Tomato Peanut Stew with Plantains, Seared Lamb, and Fried Polenta


East Meets West Africa


1 Lamb Chop
170g Polenta or Cornmeal
1 Onion, diced
60g Garlic Ginger Paste
30ml Tomato Paste
1Kg Tomatoes, diced
60ml Peanut Butter
3 Plantains, chopped
3 Habaneros, halved
1 Bunch Dandelion, chopped
2tsp Turmeric
1tsp Cardamom
1tsp Coriander
2tsp Dawadawa


Melt 60g of clarified butter in a large pot over medium heat.
Once melted add a diced onion and sweat until soft and translucent.
Next add 60g of ginger garlic paste (make it by mincing 30g each of ginger and garlic) and sauté until fragrant.
Add 2tsp each of coriander seeds, cardamom, and turmeric, as well as 30ml of tomato paste, and mix well to coat
Dice 1kg of tomatoes, and add them to the stew.
Cover and simmer for 10min until the tomatoes start breaking down and releasing their juices.
After 10min, add 125ml of peanut butter or ground peanuts.
Mix well, and add up to 250ml of water if it's too thick (up to your preference).
Season with salt to taste, then add 3 chopped plantains, or an equivalent amount of cassava, or chopped matoke bananas.
Add 2tsp of ground fermented locust beans – aka soumbala, dawadawa, or iru – as well as 3 halved habaneros.
Add one bunch of chopped dandelion greens (or any available bitter greens), mix, cover, and stew for 30min or until the plantains are soft.

Season a liter of cold water in a saucepan with 10g of salt, and add 170g of cornmeal.
Starting it in cold water removes the possibility of lumps, so you'll spend less time stirring this.
Bring to a light boil, stirring occasionally.
Once your spoon leaves a distinct trail in the porridge before settling back into place, pour it into a well-oiled up baking sheet and let it cool in the fridge until solid.
Once cooled, turn it out onto a cutting board and cut into your preferred shape.

Now, melt 40g of clarified butter in a skillet over medium high heat.
Add the polenta, and fry until crisp and golden on both sides before removing to a rack to cool.

Now, optionally, season a single lamb rib chop per person with a generous amount of salt and sear it in the same skillet for a couple minutes per side, or until the internal temperature reads 60°C for rare meat.

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