Tanzanian Food: Green Banana and Coconut Soup Recipe

Written by Thomson Safaris

green banana and coconut soup

Directly from the Thomson camp kitchen comes this creamy, complex, comforting green banana and coconut soup! It’s a warm, yummy companion for the coming fall weather. Make sure to use very unripe bananas–with the addition of spices and broth, the bananas become tender and so, so good.

You can alternatively use green plantains, but we recommend increasing the cooking time, as they are both larger and more durable.

Cooking for a vegetarian or vegan? Skip the beef (and optionally add pureed lentils, marinated tempeh or your favorite protein) and opt for a veggie broth instead of beef broth.

Serves 6


  • 1 clove of garlic minced
  • 1 chili pepper
  • 1 tablespoon of cooking oil
  • 2 pounds beef stew with bones, cut into 1-inch cubes or beef short ribs
  • 3 or 4 unripe green bananas
  • 3 potatoes peeled and cut into quarters (11.5 ounces)
  • 2 sticks of celery
  • 1 carrot, grated
  • 3 ounces leeks, chopped
  • 2 onions, chopped (4 ounces)
  • 1 tablespoon cilantro chopped to garnish
  • several cups of water
  • 4 cups of beef broth or beef stock
  • salt and pepper to taste
  • 1 cup coconut milk or a tablespoonful of butter (Optional 2 tablespoon of KCC ghee)


  1. Mix the garlic and chili pepper into paste and rub into the meat. Allow meat to marinate for an hour or more.
  2. Heat a spoonful of oil in a large pot, add the meat and cook for about 10 minutes, or until it is browned. Cook the meat over high heat for 20 minutes. Add four cups of beef broth, then cover, reduce heat and simmer for about 30 minutes, or until meat is tender (Ribs will take longer, so add water as needed to maintain level of liquid).
  3. Add the green bananas, potatoes, onions, carrots, celery, leeks and enough water to partly cover. Continue to simmer, adding water as necessary.
  4. When bananas are tender and meat is fully cooked, remove meat from the pot and cut into small pieces. Mash everything together with a potato masher or large fork, if necessary.
  5. Season to taste and add coconut milk or butter a few minutes before serving.
  6. When serving, sprinkle with chopped cilantro. Enjoy!