Everyday in millions of Africa's kitchens these staple foods are prepared for the family.
I'm starting with SAMP & BEANS, something I love when drizzled in melting butter It can be eaten as is or as an accompaniment to meat or vegetables.
Here are the ingredients: SAMP ( or I think you could call it Hominy?) The smaller grain is also maize ground for substituting rice, but is only cooked on it's own, not with beans.
Method: Put equal quantities (sometimes a little more of the samp than the beans) in cold water and soak overnight. Next day rinse several times and place in a pot with enough water to cover the samp well. You can add salt here or later halfway through the cooking process. You can also add a stock cube or three instead of salt. Bring to the boil and reduce heat so that the pot is just, just simmering. Keep checking the water level and top up with more boiling water if necessary. Eventually after 2 or three hours the samp & beans will be soft. Now add some butter or in the case of an African family - either fat from meat or magarine. Mix well with a wooden spoon encouraging the samp to became mushy but not sloppy.
Finished dish ready for dinner!
More traditional ingredients and dishes will follow......
This is great, but I am sure that I know sugar beans by some other name that I have not been able to find.
I think that rice is everywhere in Africa, but when I think of African food (influenced by "French" West Africa, of course) the first foods that come to mind are millet, ignames, peanuts and fish-fish-fish.
The official English translation of "ignames" is "yams," but ignames are not at all sweet potatoes. I have always found them to be a strange cross between potatoes and turnips, and what is even stranger is that even though I like both potatoes and turnips very much, I do not like ignames at all. However, if I were sent to live in West Africa, it would probably take me only about two or three weeks to appreciate them.
Tod, you are the best! I'm ecstatic to see this topic. Even though I come from a part of the US south with heavy African influence on the cooking, I don't know anything about the mother cuisine. Thanks for this & I eagerly await the next installment.
I don't recognize the sugar beans. Tried googling, & more than one source said sugar beans = lima beans. Those are not limas!
Bixa - I think another name for Sugar Beans could be Speckled Beans or Brown Beans. The good news is that ANY beans are good for the job, even big white Butter Beans or little those little white ones. I think Lagatta is the closest with Romano beans.
Please explain FUFU, HW.
Mark - Yes, I am going to photograph a cooking lesson in the making of different kinds of Phutu. Which is just polenta (but white corn only not the yellow one). It is always made to the specific taste of the eater. I'll say no more until I do the presentation
I think it's maize flour mixed with boiling water until it reaches a consistency where it can be eaten by hand without falling apart. I think it's mainly eaten in Westafrica, I had a couple of friends from Ghana at that time and that was their staple. They made an excellent chicken dish to eat with it that was similar to a curry.
Our vigilant Bixa has brought this to my attention and I think all of you would be interested. Thanks so much Bixa! I am hoping to buy a copy of Nelson Mandela's cookbook written by his chef for the past 25years. Then I will be able to sus out some South African recipes
Gosh its ages since I started this thread and thought my latest pic could show Bixa how I did the last lot of Samp & Beans. First thing you notice is that the whole dish is white. Which means no Sugar Beans/Speckled beans which are brown. I bought a packet of small white beans for some recipe I was doing and had 3/4 of the packet left. So I soaked them together with the samp(hominy) over night and after a good rinse put them in my slow cooker with lots of bay leaves, and filled it up with a vegetable stock I had in powder form from Germany. The white bean packet was sent from Greece BUT when I read the very small print it was revealed "Product of Canada". A truly international African dish!