Ghana- Red Red Recipe

Ghana Red Red

I have never been to Ghana but am lucky to have a friend from there, Richard. He shared this recipe for red red, a very popular dish in Ghana. The name red red comes from the red palm oil and the red tomatoes, typically used to prepare the dish. However, I did not have palm oil readily available and usually try not to use that type of oil, so I substituted vegetable oil. Luckily the stew turned out very red anyway since there are plenty of tomatoes and red chili!

The recipe was a photo of a paper without other identifying information, so I cannot credit the original recipe author. However, I did find this similar recipe on an African food blog, along with a description of red red. The recipe was very clear, and it was easy to find the ingredients in London. I made half of the recipe, since the original recipe sounded like a lot of food. In fact, half of the recipe would still feed four people with decent-sized portions. I also served it with some spinach on the side to add a vegetable and some contrasting colour.

Enjoy this simple, protein-packed and flavourful stew with fried plantains. By the way, home fried plantains are amazing especially when you can get them to caramelise as you cook them. Yum!

Sauteeing the onions, garlic, chili, ginger and shrimp paste
Adding the black-eyed peas to the tomatoes

Ingredients

2 – 400g tins of black-eyed peas, drained (aka cow peas)
1/4 c. red palm oil (or vegetable oil)
1 c. onions, chopped
1-2 red chili peppers, chopped (to taste)
1 tsp fresh ginger, grated
2 large cloves garlic, minced
1 tsp dried shrimp powder (I used a tsp of shrimp paste)
400g tin of chopped tomatoes
1 Tbsp tomato paste
150 g smoked white fish or salmon (pieces rather than slices)
Salt and pepper to taste
1 large ripe plantain per person
Vegetable oil for frying
1/4 c dried gari (optional)

Instructions

In a food processor or using a hand blender, puree the chopped tomatoes and set aside.

In a large frying pan, heat the oil over medium heat. First, add the onions and saute for about 10 minutes, until they are translucent. Next, add the chili pepper, ginger, garlic, and shrimp powder, then fry for a few more minutes. Add the pureed tomato and fry for a few minutes. Add the tomato paste.

Break the fish into pieces and add to the stew. Then mix in the drained beans and simmer for about 10 minutes. Add water if the stew needs more sauce. Then season with salt and pepper to taste. Cover and let simmer while you prepare the plantains.

Peel the plantains and slice them in half lengthwise. Then cut into diagonal pieces. In a large frying pan, add enough oil to cover the bottom about 1/4 inch deep. Heat over medium-high heat. Cook plantains on both sides until browned. Drain on paper towels.

Finally, serve the stew with plantains on the side, and sprinkle the stew with gari. You can also add a side vegetable such as spinach or okra.

Frying the plantains
Gari, dried cassava root powder

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