Plantains are a major food staple in most African homes and are usually cooked before being eaten.

How you cook plantain as a component of an African recipe depends on what part of Africa you are from. Plantains can be boiled, roasted, baked or grilled.

In Nigeria, plantain is enjoyed mostly sliced diagonally and fried, a dish called dodo or roasted on top of hot charcoals. This is a popular street food called Bolé. Ghana’s most popular street food Kelewele is made from plantains, diced, spiced and fried. In the Congo region, plantains are either peeled, sliced, and boiled, or cut into rondelles and fried in oil, a dish called Makemba. Alternatively, there is an easy, fun way of preparing plantain that can be enjoyed by anyone, irrespective of and cultural, geographical differences.

On this brand-new Amazons Watch segment, ‘Easy Recipes for Busy Mums,’ we are introducing you to the “Fish Stuffed Plantain Balls”. The fish stuffed plantain ball is an easy, fun way of eating plantain and can be used as an appetizer, a side meal, a snack for kids’ lunch boxes and even as a whole dinner with drinks to wash down.

Ingredients

  • 1 plantain (ripe)
  • 180 grams cod (fillet)
  • 1 onion (medium approximately 74g)
  • 1 clove garlic (smashed)
  • 1 teaspoon paprika
  • 1 teaspoon cumin (ground)
  • 1 teaspoon coriander (ground)
  • 1 teaspoon hot sauce (or alternatively one bird’s eye chilli pepper)
  • 2 teaspoons coconut oil

Directions

  • Cut the head and tail of the plantain off
  • With the skin on, place in a pot of boiling water, add some salt and boil for 5 minutes, or until the plantain is soft
  • Drain, peel of skins and set aside
  • Slice or grate onions, garlic and any other available spices together
  • Slice your fish into thin stripes and use the graded mixed spices above to coat it
  • On medium heat, heat 1 teaspoon of coconut oil and fry the fish mix for a few minutes, until the fish is done. (This should take no more than 5 minutes, given the thin slices of the fish).
  • Remove the fish from the heat and add it to the drained plantains. Mash the plantain and fish mix together.
  • Add the second teaspoon of coconut oil to the pan, form the plantain and fish mash into balls, and fry until golden brown.

Additional Helpful Tips

  • You can test for the doneness of the plantain by sticking a fork or the tip of a knife into it. If it sinks into the plantain with little resistance, the plantain is done.
  • Depending on how ripe your plantains are, they may need up to 10 – 15 minutes to get done.
  • You can use any white fish for this dish—Cod, Tilapia, Halibut, Sole, etc.
  • You can increase the quantity of plantain, fish and spices to cater for the number of servings desired.
  • You can also use flour on the mold to make it firm when frying. It will also give it a smoother, rounder look.

Who else wants to try this new, swift recipe for this weekend?

Send feedback and images on our social media pages and let us know if this was a helpful tip for you as a busy mum.

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