Asusa: Nyamirambo's special liver sauce

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Asusa. (Moses Opobo)

Nyamirambo is that bustling city suburb known for an innovative spirit and its warm urban delights. 

Nyamirambo also happens to be a traditional Muslim settlement, a fact that comes to light immediately one ventures into any of the small eating establishments and tea houses dotted on its streets.

And as far as food and eating out go, Nyamirambo can comfortably lay claim to its own home-grown recipe, Asusa. Dubbed “Nyamirambo special liver sauce”, it is a simple meal of beef liver and chapatti that traces its origins to the Biryogo locale, in central Nyamirambo.

Asusa (sauce) is a generic term coined in Nyamirambo itself, and the fact that a type of food can be described simply as “sauce” only serves to prove the close attachment the locals have to it.

The liver is chopped into tiny cubes and deep-fried in onions and other spices to produce a thick gravy. This is accompanied by chapatti rolls cut to handy pieces, and that you dip in the gravy and munch away.

Everybody that is a true resident of Nyamirambo has tried Asusa, or at least has heard of it, as it serves in almost all of the small time eating houses in this locale.

Local legend traces Asusa’s roots to local Muslim women’s groups that are hired to cook food on special occasions like Eid and marriage ceremonies. And apparently, the delicacy has been around more than twenty years.

In all, after my treat at one of the local joints , it felt like I had just been digging into a light meal –a starter before the main course.

But perhaps the best thing about Asusa is the fact that it always serves hot and fresh, even in the smallest nameless eating houses. Whichever place you choose to have it from, the liver will be got from the fridge and deep-fried as per order.

The other good thing about Asusa is the relatively short waiting time, in that on the few occasions I have tried it, I did not wait more than twenty minutes.

Prices range from as low as Rwf 300 (liver minus the chapatti), rising to the Rwf 700 mark for the bigger establishments.

In all, you won’t spend more than Rwf 1,000 for the best Asusa treat.