Neglected and Underutilized Crops in Tanzania: The Cookbook

Based in Dar es Salaam, I Am Organic is a social enterprise promoting food literacy, biodiversity protection, and poverty reduction. In 2019, it established a partnership with SWISSAID Tanzania to launch Dar-es-Salaam’s first certified organic store. The shop now offers a variety of organic products, including fruits and vegetables directly sourced from smallholder farmers and homemade products such as cashew butter.

Over the past few months, I Am Organic has developed a cookbook full of tasty recipes based on local NUS. Drawing on traditional Tanzanian culinary practices, I Am Organic’s kitchen team has gathered over 25 easy recipes using locally sourced and organic ingredients. Bambara beans, sesame, amaranth, African eggplant and finger millet are featured in starters, mains, sides and desserts. The book also includes mouth-watering illustrations as well as information on the nutritional benefits of each NUS. Conveniently, readers interested in trying these recipes can find most of the necessary ingredients at I Am Organic’s Dar Es Salaam shop. The cookbook is written in both English and Swahili, which gives it the potential to reach a large audience amongst I Am Organic’s customer base.

The release of this recipe book fits perfectly within CROPS4HD’s mission to promote NUS as attractive options to add to consumers’ plates and, more broadly, to improve food security and nutrition in Tanzania. As explained in the book, these NUS are grown locally, resistant to droughts and pests, but also tasty and full of nutrients. By adopting these recipes, consumers therefore enjoy delicious and healthy meals while supporting local smallholder farmers.

A digital version of the cookbook can be found here. Copies will be also presented to interested partners at the SDC Agriculture and Food Systems Network global meeting, which will be held from 26 to 29 September 2023 in Rome, Italy.