Friday, February 17, 2012

Beninese Crab Stew

This wasn't a real recipe I found from Benin, but rather a combination of a few different recipes. I liked the flavors of sauce gumbo (slow-stewed okra and tomatoes) and ago glain (crab seasoned with pili-pili). So I combined them and came up with this.

Pili-pili most often refers to African Birdseye peppers, but since pili-pili simply means "pepper-pepper" and is a generic term for any African chile, I used a poblano chile I had in the fridge.

I learned this today: the name for okra sounds like 'gumbo' in several African dialects. For something to be called a gumbo, it should contain okra. Interesting.

poblano chile
minced garlic
sliced tomatoes
chicken boullion
crab meat, cooked and cleaned
smoked sea salt

In a large flat-bottomed pan, soften the garlic and chile in a pat of butter with a splash of olive oil. Add the tomatoes, okra, and chicken boullion. Cook until the okra is cooked through. There's a reason Peace Corp volunteers call this "snot sauce." Add the crab meat and season to taste. Serve with mashed cassava and mashed plantains.

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