Monday, November 2, 2009


Any New Roots customers who bought veggies from our Burundian farmers this summer have surely heard us talk about Mchicha! In the US, we refer to is as pigweed or amaranth. Mchicha is a swahili word, commonly used in East Africa. It grows as a weed around here and we typically pull it and compost it. I was suprised when two of our new Burundian farmers planted it in their fields. On purpose! They brought some to market and I was so confused. One afternoon this summer, Marion, Ben and I went home with Ntibi, Mariam and Zawadi to experience a little piece of Burundi and learn how to cook it (and sell it to customers!).

Step one: Acquire mchicha! You can pick some up from your friendly New Roots farmer next summer!

Step two: Chop the mchicha into inch long sections. See photo above.

Step three: Wash mchicha and put into pan for cooking.

Step four: One version of mchicha (my personal favorite) includes chopped tomatoes.

Step five: Sautee the mchicha with a little bit of water over the stove. Add salt to taste.


Three types of mchicha.
On the left is mchicha with chopped tomatoes, onion and salt.
(according to Zawadi, this is for daily consumption)
In the middle is plain mchicha sauteed in a little water. (this is for people who are sick)
On the right is mchicha fried in oil. (this one is the kid's favorite!)
Each has its own unique taste, but all of them are delicious.

1 comment:

  1. Oh yeah! the tomato and onion one sounds best to me too.