African Smoked Fish & Kumara Stew

African Fish & Kumara Stew 007aSmoky, spicy and warming, this is my take on a rather vague recipe, called African Smoked Fish Stew, which I came across while
researching something else.

So I did some further research on it and found that apparently it is a favourite Ghanaian and Guinean dish – some recipes include a
variety of vegetables while others are simply a chilli-flavoured
tomato sauce with smoked fish. Some recipes also use fresh fish.

In this part of the world cooking in a tomato sauce is traditional and a way to enrich, thicken and extend dishes such as stews and soups.

I had a lovely piece of hot smoked gemfish so mine is a smoked fish version. Any variety of naturally smoked fish could be used –many of the recipes I saw used smoked salmon. I have also given it a bit of New Zealand twist by including kumara. The one thing all the
recipes I came across had in common was the inclusion of chilli and most noted that spiciness was the main characteristic of this dish. You can, of course, adjust the amount according to the tastes of those you are feeding.

African Smoked Fish & Kumara Stew

One of the traditional ways to serve this stew is over steamed white rice.

Serves 4

1 large onion, chopped
2 tbsp vegetable oil
2 cloves garlic, finely chopped
1 tbsp grated fresh ginger
good pinch dried chilli flakes, or to taste
1L chicken or vegetable stock
440g can diced tomatoes
2 tbsp tomato paste
500g kumara, diced
600g hot smoked fish of your choice
salt and freshly ground black pepper, to taste

1              Place onion and oil in a heavy-based saucepan over a
medium heat. Cover and cook, stirring occasionally, for 8-10 minutes or until onions are soft and translucent.
2              Add garlic, ginger and chilli flakes and cook, stirring, for 1-2 minutes or until fragrant.
3              Add stock, tomatoes and tomato paste, bring to simmering and cook, stirring occasionally, for 10 minutes.
4              Add kumara, cover, bring back to simmering and simmer, stirring occasionally, for 20 minutes or until kumara is tender.
5              Meanwhile, flake fish, removing skin and any bones.
6              Once kumara is cooked, stir in fish, bring back to simmering and simmer, stirring occasionally, for 10 minutes. Season to taste with salt and pepper.

Happy cooking and eating.

Recipe by Rachel Blackmore

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