Growing up, my mum made tsine (blackjack leaves) for my siblings and I. Being kids, we used to despise it, despite her telling us how healthy it is. I guess the fact that we would see her picking it from the garden or around the yard, our minds registered that they were “masora” (weeds), so they could not possibly be food.

Fast forward to when I was older and tried the dried version and loved it, surprisingly so did my kids! I went ahead and did the fresh version and everyone loved it too.

Blackjack leaves are very high in fibre, which, among many other things, help with the management of diabetes, maintaining a healthy heart (avoiding cardiovascular diseases) and maintaining a healthy digestive system. So go on right ahead and try this recipe out.



One bunch tsine (blackjack leaves), chopped

One large tomato, chopped

One medium onion, chopped

250ml boiling water

Half tablespoon salt

Three tablespoons oil

Medium-sized pot

Wooden spoon

Chopping board

Sharp knife


  1. Get your ingredients together. These include: One bunch tsine (blackjack leaves), chopped; one large tomato, chopped; one medium onion, chopped; 250 ml boiling water; half tablespoon salt; and three tablespoons oil.
  2. Put boiling water in pot. Add the blackjack leaves. Boil for five minutes then drain the water, reserving just a tablespoon.
  3. Put the blackjack leaves back into the pot. Add the tomatoes, onions, salt, oil and reserved water.

Allow to simmer until the tomatoes and onions are cooked through.

  1. Taste for seasoning and adjust accordingly. Enjoy! —