Delicious Cameroonian Ndole Recipe

Delicious Cameroonian Ndole Recipe

Jul 09, 2024Elizabeth Yakubu

Ndole is a beloved Cameroonian dish that combines bitter leaves, ground peanuts, and various meats or fish to create a flavorful and nutritious meal. Often served at special occasions and family gatherings, Ndole is one of the many proofs of the rich food heritage of Cameroon. Here’s a step-by-step guide to making this delicious dish at home.


To make Cameroonian Ndole, you will need the following ingredients:

Optional Ingredients for Serving:

Also read: African versus Asian Foods: Which is Healthier, More Popular, and More Delicious?

Preparation Steps

Step 1: Preparing the Bitter Leaves

  1. Clean the Leaves: If using fresh bitter leaves, wash them thoroughly to remove bitterness. This may involve washing and squeezing them several times until the water runs clear. If using spinach, simply rinse and chop.
  2. Boil the Leaves: Boil the bitter leaves in a pot of water for about 10-15 minutes to soften them. Drain and set aside.


Step 2: Preparing the Peanuts

  1. Roast the Peanuts: Roast the raw peanuts in a dry pan over medium heat until golden brown. Let them cool slightly.
  2. Blend the Peanuts: Grind the roasted peanuts into a smooth paste using a food processor or blender. Add a little water if necessary to achieve a creamy consistency.


Step 3: Cooking the Meat or Fish

  1. Cook the Meat/Fish: In a large pot, cook the beef or fish with some water, salt, and a Maggi cube until tender. Remove the meat/fish from the pot and set aside. Reserve the cooking liquid.

Also Read: The Surprising Benefits of Eating More African Foods in the Diaspora


Step 4: Making the Ndole

  1. Heat the Oil: In the same pot, heat the palm oil or vegetable oil over medium heat.
  2. Sauté Onions and Spices: Add the chopped onions, minced garlic, and ginger to the pot. Sauté until the onions are soft and translucent.
  3. Add Peppers: If using Scotch bonnet peppers, add them now and cook for a few more minutes.
  4. Combine Ingredients: Add the ground peanut paste to the pot and stir well. Gradually add the reserved cooking liquid to create a thick, smooth sauce.
  5. Add Bitter Leaves: Stir in the boiled bitter leaves, ensuring they are well coated with the peanut sauce.
  6. Add Meat/Fish: Return the cooked meat or fish to the pot. Mix everything thoroughly and let it simmer for about 15-20 minutes to allow the flavors to meld.
  7. Season to Taste: Add salt and pepper to taste. Adjust the consistency of the Ndole by adding more water if necessary.


Step 5: Serving Ndole

Ndole is traditionally served with a variety of starchy sides. Here are some popular options:

  1. Boiled Plantains: Serve the Ndole with boiled plantains, which provide a sweet contrast to the savory dish.
  2. Cassava: Boiled or steamed cassava pairs perfectly with Ndole, adding a subtle flavor and hearty texture.
  3. Rice: White rice is another great accompaniment, helping to soak up the delicious sauce.
  4. Yams: Boiled yams offer a slightly sweet and earthy flavor that complements the Ndole well.


Tips for Making Perfect Ndole

  • Soften Bitter Leaves: If the bitter leaves are too bitter, boil them in multiple changes of water to reduce the bitterness.
  • Consistency: Adjust the consistency of the peanut sauce by adding more water if it becomes too thick during cooking.
  • Flavor Balance: Taste and adjust the seasoning towards the end of cooking to ensure the perfect balance of flavors.

Also Read: 10 Fermented Foods in West Africa & Their Health Benefits



Making Cameroonian Ndole at home is a rewarding experience that brings the rich flavors of West Africa to your kitchen. This traditional dish, with its combination of bitter leaves, peanuts, and savory meat or fish, is sure to become a favorite. Follow this recipe to create a delicious and authentic Ndole that will impress your family and friends. Check out My Sasun African Market online or in-store to get your best and freshest ingredients for all your African Foods today. 



Can I use spinach instead of bitter leaves?

Yes, spinach is a common substitute for bitter leaves if they are not available. While it lacks the slight bitterness of traditional bitter leaves, it still works well in the dish.

What type of meat is best for Ndole?

Beef, chicken, or fish are commonly used in Ndole. Choose your preferred protein or mix them for a richer flavor.

How can I reduce the bitterness of the leaves?

Boil the bitter leaves in multiple changes of water and squeeze them thoroughly to reduce their bitterness.

Is Ndole spicy?

Ndole can be made spicy by adding Scotch bonnet peppers. Adjust the amount of pepper to your taste preference.

Can I make Ndole ahead of time?

Yes, Ndole can be made ahead of time and reheated. In fact, the flavors often develop and intensify after a day or two.

What other sides can I serve with Ndole?

In addition to plantains, cassava, rice, and yams, you can also serve Ndole with fufu, a starchy dough-like side commonly enjoyed in West African cuisine.

Also Read: Which African Food is Good for Diabetes?

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