I love Otor/Etor. I love Yam Otor but after sunday’s lunch of Plantain Otor I think I will betray Yam Etor unashamedly. Like whoa! Where have you been all my life?? Both Yam and Plantain Otor are the African version of mashed potatoes and sweet potatoes but made with yam and plantain *duh!*
Yam Otor is a celebratory food by the Ga’s to mark one’s birthday most especially. I remember how my Mom would make yam Otor with the best of Zomi oil and hard-boiled eggs on my birthday. I would chow down till I couldn’t breef! It’s quite dense.
Interestingly, I actually ate some on my wedding day before stepping out to the church. An aunt prepared some as I sat in the living room getting all made up. It really kept me full till the reception and apparently it prevents you from wanting to pee on your wedding day. Sweet!
So back to Plantain Otor which I had heard of but never tried until my trip to the market this weekend and I thought to myself, “why not?” Plantain was everywhere for the taking at GHC5 for three fingers.
So here is my recipe to not only Plantain 3tor but also to the accompanying sauce of garden eggs stew/sauce but you can also enjoy the mashed plantain with palaver sauce (Nkontonmire sauce). This garden eggs stew is aptly named United Nations Garden Egg Stew because of the varying meats having a party in there :D. Issa party.
Let’s make this together!
For the Otor
1 Green Plantain
2 Fingers of Ripe Plantain
1 Cup of Peanuts
Pinch of salt
For the Garden Eggs Stew
1kg of boiled Garden Eggs
1 small Koobi (Dry salted Tilapia)
1 Salted Beef ( Tooloobeefi)
half-cup mussels ( Adode)
2 Medium-sized red onions
4 Medium-sized tomatoes
Handful of Scotch-bonnet pepper
4 soft-shelled blue crabs
1 Mackerel fish broken up
1 cup of palm oil
Pinch of salt
Making the Garden Eggs Stew
- Wash all vegetables in salted water.
- Blend tomatoes, onion and pepper in a food processor till smooth.
- Heat palm oil in a saucepan for 2 minutes and fry koobi, salted beef, crab, mussels and onions all at once in the oil. Stir every now and then for 5 mins till onions become opaque.
- Pour in the tomato sauce. Stir and cover. Lower heat to medium.
- Peel the skin of garden eggs and set skin aside. Open up the garden eggs and using your fingers separate the seeds from the flesh into a separate bowl. Seeds in one bowl and flesh in another. Blend the seeds into a smooth puree.
- Stir the pureed seeds into the tomato sauce first and allow to cook for 5 minutes. Stir in the flesh of the garden eggs.
- Gently place the pieces of mackerel on top of the sauce.
- Add a cup of water to cook all the ingredients. Lower heat to lowest gas mark and cover with lid.
- Stir occasionally to the bottom of pan. Ready to serve after 5 minutes.
- Peel both green and ripe plantains and roughly dice.
- Place a half-water filled saucepan on fire, add a pinch of salt.
- When water starts boiling add in the plantains. Cook till softened for 10 minutes.
- Pour out water and using a potato masher, mash plantains.
- Serve mashed plantains in a bowl topped with any topping of your choice but more especially with peanuts.
Like I said earlier, I am not looking back at Yam 3tor again! The crunch of the peanuts combined with the sweet plantains and the very flavourful garden eggs stew was too much heaven! Did I mention you can top your stew with boiled eggs and avocado? No? Well not only will your plate look colourful and well textured but it will impress any guests you may have joining in.
My favourite thing about this meal? How I used zero spices but still had an amazing well flavoured taste thanks to the Koobi and salted beef and not forgetting the mussels I added in earlier. These ingredients are the bacon to our local dishes. Flavour everywhere!
Oh and it’s a fab Ghanaian cuisine to enjoy as a vegetarian when you exempt the fish, mussels, koobi , eggs etc. You can use mushrooms and still make it to flavour heaven!
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