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Saturday, August 14, 2010

Tilapia in Garden Egg Stew

I haven't posted anything in a while because I had a bout of Malaria. I'm all better now and so we get back to cooking!

I prepared what I have for the longest time considered to be Fante-Fante. A good friend passed by as I was uploading my pictures and promptly announced that THIS is NOT fante-fante. This sparked a heated debate, at the end of which, I was not convinced. I need further clarification, so if anyone can shed light on this, it just might lighten the strain on a very good friendship. : D

Anyway, the ingredients I used are:

4 medium size Tilapia (cut into 3 pieces each)
8 large Garden Eggs
10 Medium size Tomatoes
12 - 15 Hot peppers
2 Large Onions
3/4 cup Palm Oil
1 large Maggi Shrimp cube
1/2 teaspoon Black pepper

Scale and the Tilapia (if not already done) and wash it thoroughly, making sure all the scales and entrails are removed. Some people like to leave the gills in, but I take them out. Shake off all excess water.

Crumble the Maggi cube over the Tilapia and sprinkle the black pepper and about a teaspoon of salt on it. Toss the fish gently to get the seasoning all over it. Too vigorously and the fish may start to get mashed. However fresh fish is quite firm, so gently tossing it is fine. Leave to marinate for about 10 - 15 minutes.

Wash the garden eggs . Cut off the stalks and slice each in half lengthwise. This allows them to cook faster. Place in a pot and add enough water to cover and boil. When the flesh starts to look transparent and seperates from the skin, it is cooked. About 10 - 15 minutes.

Wash and blend the tomatoes and pepper till smooth.

Chop up the onions.

Place the oil in a pot big enough to comfortably hold all the ingredients and heat. Remember, the fish needs enough room in the pot or it will be mashed up.

When the oil is hot, add the onions and fry till they are soft.

When the onions are cooked, add the blended tomatoes and pepper and leave to simmer. Allow all the water to evaporate while stirring intermitently. Fry for an additional 5 minutes after the water evaporates but making sure it doesn't stick to the bottom of the pot.

Meanwhile, remove the skin and seeds from the flesh of the garden eggs and discard. Usind an earthenware pot (Asanka), mash the garden eggs until a semi-smooth paste is made. Don't blend because you want to retain some texture. You could also just roughly chop the garden eggs, just be sure to squish some to get some parts pastey.

Add the garden egg paste to the sauce and add 1/2 a cup of water.

Bring it to a simmer and add the Tilapia. Once the fish is added, reduce the heat under the pot and stir the fish in gently, making sure as much of the fish as possible is covered by the sauce. leave it to simmer gently for another 15 minutes. Stir occassionaly to make sure it isn't sticking, but be sure not to mash up the fish. If you are sure it isn't sticking, you could even just lift the pot by the handles and give it a shake, rotating the sauce colckwise , the anti-clockwise sor of like steering. Do this until desired thickness of stew is achieved. (10 minutes)

Peel a tuber of yam and cut into desired sizes, wash the pieces thoroughly to get all the sand off, then place in a pot, add enough water to cover, add salt to taste and boil. Cook until a fork goes trough easily. Drain off the water and serve hot with the Tilapia stew.
You could also serve the Stew with boiled plantain, ripe or unripe.
It also goes well with Eba (Gari cooked with hot water) or plain rice.
Let me know you variations of this dish. Aslo please let me know if you would consider this fante-fante? and if not, what is fant-fante to you?


  1. This is not fante-fante. Fante-fante is only tomatoes and onions, no garden eggs. you can also use koobi, that is dried, salted tilapia. you soak it to remove the salt and then add it to the gravy instead.

  2. Thanks Naa. So apart from the garden eggs, this IS fante-fante, lol. Anyway, I've been planning to do a koobi version very soon so lets see how it goes.

  3. Hi..Just to confirm, this is not Fante -Fante. i specifically remember my mom teaching me how to make Fante-Fante. As the above commenter said, it is basically any fresh fish cut up in chnks ( tilapia being the preferred one)..palm oil, fresh hot red peppers, onions cut into long slices and fresh tomatoes.Your addition of the garden eggs would make this a lovely rich Fante-Fante! Looks good though!

  4. Thanks Anon. I like the picture your long onion slices conjures. I might try it with the Koobi version when I do it. It tasted great too, lol

  5. Hi there,

    I bought some garden eggs at my farmers market not having any idea what they were but curious to give them a try. Your recipe worked really well, thanks for posting it! I paired with the yams and some collared greens. Looking forward to trying more Ghanaian food. Thanks again,

    Tim Barnes

  6. Thanks so much for the feedback Timothy, and I'm glad you enjoyed your meal. Please let me know how your others turn out.

  7. u make my mouth mmmm:i cant wait to.keep it up.

  8. lol that's he whole idea... Make you drool so much you get up and go cook yourself something :)

  9. I am very thankful for your blog. God richly bless you and replenish your cup.
    I hope you never stop blogging :)

    1. Thank you so much. God bless you too. I hope you keep coming back :)

  10. This is delicious, thank you for the step-by-step guide. And for a recipe with garden eggs - which are little eggplants I've learned.

    1. Yes they are in the same family and Thank you for not just coming through, but for leaving a comment :)

  11. Really luv dez recipe n lukn forward to preparing it for ma family.

  12. I came across your blog as I searched for how to prepare fresh fish soup and I have been keeping up with this blog since. You should have a mailing list. I will love to sign up for that. Thank you for sharing your knowledge. God bless you.



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