February 22, 2015

Ugali with Bean Soup from Tanzania #4Lent4Life

Ugali with Bean Soup from Tanzania #4Lent4Life

One of my favorite Lenten practices is taking part in the efforts of CRS Rice Bowl.

This Lent, CRS Rice Bowl has put together new stories and new recipes for each week of Lent, and I will be sharing one story and one recipe with you each Sunday in Lent.

The first story and recipe comes to us from Tanzania.


Like many farmers in Tanzania, Gertruda Domayo used to struggle to provide for her three grandchildren. Now she is a member of Soya ni Pesa, a Catholic Relief Services project that means “soybeans are money.”

Through the project, Gertruda has learned that a few small changes can make a big difference. Crop spacing and fertilizer have doubled her harvests. The soybeans themselves add nutrients to the soil, fueling future harvests.

Gertruda has learned a new way to sell her soybeans, too.  She combines her crops with those of other soybean farmers. Together, they sell their soybeans in bulk. The farmers’ customers benefit too. They save time and money by purchasing large amounts of soybeans all at once. Gertruda’s new way of selling increased her income sixfold over last year, when she sold her beans alone. She can afford to buy healthier food for her family.

Gertruda wants everyone in her rural village of Nakahegwa to have the same success she’s had. “I encourage my neighbors to join the project,” Gertruda says. “It will help them move from poverty by increasing their income and therefore change their lives for the better.”


  • More than 70 percent of farmers in Tanzania work on plots of land smaller than three acres. In the United States, the average farm size is 441 acres.
  • Soybeans are used to make poultry feed, which is in high demand in Tanzania, where the poultry industry is growing rapidly.
  • A domestic soybean industry is attractive to poultry feed manufacturers, who, by buying from groups like Gertruda’s, are able to produce a higher quality product for less money than they would be able to with imported soybeans or feed made from fish.
  • CRS works with 11,250 soybean farmers in Tanzania through Soy ni Pesa,increasing their harvest and connecting them with marketing groups.



For the Ugali

  • 4 cups water
  • 2½ cups cornmeal

For the Bean Soup

  • 1 small onion, finely chopped
  • 1 green pepper, finely chopped
  • 4 tablespoons FAIR TRADE olive oil
  • 1 teaspoon curry powder
  • 1 teaspoon salt
  • ¼ teaspoon black pepper
  • 1 tomato, chopped
  • Two 16-ounce cans kidney beans
  • 3 cups unsweetened coconut milk


For the Ugali

  1. Boil water, then stir in cornmeal.
  2. Simmer until mixture is thick and water is absorbed. Stir often to prevent burning.
  3. Shape the mixture into round balls, one for each person.

For the Bean Soup

  1. In a large pot, sauté onion and green pepper in oil until soft.
  2. Add curry powder, salt, black pepper and tomato.
  3. Simmer for 2 minutes, add beans and stir.
  4. Add coconut milk and simmer for 10 minutes on low heat.
  5. Serve with Ugali.

The original story and recipe can be found at http://www.crsricebowl.org/stories-of-hope/