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Benin (Beninese Recipes)

World Cuisine Recipes

 
   Traditional Beninese recipes are rich in rice, corn, beans, yams, cassava and millet while the most popular meat found in Benin is fish and Chicken. In common with much of West Africa, due to its relative expense meat is consumed only on special occasions. Due to its having been a French colony there is a significant French influence in Beninese cuisine. The country is also rich in vegetables such as oranges, bananas, mandarin oranges, pineapples, kiwi, avocado and peanuts. These are commonly used in recipes and Beninese cuisine is recognized all through Africa for it's exotic ingredients and cooking methods.
Benin Red Sauce
Ingredients:

4 tbsp oil (vegetable or groundnut)
2 large onions, chopped
3 garlic cloves, crushed
12 ripe tomatoes, crushed
3 hot (eg Scotch Bonnet) chillies, crushed
1 Maggi or bouillon, cube
Black pepper, to taste
Cooking Instructions:
Heat the oil in a pan, add the onions and fry for a minute then add the tomatoes, garlic and chillies. Fry for 5 minutes then top-up with 750 ml water and add the Maggi cube. Cover and allow to boil for about 20 minutes until all the ingredients have blended together and the tomatoes have broken down. Season with black pepper and serve. In addition to the basic sauce given above you can also add 3 more Scotch Bonnet chillies to make it hotter. You can also add 500 g cubed meat or 4 whole fish cut into steaks.
Beninese Beef Stew
Ingredients:

1kg beef (any stewing cut), cubed
300 g chopped onions
3 tbsp West African Curry Powder
2 tsp salt
Ground cayenne pepper to taste
360 ml coconut milk
810 deep-fried sweet potato chunks
4 tbsp margarine or butter
1 tbsp flour
60 ml smooth, unsweetened, peanut butter
5 garlic cloves, minced or pounded to a paste
3 whole hot red chillies
250 ml water
Several whole okra, with tops removed
Cooking Instructions:
Add the margarine (or butter) to a pan, heat and use this to brown the beef. Remove the beef and reserve then use the remaining oil in the pan to fry the onions and garlic until they are golden brown. At this point add the flour, curry powder, salt, cayenne pepper and the peanut butter. Heat for a minute then slowly add the coconut milk (so it does not split) and then add the water. Continue cooking (stirring all the while) until the sauce thickens. Then add the meat and chillies and simmer, covered, until the beef is tender (this can take up to 2 hours, depending on the cut of meat). About 20 minutes before the dish is ready add the okra and fried sweet potatoes. Serve immediately on a bed of rice.
Beninese Peanut Sauce
Ingredients:

3 tbsp oil
2 tbsp tomato puree
2 tsp piment (Scotch bonnet chillies pounded to a paste in a pestle and mortar)
1/2 tsp salt
1 Maggi cube or beef bouillon
120 ml peanut butter (smooth, unsweetened)
150 g diced onion
Cooking Instructions:
Add the oil to a pan, heat and use it to fry the piment, onion, tomato puree and Maggi cube. Cook until the onion softens then add the peanut butter and about 250ml water. Mix well and slowly bring to a boil. Reduce to a simmer, cover, and cook for about 15 minutes. Serve the sauce with cooked white sweet potatoes. This also makes an excellent sauce to accompany Ingame.
Peanut Sauce
Servins: 3
Ingredients:
3 tbs oil
2 tbs tomato paste
1/2 -1 tsp of your favorite piment (hot pepper)
1/2 tsp salt
1 beef bullion cube
1 cup water
1/2 cup peanut butter
1/2 cup diced onion
Cooking Instructions:
Saute tomato paste, hot pepper, salt, onion and bullion cube in oil for a few minutes.  Add peanut butter and water.  All natural peanut butter is better than the processed type because it doesnt have any sugar that clashes with the salt.  Mix and bring to a boil.  Simmer for 15 minutes.
Sauce Legume
Ingredients:

2 tbs Oil
Garlic
1/2 Onion
1  Small Tomato or 2 tbs tomato paste
1 tsp Piment
1 1/2 cups Collard Greens
Fish or fish sauce
1 Bullion cube
2 cups water
Cooking Instructions:
Saute the onions, piment, garlic and tomato paste in oil for a few minutes.  Add water, and bullion cube and fish sauce.  Simmer for 15 minutes.  Add collard greens and cook for 5 more minutes.
Ago Glain
Ingredients:

6 large (400 g) fresh crabs
250 ml vinegar
500 ml peanut butter
3 large tomatoes
1 bayleaf
1 sprig parsley, chopped
1 large onion
2 large onions, chopped
3 whole cloves
juice of 3 limes
1 tbp dende (palm) oil
1 tbsp chopped piri-piri chillies
Salt and black pepper to taste
Cooking Instructions:
Wash the crabs and place in a large stockpot full of boiling water to vinegar has been added. Season with solt and pepper and cook for 10 minutes, skimmin-off any scum that forms on the surface of the pot. Add the whole tomatoes, bay leaf, parsley and the whole onion with the cloves stuck in it. Continue cooking for 5 minutes then remove the tomatoes and continue cooking the remaining ingredients for a further 5 minutes. Remove the crabs at this point, remove their shells and take out the crabmeat from the body and cloaws. Mix this with the lime juice and set aside. Meanwhile heat the oil in a pan and add fry the finely chopped onions until translucent. Add the tomatoes and cook until they form a paste before adding the chillies. Now add the crabmeat and stir to heat through. Stuff the crabmeat into the cleaned shells and serve with rice (the rice can be made with the stock from boiling the crabs).
Akkra Funfun
Ingredients:

300 g dried white beans
60 ml water
2 tsp salt
oil for deep-fat frying (traditionally a 2:1 mix of groundnut oil to palm oil would be used)
2 tbsp finely-chopped onions
Salt to taste
Cayenne pepper to taste
Cooking Instructions:
Wash the beans and soak in plenty of water over night. The following day wash the beans again, place in a pan, cover with water and bring to a boil. Reduce to a simmer and cook for about 40 minutes, or until the beans are soft. Drain well and place in a blender with 60ml water and 2 tsp salt. Blend until they form a thick dough-like paste (add a little more water if necessary). Meanwhile add the oil to a wok or deep-fat fryer and heat to about 190C. Fold the chopped onion, salt and cayenne pepper into the bean paste then drop the mixture into the oil a tablespoon at a time and fry until golden brown. Drain the fritters on kitchen paper and serve hot. For a Nigerian version add chopped hot chillies or finely-dices okra to the mixture. This is a traditional Yoruban snack and is commonly made with black-eyed beans in Nigeria and with white beans in Benin. You can also substitute pumpkin for the beans, as is done in traditional Barbadian cooking.
Beninese Ragout
Ingredients:

1 medium yam, peeled and cut into 3cm dice
4 medium tomatoes, blanched, peeled and chopped
1 kg soup bones
2 onions, chopped
1.5 l water
Salt pepper and chilli paste to taste
Cooking Instructions:
Add all the ingredients to a large pot, season and stir to mix. Bring to a boil, cover and simmer for an hour. After an hour mash the yams as best you can then continue cooking for a further hour. Completely mash the yams this time. Uncover, remove the bones and continue cooking until the ragout thickens to your desired consistency then serve immediately.
Calalu
Ingredients:

1.2 kg meat cut into bite sized pieces (any combination of red meat, fowl and/or fish can be used)
1 kg or more, mixed greens
3 tomatoes, blanched, peeled and chopped
200 g dried prawns
10 okra, chopped
1 onion, chopped
1 garlic clove, minced
2 hot chilli peppers, chopped
Salt, black pepper and cayenne pepper to taste
Palm oil for cooking (or groundnut oil with paprika for coloring)
Cooking Instructions:
Heat some 4 tbsp oil in a large pot and fry the meat and onions until the meat is browned. Add all the remaining ingredients and just enough water to partially cover them. Cover and reduce the heat to a simmer. Cook on very low heat for two hours or more. Serve on a bed of rice.
Dahomey Fish Stew
Ingredients:

2 porgies (or sea bream, tilapia, sea bass or any firm low-fat white-fleshed fish) about 600g each
Flour
Salt and black pepper to taste
60 ml palm oil or vegetable oil
2 onions, finely chopped
250 ml fish stock or water
Cayenne pepper
Cooking Instructions:
Cut the fish across the backbone into 5cm steaks. Season the flour with the salt and pepper in a bowl then dredge the fish in this. Meanwhile heat the oil in a frying pan and cook the fish in this oil, turning it until it is golden brown all over. Remove and set aside. Add the onions to the frying pan and cook for a few minutes before adding the tomatoes. Stir and cook for about ten minutes then add the fish stock, reduce the heat, cover and simmer for ten minutes more. Return the fish to the pan, add the cayenne pepper and simmer for some 20 minutes. Serve hot on a bed of rice.
Moyo of Smoked Chicken (Moyo de Poulet Fume)
Ingredients:

1 kg whole smoked chicken, skinned
6 medium tomatoes, blanched, peeled, and chopped
60 ml chicken stock (or water + Maggi chicken cube)
2 hot chillies, pierced with a fork
2 medium onions, thinly sliced
1 tbsp groundnut oil
1 tsp soy sauce
Cooking Instructions:
Spatchcock the chicken and discard the backbone then cut into 4 serving-sized pieces. Place all the other ingredients in a pan and bring to a brisk boil, stirring frequently. Cook for 5 minutes then add the chicken and reduce the heat to a low simmer. Continue cooking, uncovered, for about 20 minutes with occasional stirring and serve over a bed of rice.
White Pâté (Pâté Blanche)
Ingredients:

320 g corn flour (this is the white 'fine corn meal' sold to make tacos etc)
600 ml water
Cooking Instructions:
Bring water to a rolling boil. Lightly season and add the cornflour whilst whisking vigorously until all the lumps are broken and the mixture starts to thicken. Pour the pâté into a greased bowl and allow to cool. Serve in a bowl, accompanied by any gelatinous or glutinous chilli-based sace. To use dip your fingers in the pâté to scoop some of the pap up. Then dip your fingers in the sauce and eat.
Red Pâté (Pâté Rouge)
Ingredients:

320 g corn flour (this is the white 'fine corn meal' sold to make tacos etc)
1 Maggi (or bouillon) cube
2 tbsp tomato puree
2 tsp Piment (Scotch Bonnet chillies pounded to a paste)
1/4 large onion, finely chopped
Cooking Instructions:
Pound the chillies, Maggi cube, onion and chillies to a paste in a pestle and mortar. Add 2 tbsp oil to a pan and use to gently fry the chilli paste. Add the tomato puree and fry for 2 more minutes. Add 600 ml water and bring to a boil. Lightly season and add the cornflour whilst whisking vigorously until all the lumps are broken and the mixture starts to thicken. Pour the pâté into a greased bowl and allow to cool. Serve in a bowl, accompanied by any gelatinous or glutinous chilli-based sace. To use dip your fingers in the pâté to scoop some of the pap up. Then dip your fingers in the sauce and eat.
 

World Cuisine Recipes

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