Cookbook:Isombe (Rwandan Cassava Leaves with Eggplant)

Isombe (Rwandan Cassava Leaves with Eggplant)
CategoryAfrican recipes

Cookbook | Ingredients | Recipes

Isombe is a flavorful and nutritious dish from Rwanda. Made with tender cassava leaves and eggplant, this dish is often enjoyed as a main course and is typically served with Rwandan staple foods like ugali or steamed rice.

Ingredients edit

Equipment edit

Procedure edit

  1. Remove the tough stems from the cassava leaves, and wash them thoroughly under running water. Chop the leaves into smaller pieces.
  2. In a large pot, heat the vegetable oil over medium heat. Add the chopped onion and minced garlic, and sauté until the onion is translucent and fragrant.
  3. Add the diced eggplant to the pot and cook for about 5 minutes, until slightly softened.
  4. Add the chopped cassava leaves and diced tomato to the pot. Stir well to combine all the ingredients.
  5. Pour in the water and season with salt to taste. Stir again to ensure even distribution of the ingredients.
  6. Reduce the heat to low, cover the pot, and let the mixture simmer for about 1 hour, or until the cassava leaves are tender and cooked through.
  7. Stir occasionally during cooking, and add more water if necessary to prevent sticking and to achieve the desired consistency.
  8. Taste and adjust the seasoning if needed, adding more salt or other spices according to your preference.
  9. Remove the pot from the heat and let the isombe rest for a few minutes before serving.

Notes, tips, and variations edit

  • If cassava leaves are not available, you can substitute with spinach or collard greens for a similar taste and texture.
  • It is important to thoroughly wash the cassava leaves to remove any dirt or impurities.
  • Leftover isombe can be stored in an airtight container in the refrigerator for up to 3 days. Reheat gently before serving.
  • This dish pairs well with grilled meats, fish, or other Rwandan side dishes such as agatogo (steamed cassava leaves) or amatobe (steamed squash).

Nutrition edit

  • Cassava leaves are rich in vitamins A, C, and E, as well as dietary fiber.
  • Eggplant is a good source of antioxidants and fiber, and it is low in calories.
  • This dish can be part of a healthy, plant-based diet.