Mbongo Tchobi (African Spicy Black Stew)

Mbongo Tchobi, also known as Mbongo, is an earthy, spicy sauce based on black tomatoes with a smooth, thick and velvety texture. Its unmistakable taste and color are achieved by burning “Hiomi” (Mbongo stick) over a hot, open flame. Then it is mixed and incorporated into the tomato stew with other spices. It is eaten with bobolo or cooked yellow plantain.


1 kg white fish, cut into steaks (e.g. pangasius fillet)
15 g Njanssang or Akpi (approx. 10 pieces)
1 large onion
250 g Tomato (approx. 4 tomatoes)
1/4 cup parsley
1/2 cup basil
2 tbsp. cloves garlic
1 cup Vegetable oil
1 tbsp. bouillon powder or 2 Maggi cubes
Salt to taste

Important note



  1. If using catfish ,pour hot water over the fish in the sink, let it sit for a minute, then rinse and clean the fish (this removes all the sliminess of the fish). Skip this if you using any other white fish. Set aside
  2. Lightly fry njanssang or akpi for about 5 minutes. Set aside.
  3. Chop the tomatoes, onions, green onions and place in a food processor or blender- add njansa, garlic, basil, parsley with a little bit of water if using a blender to facilitate blending. Blend until puree.
  4. Heat up a saucepan with oil, then add the tomatoes mixture, with very little water, bring to a boil and simmer for about 10 minutes stirring occasionally.
  5. Add mbongo spice, fish, Maggi and salt to the mixture; simmer for another 10 minutes or more until fish is cooked through. Add water as necessary to prevent burns.
  6. Adjust for seasonings with salt or Maggi.
  7. Serve hot with boiled plantains or bobolo.

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