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Murielle Banackissa
Vegan Saka Saka (Congolese Cassava Leaf and Spinach Stew)

Vegan Saka Saka (Congolese Cassava Leaf and Spinach Stew)

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2 hours 45 mins Prep: 15 mins Cook: 2 hours 30 mins
Serves 6

Creamy, rich, comforting and hearty, this stew is one that instantly brings me back to childhood. It is delicious eaten alongside rice and plantains.


  • 1 tbsp neutral oil
  • 2 cups chopped red onion
  • 7 garlic cloves , minced
  • 2 green bell peppers
  • 1 ½ pounds of cassava leaves , thawed and drained
  • ½ pound of spinach leaves , fresh or frozen, thawed and drained
  • ½ habanero pepper , chopped
  • 5 cups filtered water
  • 1 ½-1¼ tsp sea salt
  • 1 ½ tsp vegetarian chicken bouillon powder
  • Freshly cracked black pepper
  • 3 green onions , chopped
  • 5 tbsp natural peanut butter
  • Chopped peanuts , for garnish
  • Spicy sauce , for garnish
  • Finely chopped parsley or green oion , for garnish

To Serve

  • Rice
  • Plantains


  1. Step 1

    Heat a large saucepan to medium high. Once hot, add oil and onion. Cook until translucent (about 5 minutes), stirring occasionally.

  2. Step 2

    Add garlic and bell pepper and cook for another minute.

  3. Step 3

    Add cassava leaves, spinach, habanero, water, salt, bouillon and pepper. Stir.

  4. Step 4

    Bring the mixture to a boil then reduce heat and cook for 1 1/2 hours covered. Stir occasionally.

  5. Step 5

    After 1 ½ hours, take off the lid and cook for another 30 minutes, again stirring occasionally.

  6. Step 6

    Add green onion and peanut butter. Stir and let simmer for another 15 minutes.

  7. Step 7

    Taste and adjust seasonings to your liking and serve hot.

  8. Step 8

    Garnish with chopped peanuts, spicy sauce, finely chopped parsley or green onions and serve alongside rice and plantains. Enjoy!

Common Questions & Swaps

  • Where can I find cassava leaves? They are generally sold frozen in African grocery shops or markets. If you live in Montreal, I found mine at Le Baobab (5190-A Côte-des-Neiges Rd, Montreal, Quebec H3T 1X8).

  • What if I don’t have cassava leaves, can I substitute them? I would say no, because they are the most important part of this recipe and what gives this stew its very distinct flavour.

  • Can I substitute peanut butter with another nut butter? If you want to stay true to the original recipe, I would say stick with the peanut butter, but if you have any allergies or are intolerant to it, try swapping it with almond or cashew butter. However, I cannot promise that the result will be as good.

Vegan Saka Saka served with white rice plantains and spicy sauce
Vegan Saka Saka served with white rice plantains and spicy sauce