Recipe courtesy of Chef Donny’s


For the spring rolls

  • 1 onion, chopped
  • 4 cloves of garlic, minced
  • 2 bunches of pumpkin leaves, cleaned and chopped
  • Pinch of bicarb
  • ½ cup popped amaranth
  • 2 tins of nyimo beans, drained and rinsed
  • Salt and pepper to taste
  • Spring roll pastry wrappers (can be purchased from shop)
  • 1 beaten egg


For the dipping sauce

  • ½ cup peanut butter
  • Milk to thin (approximately ⅓ cup)
  • ½ cup marula nuts, roasted and chopped
  • ¼ dried rosella petals, crumbled


Prepare the filling

  1. Peel and chop the onions and garlic, set aside.
  2. Making sure to work with fresh pumpkin leaves, wash in cool water then remove the hairs by running your fingers along the leaf from the stem to the tip. Repeat until each leaf is smooth then chop.
  3. Fry the onions and garlic until soft, then add the chopped pumpkin leaves and cook until tender, about 5 minutes.
  4. Add a pinch of bicarb to the pumpkin leaf mixture and cook for another 2 minutes.
  5. Meanwhile place the drained nyimo beans on a roasting tray and put in a 180° oven for about 10 minutes or until lightly toasted (to enhance the nyimo flavor).
  6. Let pumpkin leaf mixture cool then stir in the toasted nyimo beans and popped amaranth.


Assemble the spring rolls

  1. Lay a 15cm x 15cm square of pastry wrapper on a clean, dry surface, oriented in a diamond shape (with the top corner pointing away from you).
  2. Place 3 tablespoons of the filling in a horizontal mound across the wrapper, approximately 5cm from the bottom corner of the diamond (the one closest to you).
  3. Fold the bottom corner of the wrapper over the mound of filling and tuck it in tight.
  4. Next, fold the side corners of the diamond over the filling.
  5. Working from the bottom of the diamond (the end closest to you), roll the covered mound of filling all the way to the top corner, stopping about 3cm from the top.
  6. Dip your finger into the beaten egg and use it to brush the top corner of the wrapper, then finish rolling the wrapper. Press down lightly to let the egg wash seal the wrapper. Repeat with the remaining filling and wrappers.
  7. In a pan, heat enough oil for a shallow fry over medium-high heat. Fry until golden brown, turning once.
  8. Remove from the oil with a slotted spoon and drain on a cloth or paper towel. Serve hot. (Makes about 15 spring rolls).


For the dipping sauce

  1. In a dry pan over medium heat, lightly roast the marula nuts until fragrant, about 5 minutes. Allow to cool, then chop and set aside.
  2. Over a small bowl, crumble the dried rosella petals with your fingers.
  3. Place a small saucepan over medium heat and add the peanut butter. While stirring, add the milk gradually to the desired consistency (should be slightly thick).
  4. Continue to whisk the peanut butter mixture until smooth, then add the chopped marula nuts and crumbled rosella petals and stir to combine.
  5. Dip the spring rolls in the sauce and enjoy!


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Anna Brazier
Anna Brazier is the editor of Naturally Zimbabwean. She was born in Zambia but has lived most of her life in Zimbabwe. She has a BSc in Ecology and an MSc in Sustainable Development and works as a consultant promoting sustainable agriculture, nutrition, traditional foods and community resilience in Africa and beyond. She lives in Harare with her husband and three children.

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