Friday, July 2, 2010

Day 27 - Burkina Faso (AF) - Munyu Caf Couscous - Up Next, Burma (AS)

Gumby, Dude!! Awesome of you to pop in - lemme fix you a plate!

Tough week for immigration law, employment/unemployment, the stock market, Russian spies and local aid...Still the privileges and largess we take for granted living in the USA are so glaring as I delve into learning about the many countries I'm cooking in (27 so far). I continue to be humbled by the spirit, courage and resilience so many people in our world face simply to provide a meal for their families with very little.

Burkina Faso (Ouagadougou)(AF): Slightly larger than Colorado, Burkina Faso, formerly known as Upper Volta, is a landlocked country in West Africa. Its neighbors are Côte d'Ivoire, Mali, Niger, Benin, Togo, and Ghana. The country consists of extensive plains, low hills, high savannas, and a desert area in the north.

Here's a short list of some of the hardships the people of Burkina Faso have endured due to numerous coups, natural disasters and foreign exploitation.
  • Burkina Faso is one of the world's poorest countries and is locked in a vicious circle of poverty.
  • The French colonial authorities put into operation a system of forced labour recruitment among the Mossi between World War 1 and World War 2 this was to supply the European owned plantations in the Ivory Coast. This system was abolished in the 1940's but actually continued under another name.
  •   Independence came in 1960, the first president was Maurice Yameogo one of the principle figures in national politics since World War 2.
  •  In 1966 he was overthrown in a military coup led by Lieutenant Colonel Sangoule Lamizana, as a result of his mismanagement of the economy.
  •   Throughout the 1970's drought was common.
  •  Burkina Faso has much infertile land, aid organisations refuse to help and insist upon cultivation of cash crops.
  •   The majority of the basic food crops need to be imported, causing the country great poverty.
  •   The country also has a long history of labour migration to Ghana and the Ivory Coast
Gumby, Dude! So awesome of you stop by - lemme get you a mini place setting PDQ!

    Tonight's Meal - Burkina Faso's National Dish is Riz Gras - rice cooked in fat. Honestly, I simply couldn't bring myself to cook this dish tonight, although I'm sure it's tasty. Instead, I picked another traditional dish called Munyu Caf Couscous. It's quite similar to many of the West African dishes I've cooked as  it uses peanut butter to bind and flavor the stew.This recipe calls for meat, but it could just as easily be omitted with equally tasty results.
    The basic ingredients - egg plant, cabbage, peanut butter, onion, tomato paste and couscous

    Grate the cabbage

    Cook up the couscous (follow the directions on the package)

    Crush the tomatoes (you can substitute a can of kitchen ready crushed tomatoes)

    Add the grated cabbage and egg plant to the peanut, tomato mixture, cover and simmer
    Whoaaaa!!! Gumby AND Barack in one night?? That's fresh.

    Ian and Liam chowing down and...the happy cook  - it's not every day Barack AND Gumby drop in!!

    Munyu Caf Couscous

    *The original recipe was written using kilograms, so I've converted to make it easier to follow

     4 cups couscous
     4 cups assorted meats, cubed (I used chicken)
    1 1/2 cups peanut butter

    1 large onion, chopped
    3 tomatoes, crushed
    6 tbsp oil
    1 tbsp tomato paste
    1/2 cabbage, shredded
    2 small aubergines (egg plant), cubed

    Bring 4 cups of water to a boil in a large pot and add 4 cups couscous. Immediately shut off flame, stir couscous, cover and let rest.

    Meanwhile, heat oil in another large pot and brown the meat in this before adding the onions, tomatoes and tomato paste. Mix thoroughly then add enough water to just cover and stir-in the peanut butter. Add the other vegetables then cover and simmer for an hour (adding more water as necessary) until everything is cooked. Serve the vegetable and meat stew on a bed of the couscous.

    Final Assessment: Very tasty and filling. The egg plant and cabbage combined with tomato and peanut flavor was delicious.


    Sae Faeri En said...

    I wish I had surfed in earlier. I used many of these ingredients tonight, but in different dishes. This looks much tastier than my efforts!

    Lucy said...

    Barack and Gumby - now that's a great Beer Summit!