Green Banana Stew with Avocado Salad

The sticky, spicy sauce deliciously offsets the blandness of the starchy vegetables. This is actually made with an unripe plantain.   Plantains are larger than bananas and must be cooked but when I first tasted it in Tanzania this is how it was described to me.  I have adapted it and added kidney beans for protein.  It takes a while to cook but it’s a simple one pot dish.

Ingredients serves 2 very generously (or 3, can be stored in the fridge but not frozen)

a large onion

a large plantain (about 370g or 13 ounces)

2 medium potatoes (about 350g or 12 and a 1/2 ounces)

2 large garlic cloves

a piece of ginger (one inch or 2 and a 1/2cm)

a tablespoon of harissa paste (hot spicy North African sauce, you can substitute tabasco)

a 400g (14 ounce) can of tomatoes

a handful of frozen peas

half a 400g (14 ounce) can of kidney beans (you can freeze the rest)

2 tablespoons of tomato puree

salt and pepper

olive oil

an avocado, salad leaves and a squeeze of lemon juice to serve

flat leaf parsley to garnish (optional)


Finely slice the onion and put it in a large lidded saucepan (save a little for the salad) with a little olive oil, stir to coat and sprinkle with salt.  Put the lid on and sweat for 10 minutes

In the meantime finely chop the 2 cloves of garlic and ginger.  Add these and a good grind of black pepper, stir together and sweat for another 5 minutes

Peel the plantain with a knife and chop into half inch (1.25cm) rounds. Add these to the onions and add some cold water to a half inch depth in the pan.  Bring to the boil, put the lid back on and continue to simmer

Scrub the potatoes and chop into a one inch (2 and a 1/2cm dice).  Add these to the pan (they wont all be covered yet) put the lid on and simmer for another 10 minutes

After 10 minutes add the 2 tablespoons (a good squirt) of tomato puree and the can of tomatoes, bring back to the boil and simmer for a further 20 to 25 minutes until the vegetables fall off of a knife

Add the drained kidney beans and the handful of frozen peas for the last five minutes

Scatter with parsley (optional) and serve with salad leaves, cubed avocado and a little chopped raw onion with a squeeze of lemon juice and black pepper

One thought on “Green Banana Stew with Avocado Salad

  1. Some supermarkets sell pre-ripened avocados which have been treated with synthetic ethylene to hasten ripening. In some cases avocados can be left on the tree for several months, which is an advantage to commercial growers who seek the greatest return for their crop; but if the fruit remains unpicked for too long it falls to the ground..,*,

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