Namibian Dried Meat Strips Stew (Eedingu)

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Dried meat strips also known as “ombelela yeedingu” in short ”Eedingu” in my vernacular (Oshikwanyama), is a Namibian delicacy. Eedingu is basically meat cut into strips and sun dried, with or without salt/vinegar. It is mainly made from beef, goat, or venison.

I grew up in a village in the northern part of Namibia. As a kid, every time a goat or a cattle was slaughtered, my siblings and I were responsible for cutting the meat into strips and hang it on the drying lines, that we also use for laundry. The dry meat strips were then be stored in traditional pottery (clay pots) and cooked during dry season or when fresh meat is scarce.

Nowadays, this delicacy is enjoyed whenever we feel like it. It is so commonplace, that it is sold alongside Namibian roads or market places; cooked and uncooked, throughout the year.

Whenever I am in Namibia, traveling to the northern part of the country to visit my family, I always stop at one of the petrol stations to indulge in cooked Eedingu. One can find up to 10 women at various stands selling both cooked and uncooked dried meat strips (Eedingu). Whenever someone new walks past, the women call out: “Hey, sister or brother here is a piece of cooked Eedingu for you to taste “. This is very tricky though, because if you taste their meat and end up buying at the different stand, they tend to complain “ Oh sister, I also have a family to support, why don’t you just buy meat even for just 10 Namibian dollars (0.70 USD/ 0.50 Euro) at every stand” These women indeed have a sense of humor and know how to lure their potential customers. 🙂

How to cook Eedingu

Traditionally, the meat is cooked in a three – legged – pot over an open fire for hours until it’s tender before adding the seasonings. Today I am sharing with you one of the easiest and my favorite ways of preparing Eedingu on the stovetop with a handful of ingredients. The meat is tender and enveloped in a rich tomato sauce. It tastes great with Oshifima (pap), with pasta, over rice or just with bread.

What you’ll need to make dried meat strips stew

  • 160 g (6.4 oz) dried meat strips (Eedingu)
  • 400 g (14.1 oz) canned tomatoes or tomatoes cut into small slices
  • 2 garlic cloves
  • 2 small onions or 1 medium onion
  • 1 large bell pepper
  • salt, pepper and chili to taste

How to make dried meat stew (Eedingu)

Put the meat in the pot and add water such that the meat is under water. Peel and cut one small onion or a half onion if you’re using a medium one into slices and add to the pot. Peel and cut one garlic clove and add to the pot as well. Bring to a boil, cover and let cook for about 60 minutes. Hint: Feel free to cut the dried meat strips into bite size pieces before cooking.


In the meantime finely chop the remaining onion and garlic. Then dice bell pepper. After 60 minutes transfer the meat to an extra bowl (including the liquid).

In the same pot (there is no need to clean it, unless it’s dirty) heat sunflower oil and cook the onion and garlic over medium heat until soft. Stir in the tomatoes, add the cooked meat including the liquid and season with salt, freshly ground pepper and chili.

Bring to a boil, cover and let cook for another 60 minutes. Keep stirring and adding a bit of water in between if necessary, until the meat is tender and the tomato sauce is nicely thick. If you feel like the meat is not yet tender, then just add more liquid and let simmer a bit longer. Taste the sauce and season once more with salt, pepper and chili if needed and done. Enjoy!

What to serve your African dried meat stew with

Namibian dried meat strips stew (Eedingu)

An excellent authentic and easy to follow recipe on how to make dried meat strips stew (Eedingu). A Namibian delicacy.
Prep Time20 mins
Cook Time2 hrs
Total Time2 hrs 20 mins
Course: Main dish
Cuisine: African, Namibian, Southern African
Keyword: dried meat potjiekos, dried meat strips, Eedingu, how to, how to cook dried meat, keto, Oshiwambo cuisine, Oshiwambo culture
Servings: 4 Servings
Author: Ester from esterkocht.com

Ingredients

  • 160 g (6.4 oz) dried meat strips (Eedingu)
  • 400 g (14.1 oz) canned tomatoes or tomatoes cut into small slices
  • 2 garlic cloves
  • 2 small onions or 1 medium onion
  • 1 large bell pepper
  • salt, pepper and chili to taste

Instructions

  • Put the meat in the pot and add water such that the meat is under water. Peel and cut one small onion or a half onion if you're using a medium one into slices and add to the pot. Peel and cut one garlic clove and add to the pot as well. Bring to a boil, cover and let cook for about 60 minutes. In the meantime finely chop the remaining onion and garlic. Then dice bell pepper.
  • After 60 minutes transfer the meat to an extra bowl (including the liquid). In the same pot (there is no need to clean it, unless it’s dirty) heat sunflower oil and cook the onion and garlic over medium heat until soft. Stir in the tomatoes, add the cooked meat including the liquid and season with salt, freshly ground pepper and chili. Bring to a boil cover and let cook for another 60 minutes. Keep stirring and adding a bit of water in between if necessary, until the meat is tender and the tomato sauce is nicely thick. If you feel like the meat is not yet tender, then just add more liquid and let simmer a bit longer. Taste the sauce and season once more with salt, pepper and chili if needed and done. Enjoy!

Notes

  • Feel free to cut dried meat strips into bite size pieces before cooking.

Did you make this recipe? I’d love to hear from you! Simply write a review and add rating to it. Or share your creation with me on Ester kocht Facebook Page or tag @ester.kocht on Instagram.

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