Garden egg stew

Garden egg stew
  • Serves icon Serves 4
  • Time icon Hands-on time 20 min. Simmering time 40 min

African garden eggs (a type of aubergine) are the star of this rich Ghanaian stew Akwasi Brenya-Mensa learned from his grandma.

Akwasi’s story The Ghanaian-British restaurateur and broadcaster’s passion for food and music has shaped his career – he’s run a burger restaurant, an events company and a supper club inspired by his world travels as an artist manager. His restaurant Tatale (named after the Ghanaian plantain pancake) opened in July at The Africa Centre in London, and serves contemporary Pan African dishes, drawn from the West African ingredients Akwasi grew up with and other plates from the Black diaspora. His ambition is to establish a thriving African culinary scene in the UK through collaboration. @akwasibmensa @tataleandco tataleandco.com.

Nutrition: per serving

Calories
846kcals
Fat
49.1g (18.5g saturated)
Protein
18.8g
Carbohydrates
75.1g (25.2g sugars)
Fibre
14g
Salt
2g
Calories
846kcals
Fat
49.1g (18.5g saturated)
Protein
18.8g
Carbohydrates
75.1g (25.2g sugars)
Fibre
14g
Salt
2g

Ingredients

  • 10 garden eggs or 2 large aubergines (about 700g)
  • ½ tsp baking powder
  • 150ml red palm oil (I use Carotino brand; see Know How)
  • 2 tsp dawa dawa (see Know How)
  • 3 medium onions, 1 sliced and 2 roughly chopped
  • ½ tsp ground aniseed
  • ½ tsp ground nutmeg
  • ½ tsp ground black pepper
  • 6 garlic cloves
  • 20g fresh ginger
  • ½ scotch bonnet chilli, deseeded (wear gloves)
  • 400g tin chopped tomatoes
  • 50g smooth peanut butter
  • 1 tbsp all-purpose seasoning (I use Grace Foods brand; see Know How)
  • 4 green (unripe) plantains
  • 1 avocado, sliced, to serve
  • 4 free-range eggs, boiled to your liking, to serve

Method

  1. Slice the stems off the garden eggs/aubergines (peel the aubergines, if using), then add the fruit to a large pan of water, ensuring they’re submerged, and set over a medium heat. Cover and cook for around 12 minutes or until softened. Remove from the heat, add the baking powder to the water, then set aside to cool in the water.
  2. Put a medium-size pan over a medium heat and add the red palm oil and dawa dawa. Heat for 3-4 minutes, stirring occasionally. Once fragrant, add the sliced onion and the aniseed, nutmeg, black pepper and a pinch of salt. Continue to cook, stirring occasionally.
  3. Meanwhile, whizz the remaining chopped onions with the garlic, ginger and scotch bonnet to a paste in a blender/mini processor. Add this to the red palm oil mixture and continue to simmer. Whizz the chopped tomatoes until smooth, then add to the pan and cook for a further 12 minutes, stirring occasionally to prevent sticking.
  4. Bring a separate pan of well salted water to the boil. Top and tail the plantains, then score the skin of each one lengthways (try not to cut through to the flesh), which will make them easier to peel once cooked. Boil the plantains for 20 minutes.
  5. Lift the garden eggs/aubergines out of the water and mash with the back of a wooden spoon or fork, or in a pestle and mortar. Once you have a creamy, paste-like consistency, add them to the pan with the sauce and continue to simmer for another 3 minutes until well combined. Add the peanut butter and all-purpose seasoning and continue to cook for about 10 minutes. Add salt to taste.
  6. To serve, drain the plantains, then gently prise open and remove their skins, which will have opened up slightly from the slits you made before cooking. Slice each plantain into pieces, then serve with the stew along with slices of avocado and halved boiled eggs. Henjoy!

delicious. tips

  1. Red palm oil is an unrefined oil with a rich, slightly sweet flavour, used in African cooking. All purpose seasoning is a blend of herbs and spices usually used to flavour meat dishes. Find both in larger supermarkets.

    Dawa dawa is fermented locust bean, which adds a deep, complex umami flavour to sauces and stews. It’s available from African and Caribbean grocers, or at buyndudu.com.

Recipe By

Akwasi Brenya-Mensa

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