Burkina Faso (known as Upper Volta in colonial times) lies in central West Africa, north of Ghana. This is a lovely dish I adapted from a book called The Art of African Cooking by Sandy Lesberg, a paperback from 1971 that I found in a used bookstore (the recipes were culled from diplomats and "the first ladies of the new African nations", and were not always edited very coherently). Serves 4-6.
1 onion, sliced thin
Saute 'til golden in about 1/4 c. oil (preferably peanut oil).
1/4-1/2 t. cayenne
2 c. tomato sauce (1 tall can)
Stir in and bring to light boil over med. heat.
1 1/2 lbs. catfish (or other freshwater fish), cut in large pieces
1/2-3/4 lb. okra, halved (or one box frozen)
3 carrots, sliced 1/4" thick
1 small head cabbage, 1/4'd and sliced
1/2-3/4 lb. green beans, cut (or one box frozen)
Add to sauce; cover and return to boil. Reduce heat to low and simmer 5-10 min.
1 c. rice
Bring sauce to boil again and add rice; reduce heat to simmer, cover and cook about 25 min., adding water if necessary to prevent sticking. For a special dinner, serve with Lemon Porridge (next).
This is a version of fufu, a starch food common as a staple throughout Africa south of the Sahara.
2 c. millet flour or fine white cornmeal
You should be able to get millet flour at a good natural food store--or you can grind your own flour in your blender. If you have coarse cornmeal, regrind it in the blender or sift it. Gradually blend the flour w/4 c. cold water, mixing well to avoid lumps.
juice of 1/2 lemon
Add and let the batter stand for 15 minutes. Bring 1 c. water to boil in a large saucepan; gradually pour in your millet batter, stirring w/a wooden spoon 'til smooth. Reduce heat and cook, stirring, 'til porridge bubbles thickly.
This is traditionally meant to be finger-food (takes the place of utensils, like the crust on a pizza: you take a bit of stiff porridge in your right hand and wrap it around a bit of stew), so it should be stiff--not "porridge" like oatmeal, but more like hot, somewhat moist bread-dough. Keep cooking and stirring after the bubbles start to form for about five minutes, 'til "thick, glossy, and smooth". Pour porridge into a mold or bowl and let stand 'til set (about 30 min.; it'll continue to thicken somewhat). Unmold and serve with stew.
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