Congolese Boiled Green Bananas

As Constance Kabaziga from Kinshasa, Democratic Republic of Congo, taught Lindsay Sterling in Freeport, ME.

Note: The unripe bananas become a lot like potatoes in stew: firm and hearty. Constance served this with beans, rice and scallions, and stewed goat.

Makes: 8-16 servings
Cooking time: 45 minutes


  • 2 bunches green bananas
  • 1 Green pepper
  • 1 Onion
  • 1 small can tomato paste
  • 4 bay leaves
  • water or broth


1. Cover bunches of bananas in water in sink. Get large bowl filled with water nearby. With paring knife, peel the skins off the bananas, and scrape the sides of the white flesh. Put cleaned fruit in bowl of water to prevent browning.

2. Cover the bottom of a large lidded pot with oil. Saute peppers and onions until soft. Add a can of tomato paste, and mix together, letting cook until the oil in the pan has assumed the tomatoes’ bright orange color.

3. While the tomato paste is cooking with the peppers and onions, slice each banana in half lengthwise, then crosswise, and add it to the pot. Once you have all the bananas in there, add enough water to make pleasing broth surrounding most of the bananas, but not so much that this becomes soup. Simmer with lid on until bananas are soft.