Enjoy a 30min walk to one of our local villages and experience how dependent our local tribe, the Habukushu, is on nature.
Cultivating the land and planting Mahangu (Pearl Millet) when the rainy season starts is a ritual repeated every year. The Mahangu heads will be harvested once it is ready – the food on the Mahangu will be collected and stumped till it is fine enough to cook porridge.
On the village walk you will learn the process of how Mahangu porridge is prepared
- First stage of sifting (kutwa) is used for making beer (marovu)
- Second stage of sifting is a light brown maize (dihutu) which the mothers give to the kids when they are very hungry
- Third stage of sifting is a white (dimbombo) which it the porridge enjoyed by all
The locals also enjoy Ngongo which is a nut from the Mangetti tree found in the Kavango. Ngongo is also pounded very lightly with just a little water at first. Slowly more water is added and pounded until it makes a liquid which almost looks like milk. This is then cooked rather rapidly over the fire. As you watch this process, you will see the oil emerging from the milk mixture which turns into a more solid paste. This nut oil is poured off and used for other cooking and is very nutritious as is the solid milk mixture which is called didhindu.
There is a tree called the Ghushi Tree which produces a red bean from June to September, mainly harvested in August. The red bean is placed in a bowl and warm water poured over the beans and a little salt added. After about 20 minutes the water is poured off and the beans are mashed into a thick paste almost like mashed potatoes. This eaten together with all of the above is truly a meal from the bush and very tasty even to the foreign pallet.
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Interesting facts about Mahangu…
- It is highly nutritious, gluten free and does not form acid in the stomach, making it easily digestible. Mahangu is rich in the B vitamins thiamine (vitamin B1), riboflavin (vitamin B2), niacin (vitamin B3) and biotin (vitamin B7).
- Mahangu is high in phytic acid and phytates. Phytic acid is believed to lower cholesterol while phytates are associated with reduced cancer risk.