Steamed pumpkin is good for your brunch, and holiday meals when hosting special friends and just for you because self-love is surely a necessity. Here is how to cook steamed pumpkin luwombo stuffed with chicken.
What is Luwombo?
Luwombo is a traditional way of cooking stews in Uganda. Luwombo is characterised by a banana leaf that is used to wrap up the food before steaming it. A fairly young and unbroken banana leaf is used with no holes or cuts. The stews are steamed over matooke, cassava, yams, pumpkin or potatoes. Modern-day luwombo can be cooked up inside a steamer after wrapping it up with a banana leaf.
How to prepare the banana leaf for Luwombo
First, you need to secure the right banana leaf. Select a banana leaf that is fresh, and young, with no cuts or scratches. It should be smooth and young.
Second, clean up the leaf with a dump and clean the kitchen cloth. Let your banana leaf wilt under the sun for about 25 minutes.
Thirdly carefully smoke the banana leaf, don’t let it dry out. Remove the midrib carefully without tearing the leaf.
Ingredients for making steamed pumpkin luwombo stuffed with chicken
1 large pumpkin
I chicken (meat or pork)
Luwombo banana leaves
2 medium-sized onions
1 teaspoon of vegetable cooking oil/butter
1 teaspoon Black pepper
3 blended tomatoes
1 garlic clove
Salt to taste
½ cup of water
How to Make Perfect Ugandan steamed pumpkin luwombo stuffed with Chicken
Preparing the ingredients
Blend your ingredients all together. You may use them in their raw state or cook them a bit before tying them up in the luwombo.
Heat the vegetable oil in a deep-frying pan over moderate heat. Add the onions and fry until they start getting soft. Add your carrots and green peppers, and stir until they start getting soft.
Then next add the blended tomatoes and keep stirring. Simmer the mixture until the tomatoes are cooked, then add black pepper and salt to taste. Add some little water to form a fairly thick soup. Remove this mixture from heat and let it rest. You can boil your ingredients if you are trying to eat healthily and avoid oils.
Preparing the pumpkin
Start by washing the pumpkin thoroughly until it is clean. Make a round cut near the stalk. Discard the seeds on the rim that u have cut. This is going to be your cover.
Preparing the chicken
Depending on the size of your pumpkin and chicken. You may cook the chicken in its whole form or cut it up into sizeable pieces.
You may smoke your chicken or beef over a charcoal stove, to brown it. Salt your chicken or beef before roasting to let the flavour sink in, alternatively, marinate your chicken or beef for a few hours or overnight before cooking.
Wrapping up the pumpkin
Place the banana leaf for the luwombo into a basket ensuring that the centre of the leaf is in the middle of the basket. Place your pumpkin in the centre of the leaf in the basket. Add the chicken pieces to the pumpkin. Pour the sauce mixture or raw ingredients above the chicken and centre it near the chicken. Cover the top of the pumpkin with the part that you cut off from the top. Gather the sides of the luwombo banana leaf and tie them tightly together with a banana fibre ensuring that it is secure. Neatly trim off the ends of the leaf above the knot with a sharp knife.
Steaming the Luwombo
Place the neatly tied-up luwombo above the food to be steamed. It could be matooke, if you don’t know how to steam matooke check out my steamed matooke recipe. Cover the matooke and the luwombo with banana leaves and steam on fire for about 3 hours until the matooke and chicken luwombo is perfectly ready. Remove from heat and serve.