Recipes for Change: Sechu Sa Nku (Mutton Stew)

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Recipes for Change: Sechu Sa Nku (Mutton Stew)

Try the recipe at home

Temps de lecture estimé: 3 minutes

Climate change – including rising temperatures, and a greater frequency of droughts and extreme rain events – is negatively affecting local communities living in rural parts of Lesotho. Lesotho ranks 158 out of 186 in the United Nations Development Programme UNDP Human Development Index. Poverty is concentrated in the rural parts of the country, being greatest in the mountain areas.

Lesotho's rural economy is dominated by livestock production, and its chief export is directly related to this livestock, that of wool and mohair production. Lesotho is the second largest global producer of mohair, and this counts towards a large percentage of the country's Gross Domestic Product GDP.

Climate change is contributing to the degradation of rangelands in the mountains of Lesotho. This, coupled with overgrazing is negatively affecting Lesotho’s production of wool and mohair.

Climate change will make this problem worse due to changes in snowfall, frequencies of frosts and more frequent and severe droughts.

IFAD is working in Lesotho to:

  • combat the increasing degradation and low productivity of rangelands
  • combat the low productivity and poor quality of sheep and goat flocks
  • combat the poor standard of wool and mohair handling - shearing, classing and presentation for sale
  • to further develop cottage industries to produce higher value items for the high end of the market
  • creation or improvement to slaughtering facilities in order to grow the meat market

Climate Risks

  • Increased intensity of rainfall
  • More frequent and severe droughts
  • Land degradation
  • Frequency of frosts

IFAD Solutions

  • Managing pastures and crops, and their residues to maintain adequate ground cover that protects the soil from the erosive forces of wind and water – this will reduce runoff and increase the infiltration of rainfall into the soil
  • Increase quality of grazed lands to increase quality of livestock

With IFAD's intervention, traditional dishes such as Sechu Sa Nku (Mutton Stew) will still be enjoyed for many years to come. Why don’t you try cooking Sechu Sa Nku at home? You can substitute the mutton for lamb. Check out the recipe below.

The Recipe

Sechu Sa Nku (Mutton Stew)

Serves 6

Nutritional value per serving:

• Calories: 382 • Fat: 9g • Carbs: 34g • Protein: 40g


  • 2 tbsp olive or cooking oil
  • 1Kg mutton, cubed
  • 1 large onion diced
  • 2 garlic cloves, crushed
  • 3 tomatoes, peeled & chopped
  • 1 tsp rosemary, chopped
  • 1 tbsp parsley, chopped
  • 500Ml of beef or mutton stock
  • 1–2 tbsp seasoning spice
  • Salt to taste
  • 2 carrots, diced
  • 1 large potato, diced


  • 1.5 litres water
  • ½ tsp salt (optional)
  • 700Ml maize meal

Cooking instructions:

  1. Heat oil in a large heavy based pot
  2. Add mutton and fry to brown the pieces
  3. Add onion and garlic and fry for 5 mins
  4. Add the tomatoes, rosemary, parsley, & stock
  5. Bring to boil, reduce heat and simmer until mutton is tender approx. 2 hours. Top-up water as needed during cooking.
  6. Add spice, salt, carrots and potatoes. Cook for a further 10-15 minutes until potatoes are tender
  7. Serve hot with papa.


  • Bring water to boil and add salt to taste
  • Add maize meal to boiling pot. Do not stir. Let it return to the boil and cook for 2 mins
  • Reduce heat and stir pot, breaking lump of maize meal in cutting motions until blended with water
  • Cover pot and cook further on low heat for 40-45 mins stirring occasionally. The papa will have a lovely nutty aroma when ready.

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