Coconut-Bean One-Pot

Ayikple

Preparation info

  • Difficulty

    Easy

  • Makes

    4

    generous servings

Appears in

The Ghana Cookbook

By Fran Osseo-Asare and Barbara Baëta

Published 2015

  • About

This porridge is best eaten immediately after it is prepared. Barbara insists it is no good once it cools, and unlike many dishes, is not as good reheated. Ayikple has an amazing flavor and texture. The crayfish and herring provide a magical umami flavor. The delicate but rich coconut milk is reminiscent of the cooking of the Bahia region of Brazil.

Ingredients

  • 1 cup dried adzuki beans
  • 1 can coconut milk plus 2 cups water
  • 2 teaspoons grated or ground fresh ginger (or to taste)
  • Sliced fresh chili peppers to taste: e.g., ⅛ to ¼ cup seeded green jalapeno peppers for mild; cup fresh cayenne peppers, seeds and membranes removed for hot; or ⅛ to ¼ teaspoon dried ground red pepper (add more after cooking if a spicier flavor is desired)
  • cup smoked herring, ground or pounded
  • ¼ cup dried ground (or pounded) crayfish
  • 1 teaspoon salt or seasoned salt (or to taste)
  • Up to 2 cups Toasted Corn Flour (Ablemamu); or substitute stone-ground white corn flour toasted in a fry pan over medium heat until light brown (do not use cornmeal)

Ghanaian Basic Tomato Gravy

Method

Directions

Prepare beans

  1. Rinse and pick through the beans, cover with water, and soak overnight. (Or use the quick method: cover the beans with water in a pot, boil for a few minutes, and remove from heat and let sit covered for an hour.)
  2. When ready to begin cooking, drain the soaking water off the beans and add 8 cups of fresh water. Simmer them, covered, until tender. This may take several hours.

Prepare tomato gravy

  1. While the beans cook, make the tomato gravy following the instructions.

Assemble one-pot

  1. When the beans are cooked, drain and add the coconut milk and water (4 cups total). Add 1⅓ to 1½ cups tomato gravy, the ginger, chili pepper, herrings, dried crayfish, and salt. Simmer on medium for a few minutes to allow the flavors to blend, making sure the mixture does not scorch. Taste the mixture as it cooks and remove the sliced chili peppers if worried about it becoming too spicy.
  2. The tricky part is right at the end, when adding the toasted corn flour: Sprinkle half of the flour in quickly, stirring like crazy with a strong wooden spoon or a stirring stick to make sure it does not get lumpy. Repeat with most of the remaining flour until the porridge is very thick.

To serve

Shito, Fresh Pepper Sauce, or any chili sambal are nice on the side. I have garnished it with grilled tiger shrimp. At Flair, we ate this meal with a hearty red Slavic wine. Ghanaians do not always have the same ideas about which wines “go” with which foods as North Americans. Round out a fabulous meal with some fresh watermelon, papaya, or pineapple.