Red-red stew with spiced plantain

Traditionally a red-red stew is made with palm oil and tomatoes. 


For the kelewele dry spice mix

  • 2 tbsp ground ginger
  • 1 tbsp ground cinnamon
  • 1 tbsp ground nutmeg
  • 1 tbsp cayenne pepper
  • ½ tbsp ground cloves

For the stew

  • 200g/7oz dried black-eyed beans or 1 x 400g tin black-eyed beans, drained and rinsed
  • 75ml/2½fl oz palm oil
  • 2 red onions, finely chopped
  • 2.5cm/1in piece fresh root ginger, finely grated
  • ½ tbsp dried chilli flakes
  • ½ red scotch bonnet chilli, deseeded and diced
  • ½ tsp curry powder
  • ½ tbsp chilli powder
  • 1 x 400g tin chopped tomatoes
  • 4 plum tomatoes, roughly chopped
  • 1 tbsp tomato purée
  • 1 tsp sea salt
  • ½tsp ground black pepper
  • garri, for garnish

For the spiced plantain

  • 1 heaped tbsp kelewele dry spice mix, from above
  • 1 small red onion, grated
  • 5cm/2in fresh root ginger, grated
  • pinch sea salt
  • vegetable oil, for deep-frying
  • 4-6 ripe plantains, peeled and cut into chips
  • handful roasted peanuts, crushed


  1. Mix the ingredients for the kelewele dry spice mix together in a lidded jar and set aside.

  2. If using dried beans, rinse and place in a large saucepan, cover with water and bring to the boil, then simmer for at least 1 hour until the beans are tender.

  3. Heat the oil in a large saucepan over a low-medium heat. Add the onion, ginger, chilli flakes and scotch bonnet and fry gently until the onion is translucent.

  4. Add the curry and chilli powders and stir well. Add the tomatoes, tomato purée, salt and pepper and cook for 45–60 minutes.

  5. Add the beans, reduce the heat and cook for 30 minutes, stirring occasionally, until the beans are tender and the tomatoes have lost their sharp taste.

  6. For the spiced plantain, mix the dry spice mix with the onion, ginger, salt and 2 tablespoon of oil in a bowl.

  7. Coat the plantain in the spice mix and leave to marinate for at least 20 minutes.

  8. Preheat a deep-fat fryer to 180C. (CAUTION: hot oil can be dangerous. Do not leave unattended.) Fry the plantain chips in batches until they float to the surface and are an even golden colour. Remove with a slotted spoon and drain on kitchen paper.

  9. To serve, spoon the stew into large bowls and sprinkle the garri over the top. Serve the plantain on the side, sprinkled with the crushed peanuts.

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