Green Plantain Porridge




The African Green Plantain Porridge is a tasty dish prepared from green plantain, boiled in a mix of vegetables and fish, garnished with a blend of medium to hot spices as required, and a few drops of cooking oil.

Unlike the South American and Jamaican dish with similar name, it is cooked, devoid of milk.This can be eaten as a side meal on occasions, or even as a main meal in the evenings.

Plantain comes as green (unripe), yellow (ripe) or black (over ripened) form.

Plantain is grown and eaten in many tropical regions of the world. It could be found Jamaica, Florida, the Caribbean, Nigeria, Cameroon, Japan, and Peru.

It can be eaten boiled, fried or baked and served with vegetable sauce or palm oil. We describe how this versatile fruit can be used in making the green plantain porridge.

For this menu, green or slightly ripened plantain is recommended


NUTRITIONAL VALUE

Green plantain is rich in magnesium, Vitamins C, vitamin A, and iron. It is a source of the well documented "low GI carbohydrates" which can help in weight control, type 1 or type 2 diabetes, hypertension and a few other medical conditions.

Food items that have "low GI" carbohydrates (more desirable) contains complex starch that break down slowly during digestion, leading to a gradual glucose release and thus well controlled, sustained release of energy.

Plantain is also very rich in dietary fibre.

Cooked with fish, vegetables and a sprinkle of oil, it no doubt, offers a truly balance diet consisting of carbohydrates, proteins lipids, vitamins and minerals.

Looking to prepare a "fast" authentic African food? This is another choice.


HOW TO COOK GREEN PLANTAIN PORRIDGE

The green plantain porridge recipe described here is as originally cooked in most traditional African settings. Most of the ingredients can be purchased online. Where not available, you can use alternatives easily found on major grocery shops. Such alternatives will be mentioned wre applicable.

Ingredients

  • 6 big green Plantains
  • 500 gram of Ugu leaf (fresh or dried) -spinach can be used as an alternative.

  • 5 table spoons full of Crayfish
  • Smoked , iced or dry fish
  • A measure of cow liver or kidney - easily gotten from the local butchery. Chicken breast fillets or chunks can be used instead.
  • 2 knorr Cubes
  • 1 medium size diced onions
  • 5 table spoons of grounded Fresh pepper
  • 1 table spoonful of salt
  • 0.5 litre of palm oil. Olive or vegetable oil can be used too.

Servings

: 3

Preparation Time

: 10 to 15 minutes

Cooking Time

: 20 to 40 minutes

What to Do

  • Wash your un peeled green plantain in warm water first before you start.

  • Holding the plantain down with one hand, cut off both ends.
  • Remove the peel by making a vertical slit on the side of the fruit, about a quarter of a centimeter deep, just below the covering with a kitchen knife.
  • Dip in water and allow to soak for about 5 minutes, this method is known to make the peel come off more easily.
  • While plantain is soaked in water, pluck, wash and slice the vegetable leaves (Ugu) if you are using one fresh from the farm. Dried Ugu leaves are sold in small packets outside Africa, and can be used in stead. Where you do not have dried ugu leaf, spinach is a veritable substitute.
  • Then peel the plantain skin with you fingers or with the aid of a knife.
  • Scrape a little part off each plantain into the pot to act as thickener. Instead, you may decide to chop about half a plantain and blend it into a paste as the thickener. Then slice the plantain into medium sized cubes and place into the cooking pot or sauce pan.
  • Fill the pot with water till it covers the plantain slightly and bring to boil for about 10 to 20 minutes.
  • Add dry fish if available at this point.
  • Chop kidney or liver into tiny pieces and put into the pot. Alternatively, you could pre - boil chopped chicken breast meat, spiced with dried thyme leaves, onions and a few pinch of cooking salt, and add this to the plantain porridge instead of chopped kidney or liver.
  • Add maggi cube, salt and pepper to taste, as well as crayfish, onions diced, and allow to boil on medium heat for about 10 – 15 minutes.
  • Stir occasionally.
  • Add palm oil, stir and cover for 5 minutes.
  • Add Ugu leaves, stir, and allow to simmer for another 5 minutes.
  • The porridge should now be soft with a thick creamy paste to the base.

Your green plantain porridge is ready to serve.

Some individuals will cook the plantain, after chopping it for 20 to 30 minutes, add salt and grounded crayfish, and then serve with boiled vegetable (spinach) and boiled fish. Always boil the plantain until it is really tender...as you like it.

You can prepare your green plantain porridge your own way, only limited by your imagination. What ever you do, make sure you enjoy your plantain meal, and include it as a regular part of your healthy diet.






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