Thursday, September 10, 2015

Togo - Tomato Cornmeal Cakes

Togo is a country in West Africa. Cornmeal is a staple food much used by the Togolese people so I chose this dish of Cornmeal Cakes. Looks lovely!


3 cloves garlic
1 teaspoon ginger
1 onion, grated
2 tablespoons red palm oil
1 can chopped tomatoes
2 tablespoons tomato puree
2 cups cornmeal
4 cups chicken stock
Salt & pepper

Melt two tablespoons of red palm oil in a pan. This was my first time using it and it's a solid thing in a bottle so you have to squeeze it out to measure it. It also smells awful as it melts.

 Saute the onion, garlic and ginger in the oil. The red palm oil made everything a lovely orange colour.

After a few minutes add the tomatoes and tomato puree. Simmer this for 15 minutes so it's nicely thickened. When it's done remove a cupful to use later.

Now add the stock and cornmeal, 4 cups seemed like a lot but when I started adding the cornmeal I could see why. The cornmeal rapidly soaks up the stock, it thickens so quickly it's a good idea to have someone to stir it while you add it.

Remove from the heat. As it cools it thickens even more so now you can do the moulding. Use any small mould you have (I used an empty cleaned out yoghurt pot). Oil the pot, press the cornmeal into the pot and scrape the top with a knife. Tip out onto the dish and repeat.

 Serve with the cup of tomato mixture you removed earlier.

I was surprised how solid the cornmeal was when we came to eat them. You could slice them with a knife! The cornmeal cakes had a lovely flavour from the ginger, garlic and onion but JD said that larger pieces of onion would've been nicer. It's a nice looking dish and making it was like making sandcastles but easier :p JD had some leftover cornmeal for his lunch the next day because this recipe makes loads of it. We enjoyed the cornmeal cakes, it's a different way to eat cornmeal as we usually use it for making cornbread or corn dogs. :)

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