On the way to Gambia: Beef in Aubergine Sauce

Remember about 5 months ago when I had major water damage and I was suppose to get a new kitchen out of it. Well I did not. Then early last week I had to endure another moment of water problems. No damage (to my stuff, nor in the kitchen) this times but things shook up big time in the landlord’s office. My apartment is a construction site in the bedroom, hallway and I have no kitchen right now. So not a whole lo of cooking going on. I am documenting the whole kitchen project so expect soon a post on that.

This meant I had to EMPTY the entire kitchen Sunday, Oh what Fun! And I had a dinner guest Sunday night too, nothing fancy or major but still. My guest is a long time friend who in the past was in Africa for about 4 months. And I just happen to buy an African cookbook. So grab your suitcase and hop on board to a delicious yet simple one pot Gambian stew served with fufu.

Gambian Beef in Aubergine Sauce, from The Taste of Africa

1 lb stewing beef, cubed
1 tsp thyme
3 tbsp oil
1 large onion, chopped
2 garlic glove, crushed
1 19 oz stewed tomatoes
1 tbsp tomato paste
1/2 tsp all spice
1 chili pepper, seeded and chopped
3 cups beef stock
1 large eggplant
salt and pepper

  1. Season beef with thyme, salt and pepper
  2. Heat 1 tbsp oil in a large pot and brown the meat, transfer meat to a bowl
  3. Add remaining oil in the pot and fry the onion and garlic for a few minutes.
  4. Add the tomato can and tomato paste, simmer 5-10 minutes
  5. Add the all spice, chili, beef stock and meat to the pot. Bring to a boil, cover and simmer for 30 minutes.
  6. Cut the aubergine in small cube. Stir into the pot, cover and cook another 30 minutes.
  7. Adjust seasoning if need be. Serves 4 in a soup bowl with some fufu.

I rarely buy cookbooks any more because of the internet and because cookbooks can be so expensive even if stunning at times. But I had been meaning to visit Appetite for Books for quite some time and I finally got around to it. This bookstore in Westmount (Montreal) is entirely dedicated to books about food. It is totally awesome. I spoke for a while to the lady working there, she gave me great advice and suggestions when I asked for help and we of course chatted about food and blogs. And I could not resist leaving the store without at least one purchase so I got The Taste of Africa cookbook and a historical book on Salt. Classes, book launches and cooking demos also take place here in the full kitchen. It is really worth checking out if you come to Montreal.


Fufu, from The Taste of Africa

The best way I can describe Fufu is like polenta but it is made with ground rice. It has a porridge-like consistency and is used to mop up the liquid from the stew. I had this at a restaurant once and was fascinated so when I saw the recipe in the book I knew it was a must asap.

1 1/4 cup milk
1 1/4 cup water
2 tbsp butter
1/2 tsp salt
1 tbsp chopped fresh parsley (or 1 tsp dried)
1 1/2 cup rice flour

  1. Put milk, water, butter and salt in a pan, bring to a boil.
  2. Lower your heat to low.
  3. Add parsley and then gradually the rice flour while stirring non stop with a wooden spoon to prevent the rice becoming lumpy. It should ball up a stick together.
  4. If it is too wet still let it cook a bit more. Divide in 4 and add to serving bowl with the stew.

12 comments to On the way to Gambia: Beef in Aubergine Sauce

  • […] (corn) is the basis of ugali (a cornmeal porridge), the East African version of West Africa’s fufu. In Uganda, steamed, green bananas called matoke provide the starch filler of many […]
  • […] (corn) is the basis of ugali (a cornmeal porridge), the East African version of West Africa’s fufu. In Uganda, steamed, green bananas called matoke provide the starch filler of many […]
  • How awful for you!!! I hope it's all in order soon. Well, I adore African food, and I love this dish. Have you ever had fufu made from cassava or yam flour? That's pretty awesome too - though here's an interesting cultural note. West Africans typically do not chew the fufu - it's used like a scoop and then tossed back, like a pill. Only children chew the fufu. I can't imagine that, as I think it's really yummy like mashed potatoes! I guess I'm just a child, lol.
  • jen cheung
    yummm africa food looks delicious! I want to try african food one day. :) have a lovely weekend! jen @ www.passion4food.ca
  • These are new to me. The fufu sounds interesting.
  • I had two floods in my house recently and this is something I can relate to; hope you get back to normal at home soon. I am intrigued by this dish, as I know nothing about this region's cuisine!
  • Evelyne...seems like I missed out on this important and yet frustrating event that has gone on in your life lately...I really do feel terrible for you. You've certainly been tested lately...enough already! Hopefully things will get back to normal soon for you. About this very interesting meal...I can see that you've been making great use of your rice flour. LOL I've never had an interesting meal such as this African delicacy. I may have to look into adventuring a little more ;o) Keep yourself well, Claudia
    • Thank you so much Claudia for your words...yes I have had enough! But got to deal with it. Today I have a break...no construction. Thank you all for your comments and best wishes for the construction and kitchen changes.
  • I had problems in my kitchen a while ago and I couldn't help but complaning all the time since I couldn't do my favorite thing.. cooking. I feel your pain and I hope all goes well very soon. Fufu sounds like a very intersting dish. I love to explore other cultures food. The Gambia beef looks fantastic. I would have to change the eggplant with something else though since hubby doesn't like it at all ( go figure.. he's the pickest eater I've known).
  • 5 Star Foodie
    Evelyne, I'm so sorry about your kitchen troubles - I hope everything is fixed very soon and you have a place to cook again! These are two fascinating specialties I would love to try. I know my daughter would love the fufu for the taste and for the name! And thank you so much for the sweet comment on my site, I'm on my way out of the blogging blues :)
  • Phew, I am glad you got it and learned something ;-) Not a lot of reaction to this post though. I think I scared people with the exotic dish lol?
  • Phew (phew phew?).. I was reading the first bit feeling like an idiot because I had no idea what fufu was but then you educated me. Thanks :) Looks kinda mashed potato-ey too? Yum :)

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