Cocoyam is a root vegetable which is readily available in Ghana and it's rich in Vitamin B6 and magnesium. The Cocoyam leaves(African Spinach) are traditionally known as Kontomire in Ghana. They're rich in Vitamins A & C and contain more protein than the corm.
The leaves are used for , sauces, stews (Palavar sauce, Kontomire stew etc) and soups in Ghana. Cocoyams are used the same way one would potatoes and has a slight earthy taste.
It's popular in most Asian cuisines and readily available in both African and Asian grocers.
Dishes made from Cocoyam includes Fufu, Chips, Pottage to mention but a few.
During my childhood, Cocoyam wasn't as popular as Yam, hence I'm creating new ways of incorporating Cocoyam in everyday dishes.
I was rather surprised about a trip to Thailand (stayed in the Sarojin hotel, Khao Lak) where we were given complimentary snacks of Cocoyam crisp. My husband couldn't understand my excitement and I had to explain the limited ways it was used in Ghana.
I pinched myself to think an ingredient that wasn't popularly used had many uses and nutritional contents. My personal mission is to create as many recipes from Cocoyam.
Anyway back to 2015, I found the Cocoyam in my local Asian grocers and I couldn't help but grab a few.
The grocer then informed me he's just taken stock of some fresh Guava's. Naturally I bought more than I needed, simply because it's been a while since I tasted fresh Guavas.
After my grocery trip, I was too tired to cook and wanted to create a one pot dish. I started imagining the flavours I wanted for this dish.
I wanted something that would compliment the moorish, earthy taste of the Cocoyam. The idea to incorporate the Guava was to add a tangy and sweet flavour to the soup.
I've always loved Cocoyam pottage or just steamed to accompany any vegetable sauce or stew.
I wanted an unusual colour to the soup, as this will get any guest guessing and question the dish.
My husband saw the soup and I silently grinned at his uncertain reaction to the colour of the soup. A taste of the soup, got him going for seconds and I knew I just cracked another recipe.
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Enjoy the recipe.
1 large peeled and diced Cocoyam
2 tablespoonfuls of Olive oil
2 large chopped Banana shallots
200g of chopped purple cabbage
2 peeled cloves of Garlic
100g of diced Guava
700ml of Vegetable/ Chicken stock
20g of peeled and diced Ginger
7g of Guinea Pepper or black peppercorns
Salt and Pepper to taste
Place a saucepan on a medium heat, add the olive oil and Guinea pepper.
Add the onions and fry for a minute
Add the diced Ginger and fry for 2 minutes.
Add the garlic and Cocoyam cubes.
Stir fry for 2 minutes.
Add the stock and cook for 15-20 minutes. Then add the Cabbage and cook gently for 10 minutes, or until everything is soft to touch.
Blend everything to a silky smooth consistency.
Add salt and pepper to taste.
Serve with sour cream, a drizzle of Olive oil and a rustic bread.
All photos and recipes are by the owner of this blog.