Food is loved by many. The world is filled with all types of mouth-watering cuisines. But we have noticed that the tasteful dishes from Africa aren't often seen outside of Africa. And at African Drops we believe that the wonderful dishes in Africa should also be shared with you. So for this week's blog we decided to share two dishes with you that we think you'll love.
To ensure that the dishes chosen are tasty, I decided to contact my favourite chef in the world. Someone that cooks better than no other, and who else could it be than my own mother. A woman that could cook anything and it would taste great to me. Not just because she cooked every dish with love, but because she's actually great in the kitchen and is able to combine flavours in amazing ways. And of course she was more than happy to help out by giving me two recipes for this blog post.
The first dish I asked a recipe for is a classic, and I'm sure many of you have either eaten before or have heard of. It's of course Jollof Rice. For years, debates have been going left to right about which country makes the best Jollof Rice. Although I haven't tried many Jollof dishes from various countries, I am still biased that my mother's is the best.
The ingredients used for a table of 2-4 people:
- 2 cups of rice
- 2 red onions
- 2 red bell peppers
- 4 fresh tomatoes / 1 can of chopped tomatoes
- Tomato puree
- 3 bay leaves
- 1 table spoons of powdered pepper (more if you like spice)
- 1 table spoon of thyme
- 1/4 cup of oil
- Chicken stock
- Salt (To your taste)
- Garlic (To your taste)
- Ginger (To your taste)
- Cloves (To your taste)
Start by blending the ginger, garlic and cloves until it becomes a paste. Once that is done, you blend the diced fresh tomatoes, red bell peppers and one of the onions. Remember to blend these two separately. The blend of ginger, garlic and cloves can be overpowering and you will add this paste in a smaller amount to the dish at a later stage.
Now that you have these two blended mixtures we move on to the cooking. Chop up the remaining onion into small slices. Put a cooking pan on top of a low to medium fire and add the oil to the pan. Once the pan and oil become hot, add the sliced up onion and let it cook till the slices of onion become brown. Then add two tablespoons of the ginger, garlic and cloves paste into the pan. Stir for a bit and add in the powdered pepper.
Then add in a bit of tomato puree, about 2 tablespoons, with the other blended mixture of fresh tomatoes, onion and bell pepper. Throw this into the pan and stir till all ingredients mix together. Now it's time to add in the chicken stock and salt. Mix again till it becomes one mixture. Add the tablespoon of thyme and the bay leaves into the pan.
Let this stew cook on a low to medium fire to avoid burning for about 30 minutes. Make sure to stir occasionally. Then add in the washed rice with a cup of water. Make sure to stir and mix the rice with the stew so the rice absorbs all the stew. Bring the fire to a low level. Then cover the pan with a lid and let this mixture simmer for another 30 minutes. And voila! You've cooked my mother's infamous (to me) Jollof Rice dish.
The next dish I decided to go for was a personal favourite for years. This is something that you must try when going to Ghana. And I am sure many countries in Africa have their own variation on this dish. A snack that is sold on the streets of Ghana in the evening. It can be eaten as a snack or after your meal, accompanied by peanuts. This great dish is called Kelewele.
Ingredients for a table of 2-3 people:
- 3 ripe plantains
- 1 onion
- powdered pepper
- alligator pepper
- selim pepper
- Wede Aba (secret ingredient)
Begin with blending the sliced onion, ginger, cloves, alligator pepper, selim pepper and wede aba together into a paste. Once that is done you move onto the plantain.
Peel the plantain and slice them into small pieces. Slice them into sizes of the picture shown below. Once done cutting them up, put them into a bowl. Add the powdered pepper to the plantain. Then add some of the blended paste, depending on how much spice you can handle. We recommend about 4 tablespoons of it. The rest of the paste you can save in the fridge for another time.
Stir the paste and the plantain to make sure the pieces of plantain are covered in the paste. Add salt to the mix, again the amount depends on how much you prefer. Cover the bowl with cling film and let it sit for an hour or two.
Once the plantain has marinated with the paste for a long enough time, put a frying pan on the fire at a medium level. Add oil to the pan and wait for it to become hot. Once the oil is hot, put the Kelewele in the pan and let it fry till it becomes a nice brown colour, as shown in the picture. Once ready you can decide whether you want to serve it with a little bowl of peanuts on the side. And enjoy!
Big shoutout to my mother for these recipes, and we hope you enjoy these dishes as much as we do!