South Sudan

With a 97% vote for independence, South Sudan became the world’s newest country in July 2011. It should be a country full of hope five years after gaining independence. Instead, it is in the grip of a massive, man-made humanitarian crisis. The Sudan People’s Liberation Movement, the ruling political party that originally led the way for independence, is now divided and fighting for power. Since the conflict began, 1 in 5 people in South Sudan have been displaced, more than 2.3 million citizens having been forced to flee their homes. Sudan, and what was then the semi-independent Southern Sudan, endured a brutal civil war for more than 25 years, which resulted in South Sudan’s independence in 2011. But the conflict in December 2013 reopened deeply-rooted political and ethnic tensions that hadn’t yet been reconciled.

South Sudan’s protected area of Bandingilo National Park hosts the second largest wildlife migration in the world. Established in 1992, it is situated in a wooded area near the White Nile River and is over 10,000 square kilometres. South Sudan’s forest reserves are home to hartebeest, kob, topi, buffalo, elephants, giraffes, lions, bongo, giant forest hogs, red river hogs, forest elephants, chimpanzees, and forest monkeys.

Recipes I came across for South Sudan include Kisra (flatbread), Goraasa be Dama (beef stew with flatbread), Fuul (stewed beans), Khodra mafroka (beef and spinach) and Tamia (deep fried chickpea balls). I opted to make Dama be Potaatas (beef stew with potatoes) which was a hearty stew with a pleasant flavour.

Rating: 7/10

Serves: 4
Prep time: 25 minutes
Cook time: 40 minutes

1/3 cup oil
6 onions, chopped
3 tomatoes, chopped
2 potatoes, peeled and cubed
3 cups water
500g beef steak
1/2 green pepper, chopped
1 tsp salt
1 tsp cardamom
1 tsp cinnamon
4 tbsp tomato paste
3 cloves of crushed garlic

Heat the oil in a casserole pot over a medium heat and add the onions
Add 1 cup of water, cover and leave to cook on medium heat for around 10 minutes until the water is almost evaporated
Fry the potatoes in a separate pan until golden then set aside
Lightly blend onions and return them to the casserole pot with the tomatoes
Chop steak into small pieces and add to the pot along with the green pepper, salt, cardamom and cinnamon
Cover and cook for 3 minutes
Add tomato paste, stir, adding water until smooth and runny
Add potatoes, cover and leave to simmer for 10 minutes adding more water occasionally
Stir in crushed garlic and serve

Ingredients for Dama be Potaatas (beef stew with potatoes)
Dama be Potaatas (beef stew with potatoes)
South Sudan flag on map
Bandigalo National Park, South Sudan
Dama be Potaatas (beef stew with potatoes)
Dama be Potaatas (beef stew with potatoes)