Walk into most up market restaurants in Kenya and you will see servers flying out of the kitchens carrying plates that include dark green vegetables, one of which will most likely be the African nightshade. The African Nightshade is an indigenous vegetable popularly known as ‘managu’ in Kenya. In comparison to kale or collard greens (spinach), managu is a highly nutritious vegetable rich in protein, iron, calcium, folate as well as vitamin A, C and E.
Though there are those that might find it slightly bitter to the taste, managu can be prepared with milk or the cream of milk to take the edge off a little bit. I love it with cream!
So here is what you will need:
2 bunches of managu vegetables
1 red onion
Milk cream (to taste)
1 Knorr cube
Salt (to taste)
Pluck the leaves off the stalks. Yes, this can be quite laborious! Wash the vegetables and make sure to remove all soil/dirt. Boil the vegetable for 30-40 minutes until tender. Drain all the water out. As they drain, dice the onion and tomato.
In a pan, fry the onion in vegetable oil until it is soft. Add the tomato and season with salt and 1 Knorr beef cube. When the tomato has softened, add the managu. After 5 minutes add cream and cook for another 10 minutes.
Serve as an accompaniment to any meal, though it goes down really well with ‘ugali’, a polenta like dish served in East Africa. So next time you go to the market, treat yourself to a bunch, or two, of managu and remember…fried/boiled green vegetables contain more usable iron than raw vegetables.
How would you enjoy your greens?
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