Plantain

Plantain is a tropical plant related to banana, but it is bigger and contains more starch than banana and mostly eaten when ripe.

Here in Nigeria, plantain is usually found in abundance from August to January, although somehow it is available all year round.

The staple green unripe type is rich in iron and potassium while the ripe yellow one is rich in starch and carbohydrate. Any of the two is very okay, but the unripe one is especially good for pregnant women. The iron-enriched drugs they get in their trimesters can be enjoyed by taking plantain.

For children, especially weaning little children and toddlers, plantain is best for them when it is sliced and blended with boiled original titus fish. This type is prepared like moimoi and children enjoy it a great deal. It has great nutritional value as it is very rich in iron, protein and other vital nutrients,

Plantain, especially the riped ones can be dried, sliced and ground into powder to make a powdery meal that can be eaten in place of eba, fufu, amala and any swallow. When made into this form, it can be eaten with any kind of soup.

It is, however, pertinent to note that if good care is not taken to select the right kind of plantain, you may end up not enjoying the best of the staple. How? You may ask.

If the ones you get are over-ripe, the best taste and flavour may be lost.

So, while making your choice, choose the firm and hard unripe ones; store them in a cool and dry place. When you do this, it ripens naturally and easily without much ado.

Apart from the above mentioned simple methods, plantain can either be boiled, fried, steamed, roasted or sometimes combined with other meal which makes the food more satisfying and tasty. In harvest season, it is usually eaten with yam.

There so many ways to relish plantains – they can be used for porridge; plantainmoi moi or served alongside beans.

Make the best use of this season’s abundance to create good recipes for your family. Quickly go through these recipes and explore some plantain delicacies below.

 

DODO IKIRE

Dodo Ikire is a plantain recipe that is common in the South West. The peculiar and unique feature of this delicacy is the use of over-ripe, soft plantains.

This is a delicacy from Oyo State. Normally taken as dessert, it is very common amongst the Ikire indigenes of the state. Funny enough, this food is usually taken as a fast food, sometimes as snacks and at other times as breakfast.

Owing to the fact that most of the indigenes are farmers, they usually serve the meal alongside a bowl of locally made ogi (pap). So, rather than discard your over-ripe plantains, use them to prepare this delicacy.

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Recipe for 2 servings

4 medium size over-ripe plantain

2 tablespoons dried sumbo seed [dried pepper seeds]

2 cooking spoon palm oil

Salt to taste

Method

Wash and peel the plantains. Mash the peeled plantains, add the pepper and salt to taste. Mix together and mould into balls. Fry in hot palm oil until golden brown. Remove from heat and drain. Serve hot immediately with a bowl pap……with or without sugar and milk.

TEMGBURU

 

Temgburu is a combination of ripe plantain and yam. Both are boiled separately, pounded together and eaten with fresh fish pepper soup. This food is usually prepared the Okrika way. Okrika is a town in Rivers State. This Okrika meal is rich in carbohydrate, starch and protein when combined as a meal.

The beautiful delicacy is normally prepared for a woman who has just been delivered of a baby. Due to loss of strength and much body nutrients after childbirth, this meal helps to restore her fitness and improve her appetite for food. It’s a heavy meal and very delightsome to the palate.

Recipe for 1 serving

1 big fresh fish {cat or tilapia}

3 ripe plantains {boiled}

1 small yam tuber

1 cooking spoon palm oil

Salt and seasoning to taste

1 onion {sliced}

1 bunch basil leaf {shredded}

Pepper soup ingredients

Method

Prepare the pepper soup by cutting, washing and cooking the fresh fish. Add the fresh pepper, onion, seasoning and salt to taste. Cook the fish until tender. Mix in the pepper soup ingredients and the basil leaves. Simmer for a few minutes, remove from heat and set aside.

 

Meanwhile, peel, slice and wash the yam; begin to boil and cook till tender. Do the same to the plantains; peel, wash and cook alongside the yam until tender. Add salt to taste. When tender, remove from heat, transfer to a clean mortar and pound together until very smooth. Add the palm oil to the smooth paste. Mold into sizeable balls and dish. Pour the pepper soup over the dish and serve with a spoon. Cut the paste and scoop some pepper soup alongside into your mouth, hmmmnn, can you imagine the taste.

GREEN PLANTAIN CHIPS

Recipe for 2 servings

6 large unripe green plantain

½ bottle vegetable oil

Salt to taste

Pinch of salt to taste (optional)

1 small onion (chopped)

½ teaspoon ground red pepper

Method

Peel and slice the plantains into tiny slim slices. Wash and drain into a sieve. Sprinkle with salt to taste and a pinch of ground red pepper. Set aside and fill a frying pan with the vegetable oil. Heat the oil until quite hot. Pour in the onions and fry for 30 seconds. This singular act will help to reduce the cholesterol in the oil. Remove the onions and deep-fry the plantain slices until golden brown on both sides. Drain and serve warm with fruit juice.

 

PLANTAIN FUFU WITH  EFO RIRO

Recipe for 6 servings

2 cups ground plantain flour (sieved)

4 tea cups water

 

Method

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This kind of recipe is a common relish in Edo State, some part of Ondo and Delta States. The plantain is usually sliced, dried and ground into smooth powder. Once you pour the water into the pot, allow to boil. Gradually stir in the sieved plantain flour. Stir vigorously to avoid lumps. Add more water if you require a softer consistency. Once the meal is set and ready you can serve with a plate of fresh fish stew and leafy vegetable (spinach) or Efo riro in Yoruba.

 PLANTAIN MOIMOI (FOR CHILDREN ABOVE SIX MONTHS)

Recipe for 2 babies

2 unripe plantains [peeled]

1 large titus fish [smoked or boiled]

3 tablespoons ground crayfish

3 tablespoons palm oil

1 onion [sliced]

3 fresh tomatoes [sliced]

1 bunch of wrapping or moi moi leaves

Little salt to taste

 Method                        

Cut the plantains into small pieces, wash and pour into a blender or food processor, debone the fish, mash and add to the blender. Add the sliced tomatoes and onions and blend together into a puree. Pour into a bowl, add salt, the ground crayfish and little seasoning to taste. Add some water to make sure it’s not watery or too thick.  Wash the wrappings or moi-moi leaves, scoop the mixture into the leaves and fold. Set on fire and cook until the meal is ready. Remove from heat, allow to cool, unwrap the plantain moi-moi and serve. This meal is good for young children from six months.

FRIED SWEET PLANTAINS WITH EGGS

Recipe for 6 servings

  • 8 ripe plantains
  • 2 cups vegetable or groundnut oil
  • 5 eggs [whisked or beaten]
  • 6 large fresh tomatoes [diced or sliced]
  • 3 fresh red pepper [diced or sliced]
  • Salt and seasoning to taste
  •  1 onion [sliced or diced]

Method

In a large frying pan or deep fryer, heat the oil. Wash the plantain, peel and slice them diagonally lengthwise. The slices should be 1/2 inch thick. Season with salt. Place them in the hot oil and fry until golden brown on both sides. Remove from oil and drain. Set aside and prepare the egg sauce.

For the egg sauce, fry the onion, tomatoes and peppers in hot oil for few minutes. Add the whisked or beaten eggs, salt and seasoning to taste. Allow to set, remove from heat and serve as a side dish with a hot sizzling plate of custard, well set pap or alongside a cup of tea. This recipe can also be served as an appetizer or snack.

BEANS PORRIDGE WITH FRIED PLANTAIN

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Recipe for 5 servings

4 cups beans [brown or white]

1 onion [sliced or diced]

2 cooking spoons palm oil

5 big plantains [ripened]

A pinch of potash [optional]

Seasoning and salt to taste

3 red peppers [crushed or blended]

Method

Make sure the beans is stone-free, wash and boil for 10 minutes. Drain off the water, return to the pot and add fresh water to cook the food. A pinch of potash can be added to the boiling pot. Why? It’s a general belief that potash helps to soften beans, although this is optional.

While the beans is cooking, add the sliced or diced onions, once this is done, the aroma of the food will change immediately. Continue to cook until the beans is very tender. Once you know they are tender, add the salt and seasonings to taste including a cooking spoon of palm oil. Allow to simmer for six minutes before adding other ingredients. Cover and simmer until the beans are ready. Remove from heat and serve alongside the plantains.

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Meanwhile, set a frying pan on fire, wash and peel the plantains, cut into sizeable chunks and fry with the remaining cooking oil. Make sure a pinch of salt is added. Fry until the plantain is golden brown. Remove from heat and serve with the delicious protein enriched beans.

PLANTAIN AND SNAIL POTTAGE

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recipe for 4 – 6 servings  

12   snails (deshelled and dressed)

5     plantains [slightly ripe]

1     onion [chopped]

1     tea-spoon pepper

1/2  tea-spoon of potash

1     cooking spoon of palm oil

Salt and maggi to taste

1 bunch of basil leaves {shredded] any other leaves can do.

Method

Clean the snails and cut into sizeable bits, peel the plantains and cut each into pieces too. Bring the plantains and snails to boil with little water. while boiling, add the palmoil, salt, pepper, the potash and seasoning to taste. stir and cover the pot. cook the food until tender  and stir until its thick like pottage, stir in the shredded washed leaves and serve as pottage.

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