Margarita's International Recipes



Plantain balls

Lituma are plantain balls eaten alongside fish or with stews in northeastern Congo. They can differ somewhat in ingredients and cooking methods. The Lokele fishermen of the Orientale Province make them with plantains alone, while in Kisangani they are also known to contain cassava flour. Some descriptions of lituma call for the balls to be baked, though others do not. I followed the method I got from Angi from the Life without a Recipe blog which only involved boiling the plantains. I can't say how authentic it is.

The key to lituma is said to be finding plantains that are neither too green or too ripe. Fortunately, that describes exactly the plantains I can get at my local Grocery Outlet for 50-cents each. These plantains sweetened considerably when boiled and the lituma were quite tasty. They were a bit dry, though, so I can see how they'd be good with stews. I served them with fish, a traditional accompaniment.




  • water
  • salt
  • plantains (1 per 2 servings)


Bring a pot of salted water to boil.

Wash (but dont peel) the plantains well. Cut off and discard the ends. Cut the plantains in two to make them more manageable. Cut a slit on the plantain peels. Place plantains in boiling water and cook for 20 minutes. Remove from water and drain.

Peel plantains and place in a bowl. Pound with a pestle (or mash with a potato masher). Roll into balls and serve.

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