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Kontomire Stew (Palaver Sauce) with Yam | MyWeku Tastes
kontomire stew with yam and plantain

Kontomire Stew (Palaver Sauce) with Yam

kontomire stew with yam and plantain

This is one of my favourite stews not least because it often gives me a sense that I am finally taking healthy eating with extreme seriousness probably because of its green look. Well, self-delusion does have its comforts. Boiled yam, ampesie (boiled plantain), rice, garri all go with Kontomire stew. I will try kontomire with pasta one day if only to imagine it’s pesto and if I do and its anything like chewing dried bubble gum stuck underneath a park bench, I’ll let you know and if not then surely my life long legacy will be the introduction of this combination to humankind.

The texture of this stew, the infused flavours from the assortment of ingredients and spices gives it a uniquely savoury taste. It’s certainly not a boring stew if only for the sheer number of ingredients often used to get that uniquely savoury taste.

Nkontomire or Kontomire is the name given to Cocoyam leaves or taro in Ghana. Taro which is a source of vitamins A and C is also native to other countries in Africa such as Nigeria (biggest producers in the world), Kenya, Uganda and Tanzania. In Egypt they are called kolkas and in Europe it had been used since Roman times.

Kontomire stew, however, is as Ghanaian as Ghana’s Kenkey even though Nigeria and other countries have similar versions of this tasty stew.

One man’s kontomire is another man’s spinach, kale or collard so feel free to substitute any of these especially with spinach, which I often do. Legend has it that the nickname “Palaver Sauce” originated from a meeting between a group of European colonialists and representatives of some of the indigenous folks at Elmina in pre-independence Ghana to discuss trade. “Palaver” is an old fashioned word which means “prolonged and tedious fuss or discussion or a long unnecessary conversation.” Legend has it that this long and arduous meeting took place over kontomire stew and hence the nick name “palaver sauce.”

To make this as authentically as it’s made in Ghana could be a challenge not least because of the number and rarity of the ingredients needed. Also as with most Pan–African dishes regional variations complicate things further. The recipe below is as close to the original with the exception of substituting rather large crabs for the soft shelled crabs mainly used in Ghana. Smoked salmon appears on the ingredient list as is often the case traditionally but, momone (salted fish) and koobi (salted dried tilapia) are excluded this time. I often use dried cray fish when available to make the stew even more savoury.

Ingredients: A tuber of yam cut in half, kontomire leaves, 2 crabs, 2 smoked salmon and goat meat

Ingredients: Chopped kontomire, palm oil, soaked Agushie and slices yams

Spices, Herbs and Vegetables: Turkey berries, cloves of garlic, onions, shallots and agushi.


Ingredients: Small bag of ground Cayenne pepper, Alligator peppers, tomatoes, scotch bonnet peppers, calabash nutmeg and birds eye chilli pepper.


Finished Dish of Kontomire and Yam with boiled ripe plantain as a side.



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  1. Endlich destilliertes Wasser | kumasicalling

    […] Natürlich war auch am Mittwoch (26.08.) immer noch kein dest. Wasser da! Da ich bereits vorher mit Obed darüber gesprochen habe, mir einige typisch ghanaische Sachen schneidern zu lassen, hat Obed mir angeboten, mich zum Schneider seines Vertrauens zu führen. Im Endeffekt habe ich mich für zwei Hemden und eine Shorts entschieden. Ich bin gespannt, was rauskommt. In weniger als einer Woche sollte alles fertig sein. Handeln musste ich nicht wirklich viel. Alles zusammen kostet 120 Cedi, was nach derzeitigem Kurs 24€ entspricht. Vorbehaltlich der Qualität ist das aus meiner Sicht mehr als vertretbar, wenn man bedenkt, dass er die Stoffe kauft und alles von Hand gemacht wird. Nach dem Mittagessen konnten wir ENDLICH die ersten Versuche machen, da nun unser lang ersehntes Wasser vorhanden war. Zum Mittag gab es übrigens „Kotomre“ (so wurde mir die Schreibweise erklärt; im Netz findet man es als Kontomire oder Palava Sauce) mit gekochter Yam. Ihr erinnert euch vielleicht an die Riesenportion, an deren Name ich mich nicht genau erinnern konnte. Dabei handelte es sich um Kotomre. Dazu wird offensichtlich immer gekochte Plantain serviert, weshalb die Portion wieder viel zu groß war. Die Yam fungierte quasi als zweite Sättigungsbeilage. Für besonders Interessierte habe ich mal was rausgesucht: http://mywekutastes.com/kontomire-stew-palaver-sauce-and-yam/. […]

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