I’ve been in Provence for the last two weeks and whilst that was heaven, I have missed getting stuck into my world food adventure. So, today, I’m back at it and will be each week from now on. In the grand scheme of things I am still getting my feet under this challenge and it strikes me that I have only completed just over 5% of the world. More so, the challenge feels like it has been going a good while and whilst that does feel a little intimidating, it also excites me at what I will learn which will eventually support the Deli. When I was looking through the dishes I could cook this week, and when settling on Daraba, I immediately noticed the similarities with Gambia (Superkanja). Daraba is almost three quarters of Superkanja i.e the base vegetables, before beef and fish were added. Again we see the stew with okra and various other vegetables.
It might look a little unimaginative in me choosing this dish, so I will explain my rationale. Many Chadian dishes are very simple i.e. Fish with Garlic or Chadian Roast Chicken. Too simple? I could have done some Beignet (doughnut type desserts) but I made African biscuits only two weeks ago with Malawi, Too similar? Instead Daraba interested me as it was spicy with cayenne pepper and was subjected to a thickening with peanut butter. Ultimately it is an African vegetable curry so I wanted to eat it!
Have you ever dropped a tiny drop of raspberry juice in some milk – Ribena maybe? The milk instantly goes pink, which is surprising considering the amount of juice to the volume of milk. The peanut butter did that to this dish; it utterly transformed it. For the majority of the cook I was looking at it thinking I was making a glamorous looking vegetable stock. The cayenne livened the water up a little, but not a lot, and I thought this one could be bulk rather than taste. However, as I have intimated, as soon as I stirred the peanut in the colour of the dish went from bright green to a deep brown and the aroma picked up.
I then made a very silly mistake.
I decided I must taste the dish immediately so I spooned out some okra and gently blew on the liquid on the spoon to cool it down. I did a good job of the liquid which was making contact with the spoon, but neglected to remember that within the starred interior of the okra segment lay more liquid, and liquid which was continuing to cook as it sat within its okra blanket. As that juice hit my tongue I felt 100 wasps sting, and pain within the interior of my nose as I blew steam from it. Dear Chad. Okra is bloody molten. Love Joe.
The dish tasted great. It really did. Yes it was a sloppy stew/ curry, and yes it was pretty simple to make, but that’s the dish. Des prefers Superkanja and I prefer Daraba.
2 Sweet Potatoes
800g Mixed Greens (I used Cabbage)
Cut that all up and stew it in water. Season with salt, pepper and cayenne (to taste)
Stew for 40 mins and then take about half a pint of liquid out. Blend that with two stock cubes (of choice) and 200g of Peanut butter. Return it to the main dish.
Simmer for about 15 mins until it thickens.
Serve with rice or roast plantain (I forgot to get any)