If I had to describe this dish in three words, it would be creamy, simple, and delicious. Chouo and Touro are part of Mali’s food that we tried and loved. It is one of our plant-based food examples. As one among many West African recipes, its focus is black-eyed peas. And no, we do not mean the pop song band. This North African food doesn’t have a traditional way of preparing it. But it is still part of the traditional African recipes we know and love. We will go into the reason behind this later on. So read on to learn more about one of Mali’s foods. Ka su maya aw kono (Bon appétit).
Explore Mali’s Food- Traditional African Recipe
Mali is a North-Western African country, the eighth largest in Africa. When you think of Malian cuisine, envision cereal grains such as rice and millet. But, Mali’s food varies regionally. You will notice this is the case with many African nations. This recipe can vary as well, as individuals can season it as they please. For this reason, we still put it in the traditional African recipes category. Some people have more spices at their disposal, and this recipe caters to all. Whether all you have is salt, or you have some paprika too. North African food has you covered.
Chou and Touro: What, and why?
Chouo and Touro mean stewed beans and fried onions respectively. These two dishes are almost always served together. Just like in this recipe. This brings more flavor to this simple North African food.
Now you know that chou and touro can be made with little spices. That means you can fully experience the true flavors of the main ingredients. The creaminess of the beans, over your selected carb (We used whole wheat spaghetti). Even knowing that you have spices in your kitchen drawer but you don’t have to use them. Because West African recipes like this are enough, they don’t need an extra touch. Chou and touro remind us of how lucky and privileged we truly are to have more than we need.
West African Recipes Pack Nutrition
Simple, but nutritional. Here are the nutritional benefits of the plant-based food examples in this recipe.
Avocado oil: Flavor is added to this dish from the moment we cook with avocado oil. Avocado oil is popular. Not only for cooking but also for external uses like skin and hair care. For consumption, Health Practitioners say it is a heart-healthy oil as it contains the unsaturated fat- oleic acid. This acid has been shown to lower blood pressure as well. Unsaturated fat may be better for your cholesterol than saturated fat. Avocado oil is also used in traditional African recipes as it can be made at home. Its high smoke point means you can also use the oil to fry more, without worrying about the dangers to the health of burning oil. Trust me, I learned this fact the hard way.
Blackeyed peas: Black-eyed peas are part of our plant-based food examples. But would you be surprised if I told you they aren’t actually peas? Close though, they are beans! They earned this name because of their light creamish color with black eye-like marks on them. These beans are part of many West African recipes as they originated from West Africa.
According to health studies, beans contain fiber, which aids in digestion and is beneficial to our gut bacteria. One cup of cooked black-eyed peas contains roughly 33.5 grams of carbohydrates. This may sound concerning to those who watch their weight. But these complex carbohydrates take longer to digest than simple carbs. This means they leave you feeling fuller for longer, possibly creating more time between meals. This versatile North African food can be added to different meals. Examples are hummus, salads, and curries, to name a few. That is why we love having them in traditional African recipes. If you like beans, you can also try our Delish Pinto Beans Stew.
Plant-based food examples offer wisdom
This dish was simple to create and I’m glad it taught me a few important lessons while creating Chouo Touro. Eat to live and savor the simple things. I chose to create this dish because I love carbs obviously! Carbs help me maintain my admirable waistline and optimize my health. No seriously, I nah joking ooo! I like that this dish combines my favorite things and the lessons learned from it make me have a special fondness for Mali, its food, and its people.
- 3 servings Whole wheat spaghetti (cook per package directions)
- 16 oz Can Blackeye peas
- Half onion
- Dried Bean curd Protein (pre-soak 1hr)
- One-fourth tsp black pepper
- Half tsp Salt
- 3-4 TBSP Avocado oil
- 1 cup Water
- One-fourth tsp Thym
- In a medium saucepan, warm 3-4 tablespoons of avocado oil until shimmering.
- Meanwhile, bring a large pot of salted water to a complete boil and cook the spaghetti according to the package directions. Drain, return it to the pot, and set it aside.
- Add the sliced/diced onion to the cooking oil in the saucepan and cook for about 5 minutes, stirring often until the onions have softened and turned translucent. The onions in hot oil form Mali's food backbone flavor. Season it with half a teaspoon of salt.
- Drain some of the water from the can, add blackeye peas and stir to soak them in the oil. Be sure to check the seal of your canned peas for the nutritional contents. We were cautious to check the sodium and protein content which were 490mg and 5g per serving, respectively.
- Add your preferred protein. We used dried bean curd protein presoaked for 1 hour. This brought out a blend of textures that added a unique touch to this flavorful bowl.
- Add 1/4 teaspoon of salt and 1/4 teaspoon of pepper and stir to combine. You will get to discover that only salt and pepper can create something delicious. Plant-based food examples in West African recipes are sometimes prepared with the most basic and available ingredients yet come out very clean, natural, and tasty.
- Add one cup of water and cover it. Let it cook for about 10 minutes until the water reduces. Stir occasionally as you check on the water.
- Add your desired amount of thyme and stir. As the sweet smell of onions came up, I realized that I did not need to add any more spice; it was just perfect.
- Serve it over your cooked spaghetti and enjoy Mali's food flavors like a true Malian.
- Ka su maya aw kono (Bon appétit) 😋