So, I paid a visit to the Afro-Caribbean store in Southside the other day and picked up a plantain (I love plantains, like whoa) and what I thought was a sweet potato. It looked sort of like a sweet potato, but it wasn’t marked. I figured the worst it could be was a yam, and I could roll with a yam.
But when I skinned it and cut it open, I was in for a traumatising result. I thought, ‘Hm, this might be a yam.’ And in the time it took me to exit the kitchen, enter the living room, say to Red, ‘I’m not sure it’s a yam, either’, and make it back to the kitchen, the not-yam had sprouted what can only be described as root-vegetable blood which had promptly turned a mouldy colour. Horrifying.
So, I was left with a plantain. Excellent.
Tonight’s dinner was a lesson in ingenuity and good-pantry keeping. And, to my very pleasant surprise, it ended quite tastily.
- 1 ripe plantain (yellow), sliced lengthwise and cut into 1/2-inch chunks
- 1 onion, chopped
- 1 tin kidney beans
- Half a small tin of sweet corn
- 2 large garlic cloves, minced
- 1/2-inch ginger, minced
- 1/2 tsp red chilli flakes
- 1/2 tsp dried thyme
- Half a bay leaf
- 1/4 tsp turmeric
- 1 tsp cumin
- 1/2 tsp ground coriander
- 1/2 tsp oregano
- 1/2 tsp paprika
- salt to taste
- 1 tbsp vegetable oil
- 50mL water, plus more as needed
Step One Heat oil in a big pot. Add onion and sweat over medium-low heat for 5 minutes. Add garlic, ginger, and red chilli flakes and fry for an additional minute.
Step Two Add thyme, bay leaf and 50mL of water with a bit of salt. Stir and cover the pot. Turn the heat down to a simmer and simmer for 5 minutes.
Step Three Add the rest of the ingredients, stir to combine. Add water as necessary to make the consistency just barely on the soupy side of not-sticky. (I know this probably makes no sense. Basically, make sure that the mixture isn’t sticky and burning onto the bottom of the pot, but don’t add so much water that your curry turns into a stew/soup.) Turn up the heat to bring the mixture to a boil. Reduce to a simmer and cover. Simmer for another 5-7 minutes.
Serve with/over brown rice.
Yields 2 servings
Next time I might make it with scotch bonnets instead of chilli flakes and call it Jamaican.