Vegetable of the month: Jaba jamboo or spring onion

Spring onions are also known as scallions or green onions. The vegetable belongs to the genus Allium, as well as onions, leek, garlic and chives. It is called Jabba Jambo in the Gambia. The expression Jaba Jambo means Onion leaves, and it is a Mandinka phrase. Wollofs call it hobi sublé.

The spring onion comes from the farther east of Europe, but it has spread through the world and is also widely used in The Gambia.

The spring onion is cultivated in The Gambia all year round for subsistence and commercial farming. You can find spring onion in most of the farms’ fields in The Gambia during and after the wet season. After harvest, it is tied into small bundles and sold at Serrekunda for 2 to 5 dalasis per bundle. The price for spring onion at the market is lower from October to December. After the rainy season, it is harvested on a large scale, which makes it affordable.

Spring onion is used in the preparation of almost all dishes in the Gambia. supa kanja, plasas, domoda, mbahal etc. It is used for seasoning and flavouring of dishes.

Like onion and garlic, which spring onion is closely related to, it has a high level of Vitamin C, which is an immune booster. It exhibits antibacterial properties since it helps build white blood cells to fight against diseases. Preventing cold, flu and cough. The Sulphur compound helps maintain blood pressure. It’s suitable for diabetic patients and more.

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