This is a Ugandan dish. I learned about it recently from Lydia. She studied at Makerere University so she lived there for several years.
Traditionally, the matokes are cooked with banana leaf stalks until they’re very soft. Once ready the matoke is wrapped in banana leaves and often served on them. I don’t have any banana leaves stored away so I’ll have to do without them, but it must look very nice served that way.
The peanuts are ground into a powder and cooked with onions, garlic, tomatoes, very similar to the Ethiopian shiro. The sauce can then be flavored with spices of your choice.
Here’s how I did it:
1 teaspoon cumin seeds (decided to add it just for a change)
2 onions chopped
1 cup stock, any kind
1 carrot, grated
10 peeled and cut matoke bananas
Fry the cumin seeds in some oil for about a minute, add the onions. When the onions soften add the stock, grated carrot, the matoke and salt to taste.
Give a quick stir and cover. Let it simmer under low fire. Stir once in a while and add water if needed till the matoke is cooked.
3 handfuls of peanuts (already roasted)
2 garlic cloves, grated
1 onion chopped
2 tomatoes, chopped
The peanuts need to be ground till very fine, like powder. My hand held blender didn’t do this very well. I added water and made a paste instead. It was easier to blend after adding the water, it became a chunky paste. I couldn’t get it any finer than that.
In a small pot, add two table spoons of olive oil and about the same mount of water, turn up the heat and add the garlic. The water helps keep the garlic from burning too fast. Once the garlic gets milky add the peanut paste. Stir.
In another pot, start frying the onions in some oil, when they turn colour add the tomatoes and salt to taste. Once tomatoes soften, add the peanut and garlic mix. Add a little bit of water, stir, cover and simmer under low fire. Stir often to keep it from sticking at the bottom.
Lydia also mentioned that seeing a ring of oil start to form in the peanut sauce is an indicator that it’s ready. I waited and waited and waited to see that oil ring! [all of 10 minutes!] It just didn’t seem like it would happen. I tasted it and it was good to me so I turned off the fire and served!
Funny thing happened while I was serving my husband, I suddenly got nervous. I wondered what I would give him to eat if he didn’t like it (-_-) He is not a big fan of matoke, I didn’t think he would jump at the idea of adding a peanut sauce to the mix. When I handed him the plate he said “What’s with the funny smile?!”
I like the peanut flavor
This is also the first time I’ve cooked matoke with cumin, I liked it.