Thursday, 21 July 2016

Garden Egg Stew

This post was inspired by my good friend Ejura. I went to her house and had her version of this stew with fried yam, i had to ask her how she made it. If you don't know by now i'm a food (self-proclaimed) and i quite enjoy cooking every once in a while and moreso loooveee eating what i cook. You are gonna see more cooking related posts on here and i hope it inspires you to whip up some easy tasty meals. 
If you are Nigerian you most likely heard/experienced the tomato scarcity due to many factors but mainly the tuta absoluta virus. 1 basket of Tomatoes i used to buy in Utako Market for #600 suddenly skyrocketed to #8,000 KILODE!! Honestly i can't wait to own my own house 'cos i must have a mini fruits and vegetable farm in it and i still wanna have a proper big farm at some point in my life, dunno what i'll plant yet sha. I digress.
Sooo as tomato turn to gold, my frugal sef turned my back on red stew and jollof rice for the time being o, best believe! I embraced native rice(a.k.a palm oil rice) and palm oil stew (btw red palm oil is a very healthy oil)with open arms! Tatashe (Romano pepper) and Rodo (scotch bonnet) became my best boos and i know some other Nigerians took this route too and also started experimenting with different types of red stew (Carrot stew, Tomatoless Stew, etc.)and ingredients to replace tomato, btw tomato cannot be fully replaced sha.
Next thing i know Tatashe sef turn Diamond o! we no see am for market and if u see am the price no go make sense o na the bad looking one u go see. Warrisallldis! When the family haff embrace palm oil stew with joy. 
Na so i come try this garden egg stew oo, i'v made garden egg sauce in the past but it was a totally different technique and the garden egg would be boiled and mashed not pureed, it was made with vegetable oil plus and u'll still get a tiny bit of a bitter taste from the sauce so it wasn't popular with the fam.
When you make this garden egg stew ehn! choi! especially if you use the combo of fish,jisox! Dem go just dey ask you wetin be this stew. Only someone with a very sharp sense of smell & taste will be able to decode its garden egg stew. It does not smell or look like the one they are used to.
Oya see the recipe below oo, forgive me as i'm an 'eye measurer' when cooking. I just taste as i go so i cannot give accurate measurements for the ingredients. Try to use similar measurements to when you are making your regular stew or taste as u go and add what you need to as per the recipe. Enjoy.
Recipe for Garden Egg Stew

  • Garden Egg (Eggplant.Variety-White with green stripes)
  • Sardine or Smoked Catfish or Dried catfish/Sawa (roasted herring fish)or a combo of all
  • Onions (i love onions so i used a good no.) 
  • Tatashe a.k.a Romano Pepper (optional)
  • Green Bell Pepper (optional)
  • Rodo (red or yellow scotch bonnet) Qty depends on how spicy u like ur food
  • Palm oil OR Vegetable oil (2-3 cooking spoons) depending on the qyt of stew u r cooking or how oily u like ur food
  • Crayfish (Grounded) Qty depends on you
  • Iru (fermented locust beans) Qty depends on you, also optional
  • Pombo (cow skin)
  • Preferred protein-Boiled/Fried or Grilled (optional)
  • Meat stock
  • Knorr cube (to ur taste)
  • Adobo spice (optional)
  • Yaji (optional)
  • Other preferred seasoning (optional)

Slice your onions or Blend with your tatashe, green pepper and rodo with lil water to a somewhat rough or smooth texture depending on ur preference and set aside
Rinse your garden eggs thoroughly with water and a lil salt, cut off the stem and dice the garden eggs into your blender.
Add just enough water for it to be able to blend and Puree your garden eggs in the blender, it should be thick.
Heat up palm oil, add sliced onions, lightly rinsed iru grounded crayfish and meat stock to the hot oil and allow to fry for about 3 mins - (This is my fave kitchen aroma btw)
Iru (fermented locust beans)
Add your sardine or smoked catfish or dried catfish or a combo of all and allow to fry for about 2 mins
Sawa & Smoked Catfish
Add ur blended tatashe and rodo mix to the pot, stir it in and allow to fry until its a thick paste
Add your knorr cube, adobo, yaji (depends on how peppery you want the sauce) and other spices to the pot
Add your pureed garden egg
Stir it all well, cover the pot and allow it cook on medium heat
You can add in your cleaned pombo and boiled/fried/Grilled protein (beef, chicken, turkey, goat meat,etc.) at this point
Check and stir the stew once in a while, till you have a thick mix
Taste the stew and add more spices if needed
Stir again, remove the pot cover/lid and allow the stew fry till its a bit burnt (it gives it a nice Char flavour). Cooking time depends on the quantity of your garden egg stew and how much water you used in blending.
Your Garden egg stew is ready to be eaten whatever you like-rice, beans, yam, bread, etc.
The fam don't even miss regular tomato stew, they wiped out this garden egg stew in 2 days and started requesting i make another batch asap. I obliged them 'cos me sef dey enjoy the thing wella and i made a huge batch this time.
This is our current staple stew.
The next experiment is Carrot Stew, Onion Stew and some other varieties of stew from DooneysKitchen (as a true Triber) i know will be really tasty.
Necessity is the mother of invention/improvisation/innovations &Curiousity is the mother of experiments
Stay Curious & Experiment.


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