Seafood and spinach pottage with spuds

Seafood and spinach pottage with spuds

Lerato Umah-Shaylor shares her recipe for traditional Nigerian yam porridge or pottage (see Know-how, below). Hers is packed with juicy prawns and greens.

Seafood and spinach pottage with spuds

Lerato says: “I love the versatility of this dish, as I sometimes cook it as a plant-based meal or with chicken or a mix of seafood. Braised greens have a special place in my home and heart ever since I was taught to cook greens as a child for my ailing grandma.”

Loved this? Take a look at Lerato’s sesame suya chicken, too.

  • Serves icon Serves 4
  • Time icon Hands-on time 15 min. Simmering time 50 min

Lerato Umah-Shaylor shares her recipe for traditional Nigerian yam porridge or pottage (see Know-how, below). Hers is packed with juicy prawns and greens.

Lerato says: “I love the versatility of this dish, as I sometimes cook it as a plant-based meal or with chicken or a mix of seafood. Braised greens have a special place in my home and heart ever since I was taught to cook greens as a child for my ailing grandma.”

Loved this? Take a look at Lerato’s sesame suya chicken, too.

Nutrition: Per serving

Calories
469kcals
Fat
12g (1.2g saturated)
Protein
39g
Carbohydrates
47g (19g sugars)
Fibre
9.6g
Salt
3.9g

Ingredients

  • 1 large onion, halved
  • 2 red romano peppers
  • 1 scotch bonnet or 2-3 red chillies
  • 3 garlic cloves
  • 3 tbsp vegetable oil
  • 1 tbsp tomato purée
  • 2 tsp smoked paprika
  • 700g sweet potatoes, peeled and cut into 5cm chunks
  • 500ml vegetable stock
  • 1½ tsp fine sea salt
  • 500g white fish fillets (such as pollock, haddock or cod), cut into 5cm chunks
  • 400g spinach, leaves and stalks separated, chopped
  • 300g raw shelled king prawns
  • Small bunch thai basil or regular basil, leaves picked
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Method

  1. Put one half of the onion, 1 romano pepper, roughly chopped, the chilli(es) and garlic in a blender with 75ml water and whizz to a purée (see Tips). Set aside.
  2. Slice the remaining onion half and pepper. Heat the oil in a large saucepan, add the onion and pepper and cook over a medium heat for 8 minutes until softened and just beginning to brown. Add the tomato purée, cook for 1 minute, then pour in the pepper purée. Scatter in the paprika, cover and cook for 10 minutes.
  3. Tuck in the sweet potatoes, pour in the stock and season with the salt. Put the lid back on so it’s slightly ajar, then simmer for 10-15 minutes until the
    potatoes are tender and almost falling apart (see Tips).
  4. Gently tuck in the fish and spinach stalks, cover and simmer for 5 minutes, then tuck in the prawns and cook for 3-4 minutes. Finally, stir in the spinach leaves, cover the pan and remove from the heat. Leave to stand for 5 minutes before serving with the basil leaves scattered over.

Nutrition

Calories
469kcals
Fat
12g (1.2g saturated)
Protein
39g
Carbohydrates
47g (19g sugars)
Fibre
9.6g
Salt
3.9g

delicious. tips

  1. Lerato’s tips: “If you can find them, add 5g uda pods (also known as grains of selim) to the pepper blend in step 1 – it’s a bewitching African spice. Whole black cardamom pods make a wonderful alternative.”

    “You can omit the fish and prawns to make the pottage vegan, bulking it out with carrots and/or mushrooms instead. You can also swap the sweet potatoes with yams, squash or pumpkin. If you like, you can mash a few of the sweet potatoes to thicken the sauce.”

  2. Lerato says: “I adore greens of all kinds, from spinach to kale and cavolo nero, but especially amaranth. It’s popular in West Africa, where it’s known as efo by the Yorubas of Nigeria, and also in the USA and Caribbean islands, where it’s known as callaloo.

    Growing up we called this dish yam porridge, which I suppose is a reflection of the final result, which can vary depending on the root vegetable used. African yams or cassava are the usual ones, cooked until fork tender or so soft they fall apart and begin to thicken the sauce.

    Traditionally cooked with smoked fish, crayfish and (red) palm oil, the smoked paprika here mimics the oil’s colour and smoky flavours while using more fresh ingredients. To enjoy the greens with a bit of bite once stirred in, take the pan off the heat – the residual heat will continue to cook them. I learned that tip from watching my mum cook greens almost everyday.”

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Recipe By

Lerato Umah-Shaylor

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