Making Palm Nut SoupWritten by:Zoe on: June 26, 2013
Making Palm Nut Soup
Grandma Ce Cee (Cecilia) is 88 years old and full of spirit but weak of frame. She is bent into a lower case her ‘r’, her head bobs like a turtle at swim when she uses her walking frame or ‘car’ as she calls it. For this reason, Grandma is not able any longer to cook herself but she shared with me her ingredients and method for making one of her favourite dishes – Palm Nut Soup with Fufu. Aunty Evelyn did the honours on guiding me through preparing the dish.
As usual, all eyes were on me watching how I ate the fufu – I had markedly improved from my last effort, nailing the pinch and scoop method and ate the whole bowl pretty damn quick. It was deliciouso!
For the palm nut soup
2 Large Tins of Palm Nuts (substitute with a can of condensed palm nut)
1 large tps salt
6 small-medium cloves garlic
3 Cooking onions
6-8 Fresh Tomatoes
6 Okre stalks (or as much as you like)
6 Garden Eggs (or as much as you like)
8-10 Green Kpakpo Shito peppers
1Lb Beef (approx. 400g mix of on the bone and diced)
1 Smoked Eel
1 Smoked ‘Salmon’ (this is actually smoked mackerel but Ghanaians call it Salmon)
½ Smoked Tuna
(You can use your preferred mix of fish but “plenty different fishoh—makes it tastyoh”)
6 Large ‘Sea’ Snails (actually from the forest…)
For the fufu
3 Green Plantain
A cup of water to add to the mix when pounding
Pound the palm nuts in a large pestle and mortar for about 10-15 minutes until the bowl and ‘chaff’ is a bright orange and the seeds have come out of their shell. Wash all the fresh ingredients well. Dice the onion and garlic. Chop your garden egg and okre.
- Add the meat, onion, garlic, salt and tomatoes to a large pot and steam on medium-high heat until juices start to clear and water is forming in the pot.
- Empty the pounded nuts into a pot and rinse then sieve several times until you get a dark brown tinted orange juice with no chaff. Add the palm nut juice to the pot on the stove.
- Leave this boiling for about 30 minutes.
- Add the fish in chunks you like the size of
- Remove snail from shell. This is a bit gross. You need a long sharp, thin knife or metal skewer to stab through the middle, twist, lever and pull out. Wash well and trim any gross bits, remove head. Not for the squeamish. You can also ask for this to be done at the market when you buy them but I wanted to film it so poor Evelyn had to do it at home…
- At this point you should have a bubbling pot of palm nut on the hob – add your Kpapko peppers (I would pierce them to get the heat out of them but Evelyn added them as they were)
- Add the snails
- Add the chopped garden egg and okre
- Cook for a further 40 minutes until fish and meat are all tender
Fufu – please see blog post: Groundnut Stew and Pounding Fufu
A pescatarian version of this dish using smoked herring, mackerel and tuna will be on the menu on July 6th @ Studio Gi – you can book here: