22 April 2015
I can’t pretend that we were looking forward to this one. The menu didn’t look promising at first, with the dreaded fufu (tasteless dough made from cassava flour and water) poised to take centre stage. However, lowering our expectations to rock bottom paid off with pleasant surprises all round.
Joe started with Ragout d’epinards aux arachides, a stew of spinach and peanut butter that worked out nicely, the butter part forming a rich sauce around the spinach, cut through with chili and tomato.
Then came Steve’s Kanda, meatballs in a tomato chilli sauce, but no ordinary meatballs. These were formed of almost as much ground pumpkin seed as meat, which created a surprisingly light and moist consistency. Normally they would be served with fufu, but we saw no reason to ruin it.
An impressive performance across the board. We should be slower to judge (and avoid fufu if at all possible).
Ragout d’epinards aux arachides
1 onion, chopped
1 green pepper
1 red chili, chopped
1 tbsp peanut butter
1 medium tomato
salt and pepper
Fry onion on low heat for 5 mins. Add pepper & tomato & fry for 1 minute. Add chili & spinach. Cover to wilt. Add water and peanut butter and mix into sauce. Cover and simmer for 15 mins until thick.
350g steak mince
350ml pumpkin seeds
1 onion, 1/2 chopped and 1/2 sliced
3.5 cloves of garlic, mashed
2 large fresh tomatoes, peeled, seeded and diced
1 red chili
1 small bunch of parsley
50ml iced water for the meatballs
175ml water for the sauce
50ml groundnut oil
salt & pepper
Slightly roast pumpkin seeds in a pan, then grind to a powder. Put mince into a food processor and add pumpkin seed, garlic and chopped onion and mix up. Season with salt and pepper.
Stir in the iced water and knead well for 3 minutes. Refrigerate for 30 mins.
Fry onion slices in oil for 2 minutes over medium heat in a large pot. Add the tomatoes and chili and cook for 5 minutes.
Pour in rest of water and bring to a boil, then simmer. Meanwhile, make meatballs, each about the size of a golf ball. Turn up the heat and place each meatball in the sauce very carefully.
Cook over high heat for 10 minutes, then on medium heat for 20 minutes, and finally simmer for 30 minutes. Serve with plain rice.
Beignets de banane
6 tbsp plain flour
1 tbsp sugar
pinch of salt
finely-grated zest of 1 lime
1 tsp water
1l oil, for frying
icing sugar, for dusting