Monday, October 17, 2005

Recipe of the Week: Condré ("country" in Pidgin/Bush English) or Plantaines tournés (mixed plantains)

This is possibly the most delicious and unpredictable dish in all of Cameroon. Habiba made it once (as below) and, in so doing, changed my life; but if I ask for condré from anyone else, it is likely to change the dish more than my life. Basically, this is the nation-wide answer to left-overs: cook it with meat, potatoes, beans...anything goes. Cook one plantain per person.

1. peel and cut ripe plantains into 2 or 3 chunks apiece
2. fry a small pool of oil (here used soya oil, but anything will work) in the bottom of a thick pot, and add in a generous quantity of minced tomato, some minced onion, salt to taste, and a Maggi tomato cube (tomato powder and spices...tomato stock) for every 5 or 6 plantains
3. when flavorings thoroughly mixed, throw in plantains and enough water to just cover them
4. cover the pot, and let it all simmer for a good 30 minutes or so - plantains should emerge soft (but not mushy), sticky, and totally coated/infused with the fabulous salty and savory sauce
5. serve plantains in their tomato sauce


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