recipe: Delicious Vegetarian Dish from Cameroon
Region / culture: Cameroon | Preparation time: 30 minutes | Cooking time: 1 hour | Servings: 4 | Vegetarian diet



Fumbwa, also known as mfumbwa, is a traditional Congolese dish made with pounded greens and a peanut sauce. This dish is not only delicious but also packed with nutrients, making it a popular choice in many households.


Fumbwa has been a staple in Congolese cuisine for generations. The dish originated in the Democratic Republic of Congo, where it is commonly enjoyed as a hearty and satisfying meal. The combination of greens, peanuts, and red palm oil creates a unique and flavorful dish that has stood the test of time.


  • 2 lb (907 g) of fumbwa (also known as mfumbwa), cleaned and stems removed, pounded in a mortar with a pestle
  • 1 cup peanuts
  • 1 tomato, peeled and chopped
  • 1 leek, finely chopped
  • 1 piece of dried fish, bones and skin removed, cleaned, soaked in water, and rinsed
  • 1 cup red palm oil
  • 0.5 cup

How to prepare

  1. Place the greens in a large pot and cover them with water.
  2. Bring the pot to a boil, then reduce the heat and simmer until the greens begin to become tender.
  3. Grind, chop, or pound the peanuts into a fine paste.
  4. When the greens are mostly tender and the liquid is reduced, add the tomato, leek, and dried fish. Continue to simmer on low heat, stirring occasionally, until everything is tender and ready to eat.
  5. Remove a cup of the liquid from the pot and combine it with the peanut paste in a bowl. Stir well to obtain a smooth sauce.
  6. Stir the peanut sauce into the greens, then reduce the heat to the lowest possible setting. Top with red palm oil and simmer for a few more minutes.
  7. Serve with boiled rice or baton de manioc.


  • Add some chili peppers for a spicy kick.
  • Use different types of greens, such as spinach or kale, for a unique twist.
  • Substitute the peanuts with cashews or almonds for a different flavor profile.

Cooking Tips & Tricks

Make sure to pound the greens well in a mortar and pestle to achieve the right consistency.

- Be patient when simmering the greens to ensure they are tender and flavorful.

- Stir the peanut sauce well to avoid any lumps and achieve a smooth texture.

- Adjust the amount of red palm oil to your preference for richness and flavor.

Serving Suggestions

Serve fumbwa with boiled rice or baton de manioc for a complete and filling meal. The combination of greens and peanut sauce pairs well with these starchy sides.

Cooking Techniques

Pound the greens in a mortar and pestle for the traditional method.

- Simmer the dish on low heat to allow the flavors to meld together.

- Stir the peanut sauce well to achieve a smooth consistency.

Ingredient Substitutions

Use vegetable oil instead of red palm oil if desired.

- Substitute the dried fish with shrimp or chicken for a different protein option.

- Use sunflower seeds or sesame seeds instead of peanuts for a nut-free version.

Make Ahead Tips

Fumbwa can be made ahead of time and stored in the refrigerator for up to 3 days. Reheat gently on the stovetop before serving.

Presentation Ideas

Serve fumbwa in a large bowl with a drizzle of red palm oil on top for a colorful and appetizing presentation. Garnish with fresh herbs or chopped peanuts for added texture and flavor.

Pairing Recommendations

Pair fumbwa with a refreshing salad or pickled vegetables to balance out the richness of the dish. A side of plantains or cassava also complements the flavors of this traditional Congolese recipe.

Storage and Reheating Instructions

Store any leftovers of fumbwa in an airtight container in the refrigerator for up to 3 days. Reheat gently on the stovetop or in the microwave until heated through before serving.

Nutrition Information

Calories per serving

A serving of fumbwa typically contains around 400-500 calories, depending on the portion size and ingredients used. This dish is a satisfying and flavorful meal that can be enjoyed as part of a balanced diet.


Fumbwa is a good source of carbohydrates, providing energy for your body. The greens and peanuts in this dish contribute to the carbohydrate content, making it a satisfying and filling meal.


The red palm oil and peanuts in fumbwa add healthy fats to the dish. These fats are essential for nutrient absorption and overall health. Enjoy fumbwa in moderation as part of a balanced diet.


Peanuts and dried fish are sources of protein in fumbwa. Protein is important for muscle growth and repair, as well as overall health. This dish provides a good amount of protein to support your body's needs.

Vitamins and minerals

Fumbwa is rich in vitamins and minerals, thanks to the greens, tomatoes, leeks, and red palm oil. These ingredients provide essential nutrients such as vitamin A, vitamin C, potassium, and iron. Enjoy fumbwa as a nutritious addition to your diet.


Fumbwa contains peanuts and dried fish, which may be allergens for some individuals. If you have allergies or dietary restrictions, be sure to check the ingredients and make any necessary substitutions.


Fumbwa is a nutritious and delicious dish that provides a good balance of carbohydrates, fats, proteins, vitamins, and minerals. Enjoy this traditional Congolese recipe as a flavorful and satisfying meal.


Fumbwa is a flavorful and nutritious dish that showcases the vibrant flavors of Congolese cuisine. Packed with greens, peanuts, and red palm oil, this traditional recipe is a satisfying and wholesome meal that can be enjoyed with rice or cassava. Try making fumbwa at home for a taste of authentic African flavors.

How did I get this recipe?

I remember the thrill of stumbling upon this recipe for the first time. It was a warm summer day, and I was visiting a small village in the heart of Africa. I had always been fascinated by the local cuisine and the way in which the people used their traditional ingredients to create delicious and unique dishes.

As I wandered through the bustling market, I came across a stall selling a variety of vegetables and spices that I had never seen before. The vendor, a kind woman with a warm smile, noticed my curiosity and beckoned me over to her stall. She began to tell me about a dish that was beloved in her village - Fumbwa.

Fumbwa, she explained, was a traditional dish made from the leaves of the cassava plant. The leaves were cooked down with tomatoes, onions, and a blend of spices to create a rich and flavorful stew. It was a dish that was often served at special occasions and celebrations, and the recipe had been passed down through generations.

Intrigued by the description of this dish, I asked the woman if she would be willing to share the recipe with me. She nodded enthusiastically and began to dictate the ingredients and instructions to me. I scribbled furiously in my notebook, determined to learn how to make this exotic and delicious dish.

When I returned home from my travels, I was eager to try my hand at making Fumbwa. I gathered all of the ingredients and set to work in my kitchen, following the instructions that the kind woman had given me. As the stew simmered on the stove, the aroma of the spices filled my kitchen, transporting me back to that small village in Africa.

When the Fumbwa was finally ready, I took a hesitant bite, unsure of what to expect. But as soon as the flavors hit my taste buds, I knew that I had stumbled upon something truly special. The combination of the earthy cassava leaves, the tangy tomatoes, and the fragrant spices created a dish that was unlike anything I had ever tasted before.

From that moment on, Fumbwa became a staple in my cooking repertoire. I would make it for family gatherings, dinner parties, and any time I wanted to transport myself back to that village in Africa. Each time I made it, I would think of the kind woman who had shared her recipe with me, and I would be filled with gratitude for the opportunity to learn something new and delicious.

Over the years, I have continued to experiment with the recipe for Fumbwa, adding my own twist and variations to make it my own. But no matter how many times I make it, the dish always brings me back to that warm summer day in Africa, and the thrill of discovering something truly special. And for that, I will always be grateful.


| Cameroonian Recipes | Cameroonian Vegetarian | Cassava Recipes | Leek Recipes | Palm Oil Recipes | Rice Recipes |

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