RED RED WITH FRIED PLANTAIN

  • Yield: 8
  • Serving: 6
  • Prep time: 40 m
  • Cook time: 60 m
  • Ready in: 1:40 h
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Supposedly named ‘red red’ after its two principal rouge-coloured components – African red palm oil and tomato purée – this is a hearty vegetarian bean stew from Ghana. For the red palm oil, try Afro-Caribbean food shops or online, but if you can’t get hold of it, substitute groundnut oil. The finished dish will, however, be red only in the singular.

Note: if you are using dried beans, you will need to begin this recipe the night before you want to eat, as the beans need to soak overnight.

Ingredients

Step by Step Methods

  • Step No 1

    If using dried beans, soak the beans overnight in plenty of cold water. The following day, drain the soaked beans and add to a large pan. Cover well with cold water and set over a medium-high heat. Bring to the boil and simmer until cooked through, about 25–40 minutes. Drain and set aside.

  • Step No 2

    If using dried beans, soak the beans overnight in plenty of cold water. The following day, drain the soaked beans and add to a large pan. Cover well with cold water and set over a medium-high heat. Bring to the boil and simmer until cooked through, about 25–40 minutes. Drain and set aside.

  • Step No 3

    While the stew is simmering, fry the plantains. Peel them and cut on the diagonal into 1cm-thick slices. Take a large frying pan and add a good few tablespoons of oil. Set over a medium-high heat and, once the oil is hot, add the plantain slices in a single layer. Don’t overcrowd the pan: you may need to cook them in a couple of batches. Fry for about 2 minutes each side until golden and crisp. Drain over kitchen paper, sprinkle with sea salt and keep warm in a low oven (around 110°C/90°C Fan/Gas Mark ¼) until the stew is ready.

  • Step No 4

    Taste to check the seasoning, adding more salt or pepper if needed. Serve the stew hot or warm, scattered with the spring onions and with the fried plantains on the side.

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