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Rwandan Agatogo

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gracoman View Drop Down
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    Posted: 05 September 2013 at 06:42
Plantains are a starchy cousin to the banana, but more savory and filling. For this reason, they are an important staple all over the tropical regions of the world.

Plantains fruit all year round, which makes the crop a reliable all-season staple food, particularly in developing countries with inadequate food storage, preservation and transportation technologies. In Africa, plantains and bananas provide more than 25 percent of the carbohydrate requirements for over 70 million 

(Wikipedia)


The best way to eat plantains in Rwanda is Agatogo. While there are many variations, the dish always includes plantains, some form of tomato (commonly tomato paste), and either meat, fish, or vegetables. Meat (like goat or chicken) is hard to come by and only those who live on the water typically add dried or smoked fish (injanga). Some farm fresh veggies are about as universal as it gets.


Fun fact: 

Agatogo is commonly refereed to by Peace Core volunteers as “hangover stew”.  



Agatogo with Collard Greens


Ingredients:

vegetable oil
1 large onion, chopped
5 cloves garlic, sliced
6 oz can tomato paste
4 mostly green plantains
3 cups of thinly sliced, loosely packed collard greens (about 1/3 of a bunch)
1 quart vegetable broth (or water)
1/2 cup peanuts, measured then ground
oil and salt


Method:

First, let’s figure out how to peel a green plantain. The skin sticks firmly to the flesh, so I recommend cutting the plantain in hunks, then slitting along the side one time. This will make it easier to crack the peel back (sometimes I need to use a paring knife to help if the plantain is really green.


Next, fry the onion some vegetable oil until soft, then add in the garlic and continue cooking until the onions are just beginning to color. 


Add on the tomato paste, give a good stir, then toss on the plantains, greens, and mix with the vegetable broth. Add salt to taste (locals recommend using lots of salt, since the plantains absorb quite a bit). 


Let simmer uncovered for about 30 minutes, or until the plantains are tender and no longer white. Then sprinkle on the crushed peanuts.


If you’d like the stew thinner you can add some more broth or water, until you find the ideal consistency.



Agatogo ingredients: green plantains, ground nuts (peanuts), onion, garlic, collard greens and tomato paste




Onion and sliced garlic in the pan




Add the rest and simmer until plantains are no longer white




Plated and topped with more ground peanuts



I was pleasantly surprised by this dish. It is cheap, comforting and nutritious. I will be making this again.
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TasunkaWitko View Drop Down
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Post Options Post Options   Thanks (0) Thanks(0)   Quote TasunkaWitko Quote  Post ReplyReply Direct Link To This Post Posted: 05 September 2013 at 08:46
Excellent, GM - and thank you for posting!
 
The last time I bought plantains at the "local" grocery, they were completely dried out, brown and hard as a rock, resembling thick sticks suitable for kindling. Sometime when we go to the "Big City" (i.e, Great Falls, Billings or Helena), I will try to pick up some better ones.
 
Wonderful dish, and I do intend to try it!
 
 
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africanmeat View Drop Down
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Post Options Post Options   Thanks (0) Thanks(0)   Quote africanmeat Quote  Post ReplyReply Direct Link To This Post Posted: 05 September 2013 at 13:04
this is new for me .
thanks for posting .
Ahron
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Post Options Post Options   Thanks (0) Thanks(0)   Quote gracoman Quote  Post ReplyReply Direct Link To This Post Posted: 05 September 2013 at 19:41
Ahron, the dish turned out much better than I had expected considering the simple ingredient list.  

As is the case with many stews, it was even better the next day.   I read, after the fact, that one may blister a habanero or other hot chile and drag it through the stew for some added heat so for breakfast I cheated a bit and added some Cholula Mexican hot sauce as piri piri was unavailable.  I plan on remedying that situation very soon.
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