Royoroyo is a dish made from roasted pigeon peas (burukusuk) and peanut and sesame butter mix. Royoroyo is a traditional delicacy of the people of Yei town in South Sudan. This is the food that they would cook for honored guests. It is eaten with Asida. This recipe works best with organic natural peanut butter and organic natural sesame butter. The sesame butter is made from roasted sesame seeds that are ground into a paste. It is not the same as Tahini, which is sold in mediterranean food stores made from un-roasted sesame seeds. South Sudanese continue to make make their own peanut butter and sesame seed butter by roasting in bulk quantities at home, then grinding commercially into a paste. Royoroyo, a vegetarian meal, is rich in protein from the pigeon peas and peanut and sesame butters. It is also packed with nutrients inherent in sesame seeds; copper, manganese, calcium, magnesium, multiple micronutrients, and cholestrol lowering phytosterols.
Prepare roasted pidgeon peas.
First roast whole pigeon peas. Then crush the peas using a grinder. I used a granite pestle and mortar to split whole peas into half and quarter pieces. Measure 1/2 cup of roasted split pigeon peas for this recipe. Wash the pigeon peas, making sure to remove the husk of the pigeon peas that will rise to the top of the water. Rinse well and sieve off the husk. Then cook the pigeon peas in 3 cups of boiling water on medium heat for 5 minutes. Add 1 teaspoon of bicarbonate soda.
Stir in peanut butter and sesame butter mix.
Gently stir in 1/2 cup of peanut butter and 3/4 cup of sesame butter, stirring gently with the straight end of the Lofrega or wooden spoon. This last step is very crucial to the final consistency of the meal. The goal is not to get complete mixing of the peanut and sesame butter into the sauce. The goal it is to create separation of oil from the sesame seed and peanut butters. The pigeon peas provide a base that allows the butters to congeal and stick to itself, while heat and gentle stirring creates separation of the natural oil. Salt to desired taste. Cook for 10 minutes, then turn heat off but continue to stir for another 5 minutes. Think of it as a similar process to making feta cheese by first souring the milk to form curdles. Serve immediately with Asida. If one is not ready to serve then separate the oil into a cup, and distribute it gently over the Royoroyo when ready to serve to your guests.
Thank you to my mother Rev Janet Michael for assistance with this recipe, and special thank you to my sisters and sisters-in-law for the authentic organic peanut butter and roasted sesame butter, home-made, from South Sudan.