Soumbala (the seed of the African locust bean): A treatment for hypertention

by Souleyman Tiendrebeogo

soumbalaThe fermented seeds of the African locust bean tree is commonly called SOUMBALA, and it is a popular cooking ingredient found in most of the west and central African countries (see map) and it is believed to be good for treatment against arterial hypertension and therefore strongly advised to be part of the diet of people suffering from this diseases.

In fact the seeds come from a tree called Parkia biglobosa, or commonly called "nere" in West Africa. (See map to show the distribution of this tree). It can also be found in central Africa and the seeds have been used by local people for centuries as traditional medicine as well as for cooking ingredients when dried and fermented. Some of its nutritional benefits have been studied by some experts of nutrition all over Africa. The seedswest and central Africa contain approximately 80% of carbohydrate, which makes it a very good source of energy, but due to the fact that the seeds contain some antinutritional factors, it has to be processed in order to be consumed. The nutritional composition of the fermented food, the one recommended in the diet of people suffering from hypertension is as followed: 35% of protein, 29% of lipids, and 16% of carbohydrates and have good organoleptic properties and a positive effect on intestinal flora and no significant source of sodium. Since I chose to talk about the nutritional benefits of the soumbala for people suffering from arterial hypertension, I will therefore focus on one particular recipes I got from my grandmother the last time I visited her in Africa.

Cooking recipe of the Soumbala or the seed of African locust bean.(Good for people suffering from Ar - Nutrition for the WorldThe soumbala sauce with a chicken served with a warm pot of rice

Main ingredients

-1: A whole chicken of approximately 800 g
-2: 300 g of soumbala
-3: A tablespoon of curie
- 4: A tablespoon of dried okra powder
- 5: Two pieces of tomatoes
-7: Two pieces of garlic

Cooking steps

-1: Cut the chicken in two pieces and then put in a pot for 5 minutes on a burner then add the onion, the tomatoes, the garlic and then some salt
-2: After another 5 minutes, add the soumbala and then some water
-3: Cover the pot and then let it boil for at least 20 minutes
-4: Then add the black pepper and the okra powder and let it boil for another 15 minutes.
-5: Add the curie and then let it boil for another 10 minutes.

The soumbala sauce is then ready to go!!!!!!!!!!!

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