Red in Ghana’s red red stew
Ghana’s red red stew: Red is the colour of life, love, passion, fieriness and hungry lips. Red is strong-willed and girds up your loins to take action.
Red is not my favourite or natural colour by any means. My comfort zone tends to be represented by earthly colours like mocha. But just as man must not live by bread alone, I also occasionally stray into territories unknown, foreign, uncontrollable, exotic and outlandish.
Red reminds me of my babouche, bought in a souk on my first trip to Marrakesh, Morocco. It is no mere babouche. Countless hours were spent researching, visiting shops in a variety of souks, feeling the quality of a myriad babouches and finaly settling on my babouche. My babouche had to be in red. How else could I possibly garner all that attention I get when I slip my feet into them?
Red reminds me of the lettering and envelope of my last valentine’s card. That day was celebrated and marked with a lot of other red. A red velvet cake, a meal with a red atmosphere of unbridled romance in a Chinese restaurant and red lipstick not too far off.
Red reminds me of my favourite chilli spices. If addiction had a colour it will be red. Red Cayenne powder, birds eye chillies, scotch bonnet and smoked paprika all have one thing in common. Fieriness. They never fail to assert themselves and if need be could easily aggressively dominate all others in a dish.
Red reminds me of my football team, Arsenal. We are generally seen as losers who last won anything of note decades ago. I probably agree with that notion and ought to change teams, but passion for something, anything, has a way of relegating rationale to the background in favour of loyalty, longsuffering and unadulterated love! Or quite possibly the red in my team’s colour is what continues to hook me.
When I stray into living in red, I tend to move at breakneck speed and can only stop to re-fuel. Even that period of refuelling must be done in red.
Ghana’s red red stew served with a strawberry with blood orange smoothie does the trick. Red Red is simply black eyed beans in tomatoes, onion, pepper, palm oil mix sauce served traditionally with fried plantain and or tatale. This meal must have elicited so much red passion and excitement in folks that it was named twice! Red Red! The traditional use of palm oil, which is red in colour, in this dish, must have had something to do with its name as well.
Today my aim is to draw you unwittingly or alert with your eyes wide open into my red zone where there is no such thing as pumping the breaks for a breather. If you are as giddy as I am then grab your cooking pots, some black eyed beans, palm oil, tomatoes, onions, ripe plantain and some spices and herbs and meet me below for Ghana’s red red stew!
In the photo above, gari and Tatale were added, finally to give it that full Ghanaian red red authenticity.
Click to Get the recipe for Red Red