In Botswana, the leaves of the common cow pea (setswana bean) are used fresh as a leafy green. They are also parboiled, squeezed dry and then dried in the sun for later use.


1 medium onion, chopped

1 tbsp vegetable oil

2 generous handfuls of cow pea leaves

1 medium tomato, diced

salt, to taste

tomato paste

peanut butter

barbecue spice blend, to taste



  • Crush the dry leaves to the most minimal size. Boil water then soak for 15 minutes. Wash the bean leaves then set in a colander to drain.
  • Heat the oil in a pan, add the onion and fry gently over low heat for 3 minutes. Add tomato and fry for 3 minutes more.
  • Pour in 250ml water then add the bean leaves. Bring to a simmer, cover the pot and cook for about 15 minutes, or until all the ingredients are tender.
  • Season to taste with the salt and the spices. Add a tbsp of tomato paste and another for peanut butter and stir in.
  • Check the liquid levels. If too dry add a little water, if too wet continue cooking until the mixture is moist.

Either serve as a main meal with bogobe (porridge) or serve as an accompaniment.

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