I have written a post on Plantain Pottage – Ubobok Ukom before (click HERE). I used unripe plantains and sorry, I just had to add a teeny bit of sugar to mine. I have a hate-hate relationship with green plantains. Don’t even try to convince me, it won’t work. We’ve spent decades hating each other and we like it like that. Hahahahahahaha. I found a way around it though i.e. to season with salt, dry pepper (cayenne pepper), a little oil and then whack under the grill. For full instructions on how to jazz up your green plantains please click HERE. I remember on that post someone left a comment and said, Dunni, no matter how you jazz up green plantains, even if it is you that jazzed it up, I won’t touch it with a barge pole. Pleased to see I have more members of the “I hate green plantains club”.
I saw this bowl of plantain pottage on Facebook by Itoro Effiong-Bright, and it looked amazing. When I saw the recipe included green plantains, or very slightly ripe, I just walked on by, then on my way home I said to myself, who said it has to be green or very slightly ripe, seriously Dunni, use ripe plantains and anybody who wants to get offended, should take a hike. Off the nearest cliff if possible. Hahahahahahahaha. Idea sold, I skipped to the Nigerian food store and bought myself some ripe plantains with glee. Best pot of Plantain Pottage ever. Like majorly good. It was like eating savoury dodo, without any of the fat of frying. It was rich, it was amazing. Atoke and I loved it. The pot finished in one sitting. Not that there was that much of it anyway, just two ripe plantains, but people, people, it was good. Say no to green plantains for pottage, well if you hate green plantains, that is. Otherwise, use it if you want, choice is key here.
Here’s my interpretation of Itoro’s recipe
You will need
2 pieces of Yellow Plantain
Freshly blended Pepper mix – i used 1 large tatashe (red bell pepper) and 3 pieces of ata rodo (scotch bonnet/habanero pepper)
Good quantity of beef Stock
1 piece of smoked fish
2 cooking spoons of ground crayfish
! bulb of red onion
1 -2 cooking spoons of Palm Oil
Leftover pieces of assorted meat – beef, goat meat, saki (tripe) and cow leg
Dried Efinrin – nchawu, scent leaf, ntong or basil (you can also use fresh)
Chopped Kale – spinach or Ugu
1. Peel the skins off the plantains and cut into rings about the length of your little finger.
2. In your deep saucepan or pot, place the plantain rings, beef stock and smoked in. Let it come to a boil on medium heat for about 7 minutes till they start to get soft. Dooney’s Kitchen Tip: i started with beef stock and smoked fish to set the flavour palette for this dish. Plantains are quite absorbent, so imagine them cooking away in beef stock and smoked fish. Yums!!!. You don’t want the plantains to overcook, so watch it carefully. You are still going to add more flavour enhancing ingredients, so ensure to start on medium heat, to let it cook slowly.
3. Add your pepper mix, about 1 and a half cooking spoons worth, palm oil and chopped red onions.
the presence of the pepper and palm oil will thicken the stock considerably, which is what you want
4. Let it bubble along nicely still on medium heat,and watch the stock thicken, whilst the plantains cook through. About this time, you would start to smell the sweetness of the plantains. Taste the stock and yum, yum. See why yellow plantain is just awesome. Green who? Looooooool. When the stock really starts to thicken, add the assorted meats and stir. You can also decide to break the plantain rings into two. Dooney’s Kitchen: do NOT mash the plantains. No need to. If you think oh, this stock is too watery, you just wait till the next steps and see. The addition of crayfish and vegetables will mop up any extra stock.
5. Add ground crayfish
6. Add the vegetables. In my case, I started with dried efinrin
and then finished off with chopped Kale
Give the vegetables another minute or 2 and serve. This was a simple dinner made from scratch on a working day.