(Nigerian plantain and vegetable stew)
Plantain porridge is a Nigerian vegetable stew made with the starchy cousin of common bananas. Plantains are simmered until tender in a flavorful broth along with assorted vegetables and sometimes fish, beans or meat.
There is no one recipe for this nutritious dish. Versions of plantain porridge vary widely from region to region and household to household. Adjust ingredient amounts according to your taste.
4 to 6 servings
- Green plantains, cut into 1/4-inch thick rounds -- 6
- Onion, chopped -- 1
- Ground dried crawfish or dried shrimp -- 1/3 cup
- Red palm oil or vegetable oil -- 3 tablespoons
- Broth or water -- 1 quart
- Spinach, ugu (pumpkin) leaf, spinach or other greens, chopped -- 1 pound
- Salt and pepper -- to taste
- Put the plantains, onion, dried crawfish or shrimp, broth or water and oil into a large pot and bring to a boil over medium-high flame. Reduce heat to medium low and simmer for 20 to 25 minutes, or until the plantains are nice and soft.
- Mash the plantain a little with a potato masher to lightly thicken the stew. Stir in the spinach, ugu leaf or other greens and salt and pepper to taste. Simmer for another 5 to 10 minutes to cook the greens through.
- Adjust seasoning and serve. Popular accompaniments include grilled or fried fish or chicken.
Variations for Plantain Porridge
- Additional Ingredients: As with many stews, plantain porridge can be varied according to your taste and what you have on hand. Try any of the following additions: chicken breast, boneless, skinless, cut into chunks -- 1 pound; smoked or dried fish, cut into chunks -- 1 pound; cooked black-eyed peas -- 2 cups; chopped tomatoes -- 2 cups; chile peppers, chopped -- to your taste.
- Dried, ground crawfish is a popular flavoring in Nigerian cuisine. Dried, ground shrimp can be found in many Latin or Asian markets and is a good substitute.