7 steps to cook African Cameroon Ndole

As a proud Cameroonian working at Food and Meal, it brings me immense joy to share the vibrant flavors of my homeland with our global community of food lovers. One dish that holds a special place in my heart is ndole, a rich, stew-like dish made with bitterleaf greens, smoked fish, shrimp, and meat or poultry in a peanut-based sauce.

When I close my eyes and take a spoonful of ndole, I’m immediately transported back to the bustling kitchens of my aunties in Douala, where the sizzling of palm oil and the laughter of my cousins would fill the air. Though I’m now thousands of miles away building my career, ndole instantly wraps me in the warmth of family and the comforts of home.

I fondly remember my auntie adding the essential ingredients – bitterleaf harvested from her garden, shrimp caught fresh that morning, a smoky dried fish pungent with flavor. She would let me help pound the peanut paste, the mortar and pestle drumming out a rhythm as familiar to me as my own heartbeat.

As she would explain, creating ndole is an act of patience, care and tradition. Allowing the flavors to develop fully, nurturing the greens to maintain their vibrant color and earthy flavor. With pride and purpose, she would ladle out bowls of the stew, the smile lines framing her eyes crinkling as our family gathered to enjoy.

Cameroon Ndole Recipe

African Cameroon Ndole

Cameroon Ndole

Cameroon Ndole Recipe

An aromatic Cameroonian Ndole stew made of peanut and bitter leaves – flavored with garlic, crayfish and fortified with shrimp and beef. Comfort food at its best.
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Course: Dinner, lunch, Main dishes
Cuisine: African
Keyword: Cameroon Ndole, Ndole recipe
CookingStyle: Simmering
Prep Time: 20 minutes
Cook Time: 1 hour 10 minutes
5 minutes
Total Time: 1 hour 34 minutes
Servings: 4
Calories: 2531kcal
Author: Black Pie
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  • Put the meat in a large pot, add the bouillon cubes, salt, and onions to it, mix well, and cook until the meat becomes tender.
  • Boil the stockfish with salted water for a few minutes and pour into the meat pot.
  • In another pot, boil the groundnuts for 10 minutes, leave it to cool, and then blend with a blender or food processor into a very smooth paste. You can add some water to help the process. Pour into the pot with meat and stockfish.
  • Use the same blender to blend the garlic and onions and our into the meat pot.
  • Add the ground crayfish and cook for a few minutes, stirring consistently to keep it from burning. Add bouillon cubes and salt to taste.
  • Add the washed bitter leaves or spinach to the pan. Stir thoroughly and cook for 15 minutes
  • Heat the oil in a pan or preferably cast iron. Add the shrimp while stirring until they turn pink. Cut the remaining onions and add them and mix for a few more minutes. Then, pour the mixture to the pot of Ndole. Stir thoroughly for 3-5 minutes. Serve hot with miondo/Bobolo or plantain.



If you are using dry, bitter leaves, make sure you soak it in warm water overnight and boil with 1 teaspoon of baking soda for 15 minutes. Rinse thoroughly and drain. Boil some water, add the stockfish to it, and leave to soak overnight
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Calories: 2531kcal | Carbohydrates: 101g | Protein: 74g | Fat: 221g | Saturated Fat: 23g | Polyunsaturated Fat: 63g | Monounsaturated Fat: 127g | Trans Fat: 1g | Cholesterol: 222mg | Sodium: 878mg | Potassium: 1897mg | Fiber: 37g | Sugar: 2g | Vitamin A: 7039IU | Vitamin C: 56mg | Calcium: 1135mg | Iron: 55mg
© Food And Meal

This website provides approximate nutrition information for convenience and as a courtesy only. Nutrition data is gathered primarily from the Spoonacular Database, whenever available, or otherwise other online calculators.

Cooking tips

I fondly remember my auntie’s lessons on selecting only the most vibrant bitterleaf, harvested at dawn when the dew still clung to the leaves. This ensured the earthy, slightly bitter taste shone through. She would emphasize that the pungency of the shrimp paste and smokiness of the dried fish must be balanced by the sweet nuttiness of fresh peanut butter. “Too much of one flavor will overwhelm the others,” she would say. Her wisdom guides me as I cook, keeping the elements in harmony.

Pounding the peanut paste by hand connects me to my heritage, the steady rhythm transporting me back to my auntie’s kitchen. I take pride in this crucial step, as the texture directly impacts the stew’s creaminess. The aromas of simmering palm oil and spices like cloves and nutmeg that fill my kitchen remind me I’m continuing a legacy of flavor passed down through generations.

Serving Suggestions

Ndole, the rich and savory Cameroonian stew, offers a tantalizing addition to a variety of dishes, enhancing their flavors and textures. When served alongside Japanese yakisoba, its nutty and smoky undertones provide an exciting topping, creating a delightful fusion of sweet and savory flavors. Similarly, spooning ndole over oyakodon, the traditional chicken and egg rice bowl, infuses it with an exotic flair. Blending ndole into miso soup elevates the broth’s complexity, while pairing it with hearty udon noodles in yaki udon transforms it into a satisfying one-bowl meal. Additionally, ndole’s richness serves as a creative substitute for crema in fish tacos, and when stuffed into quesadillas with cheese and greens, it adds an adventurous twist. The sweet nuttiness of coconut rice beautifully complements ndole’s peanutty accents, and spreading ndole inside a crispy panini with pesto and cheese offers a unique Afro-European flavor fusion. As a starter, ndole’s deep flavors provide a perfect prelude to the sweet-tart apple crumble dessert. Bold and robust, ndole pairs excellently with ginger salmon, adding depth to its already flavorful profile. Crispy fried shrimp gains excitement and depth when served alongside ndole, while piled high nachos with spicy ndole stew and chicken create a bold and inspired combination. Lastly, the sweet and tangy flavors of orange chicken meld harmoniously with the complex palette of ndole, offering a satisfying and flavorful dining experience.

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In conclusion, with the recipe above, you can completely make Cameroon Ndole in your home. You can buy fresh leaves in Africa or purchase dehydrated ones online. The bitter leaves are often sold in small containers at the market. Depending on your taste, you can add your favorite condiments. The traditional accompaniments include white rice, dodo, Irish potatoes, cassava, and fried onions. There are a lot of variations when it comes to this dish, but perhaps this recipe is the best version you should try. Also, it is a good way to experience the local cuisine.

African cuisine chef at
Hello! I’m Black Pie, your culinary guide at Food And Meal, Hana Hotel Travel Company Limited. I'm passionate about unveiling the rich and diverse flavors of African cuisine to the world. Each recipe we explore is a celebration of culture, tradition, and exquisite taste. Join me on this delightful culinary journey, where we'll discover and share the hidden gems of African cooking together!
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