The Collard Greens Bamba (Bambá de Couve)

A Brazilian style Polenta, the Bamba is a traditional side dish from Minas Gerais. In Minas you can find it with a very large range of recipes with different spicing and ingredients, here is a classic version, very close to the original recipe. The Bambá de Couve is said to have originated in the region of Ouro Preto, in turn part of the Belo Horizonte metropolitain area. In addition to the sausage, the dish is often made with ribs, bacon (smoked or not), all previously fried: there are two versions of the Bambá: a more consistent dish, and one more like a soup.

The cuisine from Minas Gerias is known for its simplicity, great taste and the wide variety of their dishes. Corn, especially in the form of cornmeal is one of the most versatile ingredients seen in the dishes of that region.

As an accompaniment to savory dishes, cornmeal forms the basis of various dishes from Minas Gerais: think about the Chicken stew (frango ensopado), the Xororó, as examples of dishes using cornmeal.

It is in the colder climate of the highlands of the Ouro Preto region, that this warm and comforting dish takes its intended meaning!

Yield: 4-6 servings
Total time:

Recipe for Bambá de Couve

* 2 lb. (950 g.) Pork linguiça sausages,
* 1 big onion, sliced,
* 3 garlic cloves, minced,
* 2 teaspoons hot pepper flakes,
* 6 cups (1 and 1/2 Liters) water,
* 2 meat bouillon cubes,
* 1 cup cornmeal,
* 2 teaspoons salt,
* 7 leaves collard greens.


1) Slice the sausages into small pieces, then fry in a skillet until well roasted

2) Add the chopped onion in the same skillet and saute until the onions have become translucent. Add the garlic, the pepper and continue to fry the ingredients.

3) Add four cups (1 liter) of water, the meat bouillon then cover the pan, lower the heat setting and simmer for five minutes.

4) Remove the thick stems from the collard greens, slice these leaves into thin strips

5) Separately dissolve the cornmeal in the two cups remaining (500 ml.) of the water: slowly pour this mixture into the skillet with the other ingredients, stirring constantly to avoid making lumps.

6) When the Bambá preparation thickens, add the salt and mix.

Finally put all chopped cabbage, cover the pan, lower the heat and simmer for another few minutes until the cabbage is cooked.

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