Plantain porridge is a dish eaten by a majority of Africans. This recipe usually calls for unripe plantain. But as someone who is not a big fan of unripe plantain, I decided to purchase ripe plantains because I truly believe it gives this dish way more flavor.
Yam porridge is another substitute for plantain porridge that a lot of Nigerians opt for more frequently. The steps to prepare yam porridge is very similar to that of plantain porridge, so if you can succeed at making this dish, you should be okay preparing yam porridge.
Palm oil is a major key ingredient for this recipe because the palm oil adds a rich authentic flavor to the overall dish. Often times, when palm oil is not available, one may opt for stew oil. But I personally find stew oil to be a poor substitute for palm oil, so I will advise you to stick to regular palm oil.
Ingredients for Nigerian plantain porridge
- Ripe Plantains: The star of the dish, ripe plantains provide natural sweetness and a creamy, starchy base for the porridge. But feel free to use unripe plantain or yam
- Diced Onion: This serves as an aromatic, adding depth of flavor and a touch of sweetness to the dish.
- Smoked Turkey Tails: These add a hearty, smoky flavor and protein to the dish. The smoked quality enhances the overall richness.
- Palm Oil: This provides the traditional West African flavor to the dish; however, avocado oil can be used as a healthier substitute.
- Salt: A fundamental seasoning, salt enhances the natural flavors of all the other ingredients.
- Maggi Cubes: These are concentrated bouillon cubes that provide extra seasoning and depth to the dish.
- Cayenne Pepper: This adds a bit of heat, making the dish more vibrant and exciting.
- Oregano: Gives an earthy undertone to the dish.
- Curry: This spice adds a layer of complexity and an exotic flair to the dish.
- Habanero Peppers: These add substantial heat to the dish, and you can adjust the amount based on your spice tolerance.
- Blended Crayfish: This unique ingredient adds a seafood essence and an additional layer of umami flavor.
- Water: Used for cooking the plantains and combining all the flavors, water is essential for achieving the right porridge-like consistency.
How To Cook Plantain Porridge
First, prepare the pepper mixture by adding onions and red bell peppers to a blender and blending until smooth; set this aside. For the main dish, place a medium-sized pot on medium heat and add palm oil and red onions, sautéing until the onion’s redness starts to fade.
Next, add smoked turkey, salt, Maggi cubes, ground pepper, curry, oregano, habanero peppers, and crayfish to the pot, stirring to combine. Pour in the blended onion and bell pepper mixture, stir, and let it cook for about 10-15 minutes.
Add diced plantains and approximately 2 cups of water to the pot, and let it cook for 30 minutes or until the plantains are tender. Once the plantains are cooked, give the dish a final stir to combine all the flavors, then serve hot and enjoy.
Related: Coconut Rice Recipe
To make this plantain porridge dish even more flavorful, I would recommend not skipping the smoked turkey and crayfish during preparation. Each time I prepare this dish with smoked turkey (which is pretty much all the time) I often find myself longing for more. If you don’t have smoked turkey in your area, not to worry, smoked fish should work well too. However, I would only recommend that you use smoked fish if you do decide to use unripe plantain porridge or yam.
If you just happen to be vegan but still want the deliciousness of this dish, then you should definitely check out our vegan plantain porridge recipe. I’m sure you would love that too!
Frequently Asked Questions
Can I substitute the smoked turkey tails?
Yes, you can use other types of protein like chicken or even fish. Just note that the unique smoky flavor of turkey tails adds an extra layer of depth to the dish.
Is palm oil necessary?
Palm oil gives the dish its authentic West African flavor. However, if you are looking for a healthier alternative, avocado oil works well as a substitute.
What are Maggi cubes, and can I replace them?
Maggi cubes are concentrated bouillon cubes used for seasoning. If you don’t have them, you can substitute with chicken or vegetable bouillon cubes. But I swear by Maggi Cubes, it’s the best!!
Can I freeze plantain porridge?
It’s not recommended to freeze this dish as the plantains may become mushy upon thawing.
How spicy is this recipe?
The recipe calls for cayenne pepper and habanero peppers, both of which add heat. If you’re sensitive to spice, you can adjust the amount to your preference or omit them entirely.
While preparing this recipe, it’s important you add enough water to cook the plantain. I suggest adding enough quantity of water to cover the plantain when you’re about to boil it in the sauce. You don’t want your plantain coming out very hard, so make sure you give it more time to cook. However, be careful not to add too much water so your porridge doesn’t end up very mushy.
I promise you guys would love this dish. I made it twice within the same week and couldn’t get enough of it. I’m hoping to make another batch soon because this delicacy can never get too old.
Let me know in the comments if you guys try this dish.
Similar Post: Baked Homemade plantain chips recipe
Plantain Porridge Recipe
Plantain Porridge Recipe
- 8 plantains - ripe and cut into chunks
- 1 onion - diced
- 2 lbs turkey - (smoked turkey tails), cut into chunks
- 2 tbsp palm oil - substitute with avocado oil
- ½ tsp salt
- 2 Maggi cubes
- ½ tsp cayenne pepper
- ½ tsp oregano
- ½ tsp curry
- 3 habanero peppers - Chopped, with seeds removed (use more or less depending on your spice preference)
- 1 tbsp crayfish - blended
- 2 cups water
Blended Pepper Mixture
- 2 onion - Cut into chunks for easy blending
- 2 red bell pepper - Cut into chunks for easy blending
- Place your onions and red bell peppers in a blender. Blend until the mixture reaches a smooth consistency, then set it aside for later use.
For the Main dish
- Place a medium-sized pot on medium heat and add palm oil and red onions. Sauté the onions until their red hue starts to fade.
- To the pot, add smoked turkey, salt, Maggi cubes, ground pepper, curry, oregano, habanero peppers, and crayfish. Stir to combine all the ingredients.
- Pour the blended onion and bell pepper mixture into the pot. Stir and let it cook for approximately 10-15 minutes.
- Add diced plantains to the pot along with about 2 cups of water. Let this cook for 30 minutes, or until the plantains are tender.
- Once the plantains are tender, stir the pot's contents well to combine all the flavors. Serve hot and enjoy.