Cover Image
close this bookTraditional Food Plants of Kenya (National Museum of Kenya, 1999, 288 p.)
close this folderSpecies accounts
View the document(introduction...)
View the documentAcacia drepanolobium Sjöstedt
View the documentAcacia hockii De Wild.
View the documentAcacia nilotica (L.) Del.
View the documentAcacia senegal (L.) Willd.
View the documentAcacia seyal Del.
View the documentAcacia tortilis (Forssk.) Hayne
View the documentAcokanthera schimperi (A. DC.) Schweinf.
View the documentAdansonia digitata L.
View the documentAerva lanata (L.) Schultes
View the documentAlbizia amara (Roxb.) Boivin
View the documentAmaranthus blitum L.*
View the documentAmaranthus dubius Mart. ex Thell.*
View the documentAmaranthus graecizans L.
View the documentAmaranthus hybridus L.*
View the documentAmaranthus sparganiocephalus Thell.
View the documentAmaranthus spinosus L.*
View the documentAnnona senegalensis Pers. ssp. senegalensis
View the documentAntidesma venosum Tul.
View the documentAsystasia gangetica (L.) T. Anders.
View the documentAsystasia mysorensis (Roth) T. Anders.
View the documentAzanza garckeana (F. Hoffm.) Exell & Hillcoat
View the documentBalanites aegyptiaca (L.) Del.
View the documentBalanites pedicellaris Mildbr. & Schlecht.
View the documentBalanites rotundifolia (Van Tiegh.) Blatter
View the documentBasella alba L.
View the documentBerchemia discolor (Klotzsch) Hemsley
View the documentBorassus aethiopum Mart.
View the documentBoscia coriacea Pax
View the documentBoswellia neglecta S. Moore
View the documentBrassica carinata A. Br.
View the documentBridelia taitensis Vatke & Pax
View the documentCajanus cajan (L.) Millsp.
View the documentCanthium glaucum Hiern
View the documentCanthium lactescens Hiern
View the documentCarissa edulis (Forssk.) Vahl
View the documentCatha edulis Forssk.
View the documentCitrullus lanatus (Thunb.) Mansf.
View the documentCleome gynandra L.
View the documentCoccinia grandis (L.) Voigt
View the documentCoffea arabica L.
View the documentCommelina africana L.
View the documentCommelina benghalensis L.
View the documentCommelina forskaolii Vahl
View the documentCommiphora africana (A. Rich.) Engl.
View the documentCommiphora rostrata Engl.
View the documentCommiphora schimperi (O. Berg) Engl.
View the documentCorchorus olitorius L.
View the documentCorchorus trilocularis L.
View the documentCordia monoica Roxb.
View the documentCordia sinensis Lam.
View the documentCrotalaria brevidens Benth.
View the documentCrotalaria ochroleuca G. Don
View the documentCucumis dipsaceus Spach
View the documentCyperus blysmoides C. B. Cl.
View the documentCyphia glandulifera A. Rich.
View the documentDactyloctenium aegyptium (L.) Willd.
View the documentDactyloctenium giganteum Fischer & Schweick.
View the documentDialium holtzii Harms
View the documentDialium orientale Bak. f.
View the documentDigera muricata (L.) Mart.
View the documentDioscorea bulbifera L.
View the documentDioscorea dumetorum (Kunth) Pax
View the documentDioscorea minutiflora Engl.
View the documentDiospyros mespiliformis A. DC.
View the documentDobera glabra (Forssk.) Poir.
View the documentDovyalis abyssinica (A. Rich.) Warb.
View the documentDovyalis macrocalyx (Oliver) Warb.
View the documentEleusine coracana Gaertn.
View the documentEragrostis tef (Zucc.) Trotter
View the documentEriosema shirense Bak. f.
View the documentErucastrum arabicum Fisch. & Meyer
View the documentEuclea divinorum Hiern
View the documentFicus sycomorus L.
View the documentFicus thonningii Bl.
View the documentFlacourtia indica (Burm. f.) Merr.
View the documentFlueggea virosa (Willd.) J. Voigt
View the documentGarcinia livingstonei T. Anderson
View the documentGrewia bicolor Juss.
View the documentGrewia tembensis Fres.
View the documentGrewia tenax (Forssk.) Fiori
View the documentGrewia villosa Willd.
View the documentHoslundia opposita Vahl
View the documentHydnora abyssinica Schweinf.
View the documentHyphaene compressa H. Wendl.
View the documentHyphaene coriacea Gaertner
View the documentIpomoea aquatica Forssk.
View the documentIpomoea lapathifolia Hall. f.
View the documentIpomoea longituba Hall. f.
View the documentIpomoea mombassana Vatke
View the documentIpomoea oenotherae (Vatke) Hall. f.
View the documentKedrostis pseudogijef (Gilg) C. Jeffrey
View the documentKigelia pinnata (Jacq.) DC.
View the documentLablab purpureus (L.) Sweet
View the documentLagenaria siceraria (Molina) Standley
View the documentLandolphia buchananii Stapf
View the documentLandolphia kirkii Dyer
View the documentLannea alata (Engl.) Engl.
View the documentLannea edulis (Sond.) Engl.
View the documentLannea rivae (Chiov.) Sacleux
View the documentLannea schimperi (A. Rich.) Engl.
View the documentLannea triphylla (A. Rich.) Engl.
View the documentLantana trifolia L.
View the documentLaunaea cornuta (Oliv. & Hiern) Jeffr.
View the documentLeptadenia hastata (Pers.) Decne.
View the documentLippia carviodora Meikle
View the documentLippia kituiensis Vatke
View the documentMaerua decumbens (Brongn.) De Wolf
View the documentManilkara mochisia (Baker) Dubard
View the documentManilkara sansibarensis (Engl.) Dubard
View the documentManilkara sulcata (Engl.) Dubard
View the documentMeyna tetraphylla (Hiern) Robyns
View the documentMimusops fruticosa Bojer
View the documentMimusops kummel A. DC.
View the documentMomordica rostrata A. Zimm.
View the documentMondia whitei (Hook. f.) Skeels
View the documentMoringa oleifera Lam.
View the documentMyrianthus holstii Engl.
View the documentNymphaea nouchali Burm. f. var. caerulea (Savigny) Verdc.
View the documentOxygonum sinuatum (Meisn.) Dammer
View the documentPachystigma schumannianum (Robyns) Bridson & Verdc.
View the documentPappea capensis Eckl. & Zeyh.
View the documentParinari curatellifolia Planch. ex Benth.
View the documentPennisetum glaucum (L.) R. Br.
View the documentPhoenix reclinata Jacq.
View the documentPiliostigma thonningii (Schum.) Milne-Redh.
View the documentPortulaca oleracea L.
View the documentRhus natalensis Krauss
View the documentRhus tenuinervis Engl.
View the documentRhus vulgaris Meikle
View the documentRubus apetalus Poir.
View the documentRubus pinnatus Willd.
View the documentRubus volkensii Engl.
View the documentRumex usambarensis (Damm.) Damm.
View the documentSaba comorensis (Bojer) Pichon
View the documentSalacia madagascariensis (Lam.) DC.
View the documentSalvadora persica L.
View the documentSclerocarya birrea (A. Rich.) Hochst.
View the documentScutia myrtina (Burm. f.) Kurz
View the documentSesamum calycinum Welw.
View the documentSesamum orientale L.
View the documentSolanum nigrum L.
View the documentSorghum bicolor (L.) Moench
View the documentSorindeia madagascariensis DC.
View the documentStathmostelma propinquum (N. E. Br) Schltr.
View the documentStrychnos henningsii Gilg
View the documentStrychnos madagascariensis Poir.
View the documentStrychnos spinosa Lam.
View the documentSyzygium cordatum Krauss
View the documentSyzygium guineense (Willd.) DC.
View the documentTamarindus indica L.
View the documentThylachium thomasii Gilg
View the documentTylosema fassoglense (Schweinf.) Torre and Hillc.
View the documentUrtica massaica Mildbr.
View the documentUvaria acuminata Oliv.
View the documentUvaria scheffleri Diels.
View the documentVangueria apiculata K. Schum.
View the documentVangueria infausta Burch. ssp. rotundata (Robyns) Verdc.
View the documentVangueria madagascariensis Gmel.
View the documentVangueria volkensii K. Schum. var. volkensii
View the documentVatovaea pseudolablab (Harms) J. B. Gillett
View the documentVernonia cinerea Less.
View the documentVigna friesiorum Harms var. angustifolia Verdc.
View the documentVigna membranacea A. Rich.
View the documentVigna subterranea (L.) Verdc.
View the documentVigna unguiculata (L.) Walp.
View the documentVitex doniana Sweet
View the documentVitex ferruginea Schum. & Thonn.
View the documentVitex mombassae Vatke
View the documentVitex payos (Lour.) Merr.
View the documentXimenia americana L
View the documentZanthoxylum chalybeum Engl. var. chalybeum
View the documentZiziphus abyssinica A. Rich.
View the documentZiziphus mauritiana Lam.
View the documentZiziphus mucronata Willd.
View the documentTermitomyces-mushrooms (edible fungi)

Vigna subterranea (L.) Verdc.

Papilionaceae (Fabaceae)

syn: Voandzeia subterranea (L.) Thouars; Glycine subterranea L.

Chonyi: tendegwa, nzugu mawe English: Bambarra groundnut, Madagascar groundnut, earthnut, baffin pea, Bambarra bean Giriama: dzugu mawe Kambe: tendegwa Kisii: chinchugu Luhya (Bukusu): chimbande Luhya (Isukha): tsimbande Luhya (Kisa): tsimbande Luhya (Maragoli): tsimbande Luhya (Tiriki): simbande, zimbande Luhya (Wanga): tsimbande Luhya (Tachoni): chimbande (plural), yimbandu (singular) Luo: bande, mbande Sanya: njugu mawe Swahili: njugu mawe

Description: A dense annual herb to 40 cm. Stems creeping, short, much branched, rather hairy and usually rooting at the nodes. LEAVES: 3-foliolate, held erect by a long petiole. FLOWERS: Inflorescence borne on the leaf axils with only a few (1-3) small yellow flowers whose short, hairy peduncles bend downwards and into the soil, thus the fruits (pods) develop underground. FRUITS: Pods short, to 2.5 cm, oblong to obovoid with a recurved style base. Seeds usually 1, occasionally 2 per pod, smooth, rounded to sub-globose, cream, red, brown or black and up to 1.5 cm (commonly 1.0-1.3 cm) long.

Ecology: Cultivated in most of Africa from Senegal east to Chad and Uganda, south to South Africa. Grown in the western parts of Kenya and to a lesser extent in Coast Province. Also grown in Asia, Australia and tropical America. A traditional crop of many central and southern African groups. Can be grown in hot low country. It is found in well-drained deep to moderately deep, reddish to brown, sandy clay loam to clay soils, 0-1,550 m. At the coast, however, it is found in well-drained deep fine to very fine sandy to sandy loamy soils ranging in colour from yellow brown to reddish brown. Zones: II-IV. Will produce a crop in relatively poor soils.

Uses: FOOD: Seeds are cooked with maize (occasionally after overnight soaking) or alone, mashed, fried and used as stew. Eating a lot leads to stomach discomfort. Requires careful preparation as it may be rather bitter. Among the Mijikenda, dry seeds are pounded in a mortar to remove the seed coat, winnowed and boiled. They are then pounded and tui (coconut juice) added. The mixture is boiled until the coconut juice is ready, stirred with a wooden stirrer (lufudzo) until homogenous and of smooth consistency. It is then served with rice or ugali. Fresh seeds are prepared in the same way.

Pods are harvested before they dry, washed and boiled, salt added and eaten as a snack. These are said to be very tasty (Luhya).

Dry seeds are roasted, salt or brine added, and mixed with peanuts so that the ratio of Bambarra nut is low.


Figure


Figure

The seeds are pounded to remove the outer coat or ground and the resultant meal boiled, stirred vigorously, then simmered to a stew (borohowa, Giriama). The stew may be added to traditionally prepared leafy vegetables, especially cowpea (Vigna unguiculata). It is then cooked a little and served. The stew can also be served with ugali or potatoes (Luhya). The Bambarra nut may also be boiled with maize and beans and eaten as a snack, especially with tea (Luhya), fried (like groundnuts), usually with sesame seeds, or boiled, then mixed with boiled sweet potatoes and mashed. This dish is preferred for children. Cooked during ceremonies like weddings, or for very important persons (Luhya).

It is used in the same way as kidney beans to prepare nyoyo (a mixture of beans and maize boiled together), or boiled alone. This is then eaten with tea, porridge (Luo) or alone. Bambarra nuts are dried, ground using a pong (grinding stone) or pounded in a pany (mortar), then cooked like green grams to a sauce known as ogira. This is eaten with other foods (Luo).

OTHER: Leaves are fodder.

COMMERCIAL: The pulse is sold in Nairobi markets. Also sold in other urban centres especially in Nyanza and Western Provinces, such as Kakamega, Bungoma and Kisumu.

Management: The seeds are planted in rows or randomly. The crop takes about 4 months to mature when the leaves become brown. It can be intercropped with maize, sorghum or millet. Intercropping may affect the yield adversely. Harvesting is usually by uprooting or digging out the entire plant and picking individual pods. The pods are pressed by hand, or more often sun-dried, threshed and stored. Traditionally the seeds used to be left in the pods and were only shelled when they were needed for cooking. These pods would then be stored in a pot (Luhya).

Remarks: This is a traditional crop of the Luhya and many other communities in Africa. Its cultivation has declined over the years partly due to the labour entailed, especially during harvesting, and partly due to exhaustion of soils. The plant is native to Central and West Africa.

Two varieties are distinguished: var. subterranea is the cultivated one. The wild variety, var. spontanea (Harms) Hepper, with smaller seeds, is reported in north-eastern Nigeria and northern Cameroon. The name Bambarra seems to have been derived from a community in Mali.

The groundnut or peanut, Arachis hypogea (Swahili: njugu karanga, Giriama: nzugu nyasa, nzugu karanga, Chonyi: dzugu, nyasa, Kambe: nzugu kalanga, Luo: dzugu, njugu) also has pods that develop underground. It is native to South America but a traditional crop of coastal, Nyanza and western people of Kenya.