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Namibian spinach stew (Ombidi) recipe

Namibian spinach stew (Ombidi) recipe

Spinach stew known as Ombidi, Omboga and many more other names, depending on where you are in Namibia, is one of the popular dishes in the northern part of the country.

Ombidi is made with wild spinach, which grows naturally in the fields, during rainy seasons, from November to March.

Spinach is washed tons of times, because it’s often very sandy. Then cooked for hours in a large cast-iron three-legged pot over an open wood fire until the green color changes to pale green. Otherwise it will taste bitter.

Onions, tomatoes, a knob of homemade butter or oil and salt are added at the end of cooking process. Before serving with pap (stiff porridge made with pearl millet/ maize flour), a dash of freshly pressed Marula oil from nuts of Marula tree is added for flavor enhancement.

For this recipe I’ve used frozen spinach, because it’s easier to work with and saves me time. Besides wild spinach is not found everywhere. I also changed the order of cooking.

But this recipe still tastes close to the authentic Namibian spinach stew that my mum and grandma used to make. By the way don’t hold back on the salt in this recipe!

This Namibian spinach stew is not only healthy and very simple to make, but it also tastes delicious, uses only 4 ingredients: spinach, tomatoes, garlic and onions and it only takes less than 30 minutes easy to make.

Ingredients used in making Namibian spinach stew

  • 300 g (10 oz) frozen spinach, thawed and drained
  • 6 tablespoons canned & chopped tomatoes (150 g/ 5 oz)
  • 2 medium onions
  • 2 garlic cloves
  • salt and pepper and a pinch of nutmeg to taste
  • 5 tablespoons water
  • 2 tablespoons sunflower oil to sear

You’ll also need:

  • saucepan
  • cutting board
  • knife
  • wooden spoon

How to make African spinach stew

First of all thaw the frozen spinach, either using the microwave or by just putting it in the sun. In the meantime peel and finely chop onions and garlic.

In a sauce pan heat sunflower oil at medium – high, throw in onions and sauté for 3 minutes.

Add garlic and sauté for another minute.

Stir in tomatoes and 1 tablespoon of water.

Cover and let simmer for 5 minutes.

Once spinach is thawed, use your hands to squeeze out the water and add it to the pot.

Combine well, cover and let simmer for 5 minutes. Then stir in the remaining water. If you want more sauce, just add more water.

Let simmer for another 5 minutes. Season with salt, pepper and a pinch of nutmeg.

Cook for another minute, uncovered, remove from the heat and serve immediately.

What to serve with African spinach stew?

  • with hot pap
  • over rice,
  • almost any kind of meat
  • with boiled or mashed potatoes.
  • or eat it just like that.

Namibian spinach stew (Ombidi) recipe

This healthy and delicious Namibian spinach stew uses 4 ingredients and is made in no time, with a little effort.
Prep Time5 mins
Cook Time20 mins
Total Time25 mins
Course: Main Course, Side Dish
Cuisine: African, Namibian
Keyword: dinner, gluten free, green vegetables, how to, Low carb, Ombidi, paleo, spinach, Vegan, vegetarian
Servings: 3 Servings
Author: Ester | esterkocht.com

Ingredients

  • 300 g (10 oz) frozen spinach thawed and drained
  • 6  tablespoons  canned & chopped tomatoes (150 g/ 5 oz)
  • 2 medium onions
  • 2 garlic cloves
  • 5  tablespoons  water or more if necessary
  •  salt and pepper and a pinch of nutmeg to taste
  • 2 tablespoons  sunflower oil to sear

Instructions

  • First of all thaw the frozen spinach, either using the microwave or by just putting it in the sun. In the meantime peel and finely chop onions and garlic. In a sauce pan heat sunflower oil at medium – high, throw in onions and sauté for 3 minutes. Add garlic and sauté for another minute. Stir in tomatoes and 1 tablespoon of water. Cover and let simmer for 5 minutes.
  • Once spinach is thawed, use your hands to squeeze out the water. Add it to the pot, combine well, cover and let simmer for 5 minutes. Then stir in the remaining water and let simmer for another 5 minutes. Season with salt, pepper and a pinch of nutmeg. Cook for another minute, uncovered, remove from the heat and serve immediately.

Did you make this Namibian spinach stew recipe?  I’d love to hear from you! Simply write a review and add rating to it

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