South Sudan cuisine is strongly influenced by Arabian and East African cuisine. At the basic level meals are meat or fish stews with a vegetarian side dish eaten with a thick porridge made from sorghum or millet called Asida. The use of peanut butter to thicken sauces is unique to South Sudanese cuisine. South Sudanese cuisine is generally complex and labor and time consuming so the women spend the better part of the day cooking the day’s meals. One of such meals is Ras Koruf.
Ras Koruf (lamb head soup) is a delicious Sudanese recipe mainly prepared with lamb head. Like many African recipes, this South Sudanese delight does not leave any part of the animal to waste including the head. When using animal meat in dishes, the South Sudanese shear and dry the skins for leather, use the tail, leg and neck bones for soup while the brain is fried in oil and then kept to grease the flat pan when making a dish called Kisra.
To make Ras Koruf you need;
- Lamb head
- 1 teaspoon, peanut butter
- 1 large onion, diced
- Celery rib, sliced into large pieces
- Diced carrots, 2 sticks
- 3 tomatoes, diced
- 1 serrano pepper, cut in half.
- Garlic, 3-4 cloves, sliced thinly
- Salt to taste
- Water, 5 cups
To make Ras Koruf;
1. Start by roasting off the skin in an open flame for about 1 hour. Turn it intermittently so that it doesn’t get rid of the hair. Then place in a pot of hot water to wash any debris. At the same time obtain a toothbrush to gently brush the tongue and teeth of any grime.
2. Put the lamb head in a large pot with 3 cups of water to start boiling the soup. You’ll add the additional 2 cups of water as it slowly cooks for the next 2-3 hours.
3. Add the onions, celery rib, garlic, carrots, tomatoes, serrano pepper.
4. After about 1 hour, 30 minutes, add peanut butter and mix into the soup. If there’s need for additional water, add some. The soup needs to be cooked to a light watery consistency. Ensure that the meat is tender before turning the fire off.
Voila! Ras Koruf is ready and delicious. Dinner anyone?