Dear traditional African recipes and best plant-based food explorers, are you looking for a new and exciting stew to try? If you answered ‘yes,’ you’re in the right place! Humblevege brings you Liberian Eggplant Stew. There are not one but two types of eggplant in this eggplant stew recipe, as well as Liberia’s own ‘miracle oil.’ This stew is an easy one-pot recipe that’ll encourage you to add a new variety of legumes to your meals. There are so many different fruits and veggies; why limit yourself? We say explore the plant-based lifestyle. We bring not only Liberian or West African food recipes but also explore all parts of Africa. Join us!
Healthy Liberian eggplant stew recipe
As mentioned, this Liberian eggplant stew recipe has two kinds of aubergine. Puzzling right? Did you think aubergine was just one type of fruit and not a species? Well, me too. But there is a lot out there we do not know. Another example of why these West African food recipes are so good to experience or read about. See the video tutorial below.
This eggplant stew recipe consists of two kinds of eggplant to add body and flavor to the dish. Garden egg is very hearty and meaty in texture, whereas Kittely is bitter and has a unique smell not comparable to purple eggplant. Therefore, pairing the two and some palm oil makes the taste creamy and nutty, and the overall flavor is enjoyable and nutritionally balanced.
Anyway, these traditional African recipes go beyond tasty and contribute to health.
Nutritional Benefits from the Ingredients:
This Liberian eggplant stew recipe is fragrant, packed with protein, and healthy. The ingredients check the boxes for healthy fat (red oil), digestible plant protein, and enough carbohydrates. One wouldn’t have to sacrifice the nostalgic feeling of what they remember from childhood. Meatless does not mean tasteless.
1. Red palm oil
This isn’t our first rodeo with this juicy oil. In our article on Liberian dry rice, we have both kittely and palm oil, and we explain some of their benefits. For example, red palm oil is rich in properties that promote your eye health and immune system. The one responsible for the latter is vitamin E, which also helps your cells function.
Kittely is one of the ingredients in the aubergine species. They are small and round. Nothing like the purple, spongy aubergine you are familiar with. Kittely provides calcium that is beneficial to our bones and teeth, as well as fiber that aids in digestion.
3. Garden egg
The second type of aubergine in this recipe. It is a small, white fruit and can be used in stews as -drum roll please- a meat substitute. African recipes are not traditionally focused on being plant based, but garden eggs are much cheaper than meat so they take advantage of their spongy texture and the way they absorb flavor. According to research, one of the nutritional benefits of eating garden eggs is their vitamin B content. Vitamin B promotes brain development and improves the functioning of the nervous and immune systems.
4. Seitan protein
At this point, you’re either in love with seitan, don’t know what it is or haven’t tried it, or are tired of hearing about it (the impossible answer). If you are part of the second category, boy, do we have another meat substitute for you? Possibly the most significant benefit of seitan is the amount of protein it provides. It is almost equal to the amount found in meat. Its beneficial health attributes are discussed in detail here.
Lifestyle Insight on Traditional African Recipes
Africa has beautiful, green landscapes, great water bodies, and many different cultures, even within one country. While urbanization may be growing, Africa has many small-scale farmers. Many Africans find it easy to grow the fruits and vegetables they need in their recipes in their gardens, the quintessential farm-to-table. This isn’t impossible to do outside Africa, though. So if you’re looking for organic plant-based foods for your traditional African recipes, pick up a new healthy habit by having a small garden yourself. It has been said that gardening is by far the most gentle, forgivable, and rewarding experience anyone can do. If you would like to learn more about this topic, check out this article on DIY home gardening.
‘But home gardening is expensive,’ some may think. Well, that is not true. It may be cheaper to grow your plants at home in the long run for affordable food recipes. Speaking of finances, here are some tips for vegans on a budget.
West African Food Recipes Names Wahala
Yes, we have recipes from North, South, and East Africa. On this journey of learning about African nations through food, we understand that many Liberian recipes can be found in their neighboring countries under different names and vice versa. Geographically, Liberia neighbors Ivory Coast, Sierra Leone, and Guinea. Do not be surprised to find this Liberian eggplant stew in another country, but it might be called something else, or the next nation might spice it differently.
Because of this interconnectedness, we are curious to know more about each African nation. In the lifestyle segment, you will find insights about the spices used in Benin, for example. We understand tribal languages affect the names, but it is rewarding to connect the dots and realize what we have in common despite the names wahala.
Beyond Liberia, there are more amazing and diverse traditional African foods that will leave your mouth watering. Besides west African cuisine, Humble Vege has many recipes that can fill your stomach, and this aubergine and kittely red oil stew is one of many. For more amazing recipes, subscribe to our biweekly newsletter, where we send you recipes ideas. Happy eating!
- 1 ¼ cup broth
- 15 ounces of mashed garden eggs / Aubergines
- ¼ diced onion
- 6 ounces of Kittley
- 1 teaspoon salt
- ¼ teaspoon black pepper
- Desired amount of seitan protein
- Desired amount of hot pepper
- Pinch of baking soda / country soda
- 4 to 5 tablespoons of red oil
- Put a pot onto the stove and pour in 1 cup of broth and leave to simmer. If you have vege cubes instead, use 1 cup of water and 1 vege cube.
- Open the can of garden eggs, drain the water throughly from the garden eggs by gently squeezing it. After that, mash 15 ounces of garden eggs or aubergines.
- Add the mashed aubergines to the simmering broth and gently stir.
- Next, add ¼ diced onion. Yellow onions or red onions is fine.
- Then add 6 ounces of kittley and gently stir. If you use frozen kittely, make sure you drain the water first before adding kittely to mixture. If you use dried kittely, be sure to hydrate the dried kittely but soaking it in water for 10mins.
- Add 1 teaspoon of salt.
- Red oil becomes solid, therefore to measure it out, we need it to become liquid. Place the red oil jar in a container of hot water to liquify the oil. Leave this to sit as you continue your cooking 🙂
- Add ¼ teaspoon of black pepper and desired amount of Seitan protein, stir gently.
- (Optional) Add ¼ cup more of the broth to the stew. At this point, if you like the consistency, leave it as is.
- Add in the desired amount of hot pepper. You could use chili pepper flakes or habanero pepper.
- Leave the stew to boil for 20 minutes. Partly cover the pot to prevent the stew from boiling over.
- After 20 minutes, reduce the heat to low and add 4 to 5 tablespoons of red oil.
- Add a pinch of baking soda or country soda. This is a tenderizer, do not add too much country soda.
- Taste for seasoning and add salt to taste.
- Cover the pot with a lid and leave to cook for 10 minutes on low heat. This allows the red oil to mix finely with the other ingredients.
- Allow stew to rest for 5 minutes before serving. Enjoy ohhh 🙂
Liberian eggplant stew can be served with warm rice.
When it comes to trying out west african food recipes, liberian eggplant stew does not miss the list. It is tasty, nutritious, and filling and is also a great vegetarian option.
Be sure to give this traditional african recipe a try and feel free to share your final meal pictures with us on our social media @Humveg.
Do not hesitate to share this awesome recipe with a friend!