Janny de Moor Janny de Moor

Rice bread from Liberia


Baking tool:

  • ovenproof baking dish (pyrex)
  • 30x22x3 cm, greased with butter



  • 400 g rice flour (nót rice meal!)
  • 100-200 g caster sugar
  • 1 teaspoon freshly grated nutmeg
  • 16 g baking powder
  • 2 g salt
  • 400 g peeled ripe bananas
  • 250 ml milk
  • 2 eggs (L)
  • 125 ml (maize) oil

Liberian ladies are extremely good in baking. Of course that has something to do with the beginning of the State Liberia, that was founded by liberated slaves from America and the Caribes (1822). Although they make up not for more than 5% of the population they are the trendsetters in this English-speaking country, also when it concerns food and drink. And so we can find this American tinted but highly original bread there.

A Liberian lady is willing to give a great deal of her time to make it because often she herself has to pulverize the rice in a mortar and then sieve it. But this bread is very much in demand, for a Liberian is of the opinion that he has not eaten when he could not consume rice. As a matter of fact rice is the most important basic food in the country, although it becomes very scarce during the rainy season and people are depending on import. This notwithstanding warnings such as from professor Syrulwa Somah, promoting agricultural production in Liberia (2005) :

‘Many of us .. have been misled into believing that eating pussava or Uncle Ben’s rice makes us kwi (civilized) people instead of seeing our dependency .. as self-enslavement.’ Eating habits are not changed easily.

  • Preheat the oven to 180˚C/350˚F.
  • Put the dry ingredients in a large bowl, mix well.
  • Shake the bananas with the milk in a blender, add eggs and oil. Blend again for a moment.
  • Make a well in the mixed flour. Add the banana shake. Beat a smooth batter with an electric whisk and pour it into the greased baking dish.
  • Bake about 50 minutes on the lowest shelf of the oven, or until a knife comes out clean.
  • Leave to stay in the dish for 10 minutes; unmould on a wire rack, turn again. Leave to cool completely under a cake-cover.
  • Present in squares. With coffee but also as a light lunch with Shrimp in coconut sauce: fry some chopped onion in butter, add some garlic with pieces of red pepper, ginger and salt. Pour coconut milk over it let simmer. Then warm large shrimps and pieces of peeled deseeded tomatoes in it. Sprinkle with thyme. Complete with salad dressed with oil, garlic and raspberry vinegar.

Wine : Rosé d’Anjou.

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