Making Groundnut StewWritten by:Zoe on: June 20, 2013
So, after the excitement of Kaneshie market I wasted no time in flowing into my first Fanti cooking lesson courtesy of Aunty Evelyn (pictured) she is not a woman to be messed with – “eh hehhh…”
Groundnut Stew Ingredients:
Peanut Butter (we bought a polythene bag equivalent to a 225-250g jar)
Goat (our mix included trotters as well as cuts)
x 2 Smoked Herring
x 1 smoked salmon
x 5 Crabs
x 4 strips of ‘Willy’
x 6 Tomatoes
x 1 Cooking Onion
x 2 bulbs Garlic
x 5 Kpakpo shito (hot green peppers)
x 2 scotch bonnets (optional)
1. Clean and wash the goat meat thoroughly – rinse. Add to a pot with 1 tbsl vegetable oil.
2. Prepare the Willy – this stinky little bad boy needs scraping thoroughly and a very good rinse – leave to one side for later – the smell fades a little after a good clean
2. Chop your onion, garlic and tomatoes (de-seed first if you prefer) then add to pot
3. Throw in your Kpakpo peppers and add one or two small red peppers if you like spicy food
4. Add one cup of water to the pot, enough to about half-cover the ingredients in there.
5. While the goat is cooking prepare your seafood:
Fish: You need to make sure the inside of the fish is clean so just use your finger or teaspoon to scoop out anything that shouldn’t be there – with the salmon you can leave the skin on – the herring you will need to de-scale and rinse – pull them into sizeable chunks then leave to one side.
Crabs: Not my favourite part of the process – the crabs were bought alive and put into the freezer – alive – when we got home. They very quickly awoke from their deep-freeze slumber to stare and wriggle and spit at us as we removed their “buttocks” – the hard casing underneath and their legs. Give them a good wash and rinse and leave to one side.
7. In a separate pot mix your peanut butter with water, massaging with your fingers into an increasingly thinner paste then a balanced consistency of peanut butter to water. Leave to one side. This was a quite a long winded process I felt but hey, aunty knows best. To be fair it does prevent the peanut butter from sticking to the bottom of the pot and requiring constant stirring in the case where you just add it straight to the pot.
8. Scoop out your tomatoes, onion, garlic and red peppers, (if you added them) then blend with a teaspoon of salt. Again – long way round but authentic. Sieve then add the smooth mixture to the pot.
9. Add the fish and add another cup or two of water to make sure everything is simmering in water.
10. After about 20 mins add the Peanut Butter/water mix and stir – let it bubble away for approx 30 mins.
11. Lastly add the crabs and Willy to the pot also – it should all be cooked after about 15 further mins.
Total cooking time inc prep is about 1 hour 30 mins
Now make you’re fufu
For one large portion I would recommend 2-3 Cassava cut into chunks and x 3 Ripe Plantain (but quantities to suit appetite!) This portion could easily go 2-4 ways unless you’re a fufu monster like Geoffrey whose portion was ridiculously large for one person!
1. Peel cassava and plantain, chop into sizeable chunks and place in large mortar.
2. Pound like your life depended on it – this requires a very large mortar and pestle and rhythmic pounding while someone else turns the mixture on the bowls between pounds. You just keep pounding until you achieve a starchy consistency and a malleable round shape.
How to eat: With hands, scoop the fufu between forefingers and thumb and scoop up quickly transferring it to your mouth before it gloops down your chin. Everyone was watching intently while I did this, “Wo y3 den?” – “what are you doing?” says Grandma… “Scoop it up, scoop – plenty stew, plenty plenty stew” instructing me on the best scoop and swipe method. After a few goes I got of cheer of “heeyoo! Fanti womano!” This I took as praise. Everyone enjoyed the stew and was impressed at my efforts all round. Marks from Evelyn: Stew 9/10 Fufu 3/10 “you did badly at pounding!”
The Fanti Full Monty version of this dish as described above (sans ‘Willy’) will be on the menu on July 6th @ Studio Gi – you can book here: