In honour of Nigeria’s independence day, we have decided to bring to you a vegan version of a popular and flavourful Nigerian dish.
We also chose to make this dish healthier by eliminating one of the main ingredients – palm oil. Instead, we replaced it with a tomato blend full of flavour that we cooked in a way that it provides the same colour and consistency to the final dish that the palm oil traditionally used does. By substituting the palm oil with this blend, we are not only creating a healthier version of this dish but also doing away with the struggle to find West African palm oil or certified sustainable palm oil as we know that most of you would prefer not to contribute to the negative effects, to both animals and the environment, of palm oil production.
Lastly, we incorporated dried seaweed into this dish to replace the dried fish and crayfish traditionally used. Seaweed does not only provide a bit of an “ocean flavour,” but also, iodine which is an essential nutrient needed for the production and management of thyroid hormones responsible for growth, cognitive development, the brain development both in vivo and during the early stages of life, and metabolism regulation.
Without further ado, get your pots, pans and kitchen equipment out for this delicious recipe!
2 Tomatoes, quartered
1 Purple Onion, quartered
1/4 Purple Onion, sliced
1tsp Ginger, minced
1 Scotch Bonnet (alternatively, use 1 green and 1 red mild chilli pepper)
2tbsp Tomato Purée
630g West African yam, cubed
1 Medium-sized Plantain, sliced in rounds then each round sliced in half
20g Stock Cube
Vegetable or Extra Virgin Olive Oil (optional)
Garlic Powder (optional)
African Yellow Pepper (optional)
1 Bay Leaf
- Blend the tomatoes, quartered onions, ginger, scotch bonnet or chillis and tomato purée till smooth.
- Pour the mixture into a saucepan and cook until the mixture becomes a paste-like substance (most of the liquid elements have dried out).
- Using either water or oil, fry the sliced onions a bit then pour in the tomato mixture stirring to ensure fully incorporated with the onions. Cook till the onions are softened and translucent.
- Combine the cubes of yam with this mixture followed by enough vegetable stock (made from dissolving the stock cubes in water) to just cover the yams.
- Cook for about 5mins before adding in the plantains and stirring in the seaweed, herbs and spices (including the bay leaf).
- Simmer until with a lid on until the yams are cooked through.
- Using a spoon or spatula, break some of the yams into smaller pieces or mash them using the back of your chosen utensil.
- Stir the mixture again and check for seasoning before taking off the heat.
If you try the recipe, upload a picture of it to Instagram with the hashtag #lickyourplaterecipe so we can have a look at and like it.