Behold the Dreamers

Behold the Dreamers


Imbolo Mbue

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Behold the Dreamers Terms


A mash of yams that is served to accompany meat or vegetable stews in Cameroonian cuisine. The mash is formed into a ball with an indentation in the middle, which can help one scoop up… read analysis of Fufu


A Cameroonian stew made with dark, leafy green vegetables, such as spinach, as well as meat or smoked fish. It’s usually accompanied with fufu. Neni wishes that she had cooked this as Winston’s… read analysis of Eru


A side dish in West African cuisine made from fermented or dried grated cassava. Jende is eating it with his meal at an African restaurant near the 116th Street subway station when Liomi asks him… read analysis of Attiéké

Thiebou Djeun

Senegalese rice and fish stew. While Jende scolds Liomi for thinking that the Jongas are going back to Cameroon, a man sitting nearby observes their exchange while eating the dish. read analysis of Thiebou Djeun


A West African snack or breakfast of deep-fried dough, sometimes served with powdered sugar. Neni makes Mighty puff-puff for breakfast when she serves as his nanny in the Hamptons, and it becomes a food that… read analysis of Puff-Puff
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Egusi Stew

A West African stew or soup made with egusi—or the dried and ground seeds of melon, squash, or gourd plants—that are then combined with vegetables and smoked turkey or beef (the other ingredients in… read analysis of Egusi Stew


A Hausa word that means “grain.” It is processed from cassava. It is a staple in the okra soup that Neni prepares for Vince’s farewell dinner. read analysis of Garri

Jollof Rice

A one-pot spicy rice dish made with vegetables and sometimes meat. It is one of the dishes that Neni prepares for Vince’s farewell dinner. read analysis of Jollof Rice


A traditional Nigerian dish that is also enjoyed in Cameroon, it is a stew made with dried fish, crayfish, and vegetables, including cocoyam. It is one of the dishes that Neni prepares for Vinceread analysis of Ekwang


A root vegetable that is also known as “taro.” read analysis of Cocoyam


An international brand of seasonings, bouillons, soups, and sauces that originated in Switzerland in the late-nineteenth century. Neni adds it to the ekwang that she prepares as part of Vince’s farewell dinner. read analysis of Maggi

Strong Kanda

A kind of fish that is a commonly sold commodity at Cameroonian street markets. In Jende’s dream about the doublers, he notices that the singing gamblers are not positioned near the women who… read analysis of Strong Kanda


A flowing, wide-sleeved robe that is normally worn by men in West Africa. The garment comes in a range of colors and is similar to a dashiki. Jende notices, in his dream about theread analysis of Agbada


A traditional dress, sometimes designed with Kente cloth, that is worn by African women. Neni gives Natasha some of her unworn kabas before she departs for Cameroon. read analysis of Kaba


A staple food in West Africa, made with any kind of starchy food, such as cassava, plantains, or taro. The dish is served during the Jonga family’s farewell dinner. read analysis of Fufu


The Securities and Exchange Commission, or SEC, is an independent agency of the federal government that operates to protect investors; maintain fair, efficient, and orderly markets; and promote a financial market that the public can… read analysis of SEC

Kwacoco and Banga Soup

A Cameroonian dish consisting of grated and steamed cocoyams, fresh palm nut, hot peppers, crayfish, and fish. When Jende returns home after his meeting with Cindy Edwards, during which she asks him to… read analysis of Kwacoco and Banga Soup


A crunchy, fried Cameroonian dessert or snack served on Christmas. It is sweetened with orange zest, sugar, and nutmeg. Neni prepares it during the Jongas’ first Christmas together in the United States. read analysis of Chin-Chin


A Cameroonian soup consisting of stewed nuts, spinach or other bitter leaves, and fish or beef. Jende imagines that his mother, Ma Jonga, would have prepared such a dish during his first Christmas away… read analysis of Ndolé

Nyama Ngowa

A variation on a beef stew that is popular in sub-Saharan Africa, particularly Zimbabwe. Jende imagines that his mother, Ma Jonga, would have prepared such a dish during his first Christmas away from Limbe. read analysis of Nyama Ngowa


Immigration and Customs Enforcement. This federal agency enforces immigration laws and is tasked with investigating the criminal or terrorist activity of foreign nationals residing in the United States. They also apprehend, process, detain, and deport… read analysis of ICE


Medicinal leaves used to treat respiratory illnesses, malaria, abdominal pain, cholera, dysentery, and typhoid. It’s also used as a mosquito repellent. Pa Jonga’s wife and children boil masepo and fever grass for him as… read analysis of Masepo

Poulet DG

Poulet is French for “chicken,” while ‘DG’ stands for “director general.” Poulet DG is made with chicken thighs, fried plantains, and vegetables, including green beans, carrots, tomatoes, and onions. It is one of the dishes… read analysis of Poulet DG

Moi Moi

Also known as moin-moin, it is a pudding made with black-eyed peas, or koki beans, and wrapped in banana leaves. The dish is popular in both Cameroon and Nigeria and is often accompanied with… read analysis of Moi Moi


Marinated beef that is skewered and grilled. It is one of the dishes that someone brings over for the Jongas’ farewell party. read analysis of Soya