Red Red (Ghanaian Beans Stew)

how to cook beans stew
Beans stew with fried plantain. © akitchenfaraway

This slow-cooked black-eyed peas stew is the ultimate belly warmer to keep you toasty and full. Red red is traditional Ghanaian dish made with West African beans, palm oil and tomatoes. A hearty and wholesome stew perfect for all the familyThe ultimate comforting main, this delicious Ghanaian recipe combines a rich beans stew with fried plantain. A spin on a family favourite, a hearty meal that is sure to go down as treat.

Ingredients

for 6 servings 

  • canned blackeyed peas, drained or 600g dried beans
  • 100ml palm oil or Canola oil 
  • 1 medium onion, chopped 
  • Minced ginger and garlic
  • ½ tbsp dried chilli flakes 
  • ½ red scotch bonnet chilli
  • ½ tbsp curry powder 
  • 1 tbsp bouillon powder 
  • x 400g tin chopped tomatoes 
  • 4 plum tomatoes, roughly chopped 
  • 1 tbsp tomato purée 
  • 2 tbsp crayfish (optional) 
  • 1 medium leek, finely chopped 
  • Salt to taste
  • 6 ripe plantains, sliced diagonal

Method

Tip: If you have a pressure cooker, use it to cook the beans till soft. It reduces the cooking time considerably. 

  1. If using dried beans, soak the beans in cold water for about 5 hours OR cover and let sit overnight.
  2. Boil beans for 5 minutes. Drain the beans, and rinse with cold water and set aside.
  3. If using canned beans, skip above steps and start from the next step.
  4. Heat palm oil in a large pot over medium-high heat.
  5. Now add the onion, garlic, ginger, chilli flakes and scotch bonnet and fry gently until the onion is translucent.
  6. Add the tomatoes, tomato purée, salt and pepper and cook.
  7. Add the curry and chilli powders and stir well. Also add the crayfish, bouillon powder and salt to taste. Adjust seasoning to your taste as you cook.
  8. Fry at medium heat for about 20 minutes. Stir in the leek and cover. Stir at short intervals till the oil has completely separated from the tomato puree.
  9. If you are happy with the taste of the stew/sauce, add the beans, reduce the heat and cook for 30 minutes.
  10. Stirring occasionally to make sure everything is well incorporated. Cook until the beans are tender and the beans and stew now giving thick-creamy consistency.
  11. Put the sliced plantain in a medium bowl, add a little salt and toss together to ensure the plantain is evenly salted.
  12. Preheat a deep-fat fryer to 180C. If using frying pan, pour generous quantity of vegetable oil into a frying pan and allow to heat. CAUTION: hot oil can be dangerous. Do not leave unattended!
  13. Fry the plantain in batches, leaving enough room for the slices to fry evenly.
  14. Once it turns golden, flip the slices over to get the other side fried too. Fry till a desired browning is achieved.
  15. Remove and place in a sieve to drain out the oil, or drain on kitchen paper. Repeat step for frying the remaining plantain.
  16. To serve, ladle beans stew in your plate and top with fried plantain.
  17. Enjoy!

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