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Vegan saka saka

Made of cassava leaves and spinach and left to simmer for hours, this dish is the kind of meal which flavours unravel exponentially with time. As you let the greens, the garlic, the peppers, the onions and the peanut butter all cook down together, it is like a rainbow of flavours starts appearing.



  • 1 tablespoon neutral oil (avocado, canola or sunflower)
  • 2 cups chopped red onion (about 1 large)
  • 1/3 cup minced garlic (about 7 cloves)
  • 2 green bell peppers, roughly chopped
  • 1-1/2 pounds of cassava leaves, thawed and drained (can be found in African grocery shops)
  • 1/2 pound spinach leaves, fresh or frozen
  • 1/2 habanero pepper, chopped (or more if you like the heat!)
  • 5 cups water
  • 1-1/4 – 1-1/2 teaspoon salt
  • 1-1/2 teaspoon vegetarian chicken bouillon powder
  • Pepper, to taste
  • 3 green onions, chopped
  • 5 tablespoons natural peanut butter
  • Chopped peanuts (garnish)
  • Spicy sauce (garnish)
  • Finely chopped parsley or green onion (garnish)

To serve:

  • Rice
  • Plantains


  1. Add heat a large saucepan to medium high. Once hot, add oil and onion. Cook until translucent (about five minutes), stirring occasionally. Add garlic and bell pepper and cook for another minute.
  2. Add cassava leaves, spinach, habanero, water, salt, bouillon and pepper. Stir.
  3. Bring the mixture to a boil then reduce heat and cook for 1-1/2 hours covered. Stir occasionally.
  4. After 1-1/2 hours, take off the lid and cook for another 30 minutes, again stirring occasionally.
  5. Add green onion and peanut butter. Stir and let simmer for another 15 minutes.
  6. Taste and adjust seasonings to your liking and serve hot.
  7. Garnish with chopped peanuts, spicy sauce, finely chopped parsley or green onions and serve alongside rice and plantains.
  8. Keeps in the fridge for five days.

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