I have yet to have a plantain dish that I didn’t love and tatale is definitely one of my favourite plantain dishes. Tatale is a Ghanaian dish that is typically made with over-ripe plantains. However, I decided to tweak this dish a bit by using firm, just ripened plantains. “Why?”, you ask? Because some plantains take forever to over-ripen and when you’re craving tatale, you simply don’t have time for that :).
Since, firm plantains are difficult to mash, I used a grater to grate the plantains before mashing them. Tatale is typically served warm with a bean stew (recipe included here). Traditionally, bambara groundnuts are used for the bean stew but they’re difficult to find in Canada so I used black eyed-peas instead. This dish also goes well with hot sauce, avocados (try it with guacamole), sour cream, or a savory yogurt dip like Tzatziki. The pancakes can also be eaten on their own. Happy eating!
Tatale (Ghanaian Savory Plantain Pancakes)
For the Tatale
- 3 firm but ripe plantains (or over-ripe plantains)
- 1/3 cup cornmeal
- 1/2 cup all purpose flour
- 1 egg (beaten)
- 1 medium onion (grated)
- 3 cloves garlic (grated)
- 1 tsp ginger (grated)
- 2 tsp red pepper flakes (optional)
- 1/2 tsp salt
- 1/2 tsp black pepper
- 1/4 cup vegetable or canola oil (for frying)
For the Bean Sauce
- 1 can black eyed peas
- 1 can tomato paste
- 1 medium fresh tomato (chopped)
- 1 small onion (chopped)
- 2 tsp dried thyme
- 2 cloves garlic
- 1 tsp salt
- 1 tsp black pepper
- 1/3 cup vegetable broth
- 2 tsp canola oil
For the Tatale
- Peel and cut the plantains into 3 pieces.
- If using firm, ripened plantains, finely grate the plantains with a grater and then mash the grated plantains using a potato masher in a large bowl (if using over-ripened plantains, mash them with a potato masher in a large bowl).
- Add the cornmeal and egg to the mashed plantains and mix well.
- Add the green onions, garlic, ginger, red pepper flakes (if using), salt, and black pepper to the plantain and mix well.
- Heat the oil in a frying pan to medium heat.
- Scoop about 1/3 cup of the plantain mixture, drop it into the frying pan (you might need to use a spatula to help the mixture form into an even, rounded shape).
- Cook until each side is golden brown.
For the bean sauce
- In a blender or food processor, puree the fresh tomato, garlic, onion, and vegetable broth.
- In a small sauce pan, heat the canola oil.
- Add the tomato puree to the oil and let it cook on medium heat for about 5 minutes, stirring occasionally.
- Add the black eyed peas, tomato paste, thyme, salt, and black pepper to the tomato puree.
- On low-medium heat, cook the bean sauce until it becomes thick (about 10 minutes).
- Occasionally stir the bean sauce as it's cooking.