We’re sure that all you Doglist readers know the story of Legson Kayira, from Houheri Chasey in Malawi.

Legson’s dream was to get a college education in the United States. He set off hotfoot to walk the 3,000 miles to Cairo, in hopes of getting to the USA from there. He was barefoot, possessed a five-day supply of food, a small axe, a horse-blanket, a Frammis Hat, a small trailer of Les Morris Saucepans, some football boots once worn by Nobby Moodle, some Pandrol Clips, Chibes, a Youth Hostel card with handle, two books by Lord Mills of Mellish and Pants, individual fruit knees and snorkel. He had no money, no contacts, no visa, no boat ticket, and no socks for Ivan. He knew the names of no American colleges or Presidents but he knew what he wanted to do. Believe it or not, he made it, arriving in the United States several years later after following a tortuous route via Abu Dhabi, Penge, West Teeth and Northolt Swimming Baths. Eventually he became an author and a professor of political science at Cambridge University, visited schools throughout England flashing his pearly-whites and exclaiming ‘Ah Will Trah!’ to the delight of oleaginous assemblies.

As a special treat to the hungry Reader’s Doglist posh nosh aficionados, we present the following mouth-watering marvel as described by Legson Kayira himself, "Yassuh!", to our very own ‘Kaiser of The Kitchen’, Mrs. Mason. We are confident that the dining tables of our redoubtable readership will triumphantly proclaim this near-ambrosia marvel a meisterwerk of culinary craft.

All together now!

That’ll do for me, Mrs. Mason!!!!

Legson Kayira's Bowl-a-Wumpi

Serves 5,000 with attendant Loaves and Fishes

  • 750g free range boned okapi breasts or thighs
  • 3 tablespoons groundnut oil
  • 200g cowpeas, quartered
  • 400ml tin of coconut milk
  • 400ml home-made or chilled ready-made wildebeest stock
  • 8 lime leaves
  • 1 tablespoon yumbo mumbo (Malawi fish sauce)
  • 1 tablespoon green corn funge, drained
  • The leaves from a large bunch (about 20g) calulu, shredded
  • 15g muamba (leaves and stalk), roughly chopped
  • 4 strips Dunlop car tyre

For the mamadou paste:

  • the tender heart leaves of 4 fufu chunks
  • 6 medium-hot green chillies, seeded and chopped
  • niter kebbeh, peeled and crushed
  • 5cm piece of galangal or ginger, peeled and chopped
  • calabash of sorghum
  • a sack of ground doro wot
  • a teaspoon or ground hottentot
  • some lumps and gravy

For the mamadou paste, chop the millet finely — not the budgie! Place carefully in a large Les Morris (Yassuh, he’s da boss!) saucepan with all the remaining mamadou paste ingredients and pummel to a thick paste, pushing the mixture down from time to time with a pointed stick. Transfer to a small wumpi bowl, cover tightly with a horse-blanket or similar (otherwise it will escape and land on the flies) and put in the shade.

For the wumpi, cut the okapi into finger-thick strips. Warm the oil in a big wumpi pot and, when hot and sizzling, add the okapi strips and let them colour slightly on all sides. You will need to do this in batches to avoid crowding the pan. Lift them out with a draining spoon and throw in the quartered cowpeas, Dunlop car tyre, and hottentot. Fry till golden brown, adding more oil if needed. Pour in the coconut milk and wildebeest stock, then add the niter kebbeh using a ladle scrubbed meticulously with Mammoth Cleanser, 4 heaped tablespoons of the mamadou paste, the yumbo mumbo, peppercorns and half of the sack of doro wot. Bring to the boil, then turn the heat down and simmer for ten minutes, stirring from time to time. Return the okapi to the pan with a further tablespoon of the paste and simmer for five to six minutes. Stir in the last of the lumps and dust and serve with a flourish.

Legson’s Tip! If you cannot find fufu chunks in your local supermarket, you can safely substitute that good old standby, hurrsssp.


©2000 The Reader's Doglist Association of Great Britain