Plantains is a popular African food that can be prepared in many different ways. Its versatility in choice of preparation made it the most preferred choice of food for most Africans. It can be fried, boiled, roasted, mashed or even baked. You really can never get enough of plantain dishes and its savouring mouth-watering tastes.
This particular plantain dish is an Igbo traditional delicacy popularly called in Igbo Language plantain akwukwo nri (Akwukwo nri meaning vegetables) or plantain agworoagwo (Agworoagwo meaning mixed). I know the name will sound jibirish to you 😊 but never mind, that is Igbo language for you 😊.
There are many different ways to preparing this delicious African delicacy. The most traditional popular way I was taught was preparing it with yam But, I prefer preparing mine with unripe plantains just because it is a healthier option than yam.
Here’s a recipe for making the vegetable unripe plantain.
- 3 unripe plantains
- 1 bunch green leafy vegetables
- 1 bunch pumpkin leaf vegetables
- 2 bunches spinach
- 1 pack ugba (African oil bean seeds)
- 4 pieces of okra
- 2 scotch bonnet pepper
- 1 big onion
- ¼ sweet pepper (Optional but I love to use it)
- Periwinkles (Optional, I used one full small measuring cup)
- Prawns (optional I used 8 large pieces)
- 1 Knorr cube or stock seasoning (You may choose not to use it)
- Salt to taste.
- Peel the plantains and cut them into 2- to 3-inches-thick slices as you desire.
- Wash and place the cut plantains in the pot, add water to cover it, add salt and place over full heat.
- While it is cooking, Peel the vegetables, wash and slice them. Starting from the pumpkin leaf because it is tougher than the other vegetables. It is better to wash the leaf before cutting to make sure no sand is stuck to the leaves or stalks. Layer them in the pot according to the sequence of the cuttings.
- Then wash and place the scotch bonnet pepper, okra, sweet pepper and ugba on top of the vegetables.
- Cut the onion into 4 parts and add on top of the vegetables too.
- At this time the unripe plantain must have cooked. To check, use tip of the knife or Fork to pierce into the middle, if its soft then it is cooked.
- Bring it off the heat, sieve out the water, pour some of the red oil in it and mix it together, cover and then set aside.
- Steam the vegetables on a very low heat or induct it if you have induction pot. Steam for about 5-7mins or to your desired vegetable preferences. I prefer mine not to be completely cooked so that it won’t end up looking so squashy.
- Once it is cooked, Take the scotch bonnet, sweet pepper, okra, onion, and half of the ugba, pound them in the mortar or blend. Please be careful if you are blending because it won’t be nice if it is fully blended and please do not use water to blend. This is why I prefer using mortar and pestle.
- Then add half of the vegetables to the mixture, give it a soft- pound so that it will be semi mashed.
- Add the remaining vegetables, ugba, add stock (Knorr cube), Little salt and part of the oil remaining. Mix well and pour on top of the cooked plantain.
- While doing this, put the periwinkles and the prawns in the vegetable pot, which may still have some of the water from the vegetables. Add more water if it is completely dried up or as required. Add stock and cook on high heat until well cooked. I prefer to use small water so that it will dry up into it.
- Add it to the other mixtures and stir very well using turning stick.
- Sprinkle more salt to taste if required and serve them while they are still warm.
This is one of the longest recipes of plantain dish making but if you did it well, you will agree with me that it is worth the time plus its nutritional packs and burst of tastes will make you forget all the stress. Anyways, Food is ready.
Enjoy! While you enjoy,
Here is the link to the nutritional value of some of the ingredients that is used here that is good for your overall health, check out the nutritional value of Ugba 7 Solid Health Benefits of African Oil Bean Seed (Ukpaka or Ugba) – Health Guide NG
And the nutritional values of unripe plantain amongst other ingredients. It is Packed with Iron, potassium, Magnesium, vitamins & minerals, protein and carbohydrate. Here is more detailed nutritional value. Plantains: The Nutrition Facts and Health Benefits (healthline.com)
Make sure to come back and tell me how you did. Mine was super yum yummy.
Also share a picture of your dish with us on our social media links.
It’s very filling.