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Saka Saka

You have no idea how long I’d been dreaming of this recipe before attempting it. Saka Saka is a stew I grew up eating in Congo and in which I indulge in during family gatherings on my dad’s side. This is the kind of dish in which flavors unravel exponentially with time. As you let the greens, the garlic, the peppers, the onions, and the peanut butter all cook down together, it’s as if a rainbow of flavors starts to appear. Funnily enough, it’s only when I became vegan that I got the urge to try cooking it myself, making it plant-based by leaving out the fish of the traditional dish. I am so glad I did try it, because now I can share this incredible recipe that is near and dear to my heart. I hope that you too will fall in love with it! You can serve this stew with white rice or Coconut Rice (p. 100), Pan-Fried Plantains (p. 103), and Fufu (p. 118).



  • 1 tbsp avocado oil
  • 1 cup diced red onion
  • 4 garlic cloves, minced
  • 1 large green bell pepper, diced
  • 2½ cups cassava leaves (a 18 oz/500 g frozen package), thawed and drained
  • 2½ packed cups (4½ oz/125 g) fresh spinach
  • ¼ habanero pepper, chopped (see note)
  • 2½ cups vegetable broth or vegan chicken broth
  • ½ tsp sea salt, plus more to taste
  • ¼ tsp black pepper, plus more to taste
  • 2 green onions, chopped
  • 3 tbsp natural crunchy or smooth peanut butter

Garnishes (optional)

  • Chopped peanuts
  • Hot sauce, such as sambal oelek
  • Finely chopped parsley or green onion


Heat a large saucepan over medium heat. Add the avocado oil and onion and cook, stirring occasionally with a wooden spoon, for 7 to 8 minutes, until the onion is translucent and starting to brown. Add the garlic and bell pepper, and cook for 1 minute. Stir in the cassava leaves, spinach, habanero, broth, salt, and pepper. Bring the mixture to a boil over high heat, then reduce the heat to low and cook for 1 hour 30 minutes, covered, stirring occasionally. Add the green onions and peanut butter. Stir and let simmer, uncovered, for 15 minutes. Taste and adjust the seasonings to your liking. Garnish with peanuts, hot sauce, and parsley. Serve hot alongside

coconut rice, pan-fried plantains, and fufu. Store in the fridge in an airtight container for up to 5 days.

Note: Depending on your heat tolerance, the amount of habanero pepper can really vary. If you are super sensitive to heat, simply skip it in this recipe or use a quarter but remove the seeds. On the other hand, if you love the heat, you can use half or an entire habanero pepper, seeds included.

Excerpted from Savouring by Murielle Banackissa. Copyright © 2024 Murielle Banackissa. Photographs by Murielle Banackissa. Published by Appetite by Random House®, a division of Penguin Random House Canada Limited. Reproduced by arrangement with the Publisher. All rights reserved.

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