When most of us hear the word matoke (green plantain [bananas]); what immediately comes to mind is this – whole bananas (plantain) that are made in a tasty stew that has some beef or chicken. Sometimes it’s made in peanut sauce (delicious!). Matoke has been a staple dish in African cuisine for centuries.
It is the food that most babies are weaned on. So this gives you an idea of how well it is loved here. There are as many variations of making this dish as there are communities in Africa.
I also found out the other day that it’s made in other parts of the world as well and that the flavours are so rich. The Puerto Ricans call it mofongo. These are green plantains that are fried and mashed in a pilon (wooden mortar and pestle) with garlic, olive oil and some bits of pork cracklings or bacon. They are then filled either with vegetables, beef, shrimp or chicken and served with more fried beef or any broth of your choice. Mofongo is an extremely flavourful dish and it can be eaten at any time of day. It can be served as a side dish or a main dish.
I did not use the pork cracklings (skin of a pig which has been fried to render most of the fat out) and neither did I use bacon. But the dish was still very tasty. You should give it a try and find out for yourself what all the hype is about. I used sunflower vegetable oil for mashing instead of olive oil. In Kenya the price for olive oil is almost three times that one of other oils. Olive trees are not a common thing in Kenya and this means that majority of what we have is imported. Sunflower and corn oils are affordable and widely available.
Recipe for matoke (mofongo) filled with mince meat