Plantain porridge (pottage) is flavourful, rich and healthy, a regular in Nigerian homes. I grew up calling it a pottage, just like yam pottage too, but I came to realise that these dishes are more commonly called porridge, but who really cares, so long as it is amazingly delicious. A rose by any other name would smell as sweet.
Plantains are high in potassium, magnesium, vitamin C, vitamin A, dietary fibre etc. therefore Plantain porridge is really good for pregnant women. When I was pregnant with son no.3, this was my food of choice.
Unripe plantain is starchy and hard, not sweet at all, so I normally mix plantains at different stages of ripeness, each bringing something to the dish. In this recipe, the proportions are roughly unripe-4, semi-ripe-2, ripe-1. You can use any proportions that suit you, but this is one dish I really obsess over.
Plantain porridge is mostly cooked with dry fish but meat also tastes good in it. Tomato and tatashe pepper are sometimes added though it is not the traditional way of cooking plantain porridge. This gives an interestingly different flavour profile.
You can add more palm oil than I have written, enough to give more colour, I don’t like too much oil in my plantain porridge.
To cook Plantain porridge:
500g unripe plantain 350g semi-ripe plantain 150g ripe plantain 4 cups water dry fish 4 tablespoons ground crayfish, (reserve 1 tablespoon) 1 medium onion, (1/2 cup chopped) Scotch bonnet (fresh pepper) 2 seasoning cubes ogili okpei salt 1/4 cup palm oil Ugu leaves Scent leaf (optional)
Wash and peel plantains.
Unripe plantains are quite difficult to peel, cut along the ridges and peel away the skin section by section.
Cut the plantains into cubes (about one inch).
Soak dry fish in boiling hot water for 2 minutes, rinse well with cold water. Wash and finely shred
Wash and finely shred ugu and scent leaf.
In a pot, place plantain, water, dry fish, 3 tablespoons crayfish, onions, pepper, seasoning cubes, ogili okpei and salt.
Boil for 10 minutes.
Add palm oil.
Continue cooking till plantain is soft and palm oil no longer tastes raw.
You might need to turn down the heat after a while to avoid burning. Stir very well.
Most of the ripe plantain should be so soft by now, it should have become part of the creamy sauce.
Add the reserved 1 tablespoon of ground crayfish, ugu and scent leaf, stir, cover and cook another 5 minutes. Take off the heat.
- To make it vegetarian, remove the fish and crayfish and use crayfish or any mild fish seasoning.
Plantain porridge is similar to the vegetable yam porridge, you should give it a try.
Do you have any comments, questions or suggestions, please leave a comment below.
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