“Red Red” is a simple and delicious vegetarian dish made of black-eyed beans, tomato sauce, and generally plantains. Red Red originates from Ashanti region in Ghana, but has many adaptions throughout Africa – street food vendors love this recipe for its simplicity and richness. Nowadays, Red Red has become increasingly popular far beyond Africa. Back when I was a kid in Ghana, I remember enjoying this festive dish during school lunches and at home. Personally, I love to serve this dish as main course because it always turns out to be a crowd pleaser due to being nutritious, flavor-packed, and healthy – it fills you up quickly yet leaves you craving for more.
Red Red (Black-eyed beans stew)
Recipe type: Main
Cooking time: About an hour
Olive or palm oil
250g of dried black-eyed beans
1 whole red onion (can be replaced with yellow or white onion)
3 cloves of garlic
1 tbsp grated or finely chopped ginger
1-2 Whole medium-sized ripe tomatoes
1 tin canned tomatoes (whole or puree) 250g
2 tbsp. soy sauce
1 pcs. fresh red chilli pepper
1 ½ tsp garam masala powder
1 ½ tsp coriander powder
1 ½ tsp curry powder (preferably madras curry)
1 bunch of fresh herbs (basil or coriander) for garnish
Step 1: Place 250g package of black-eyed beans in a large bowl, fill it with cold water and leave it covered overnight (6-8 hours)
Step 2: Drain the water and rinse the beans well. Set the stove to high. Fill a pot with water and make sure all the beans are well covered. Bring it to boil and reduce the heat to medium. Boil the beans for about 20-30 minutes or to your liking of doneness.
Step 3: Drain the water from the beans when they are done, rinse them with cold water, drizzle with a tablespoon or two of olive oil let them rest in the colander.
Step 4: Heat up a pot or saucepan until hot and sprinkle it with olive oil.
Step 5: Thinly feather cut the onion, finely chop the garlic and ginger, deseed the chili, and then finely chop it. Start by frying the onion until gold and translucent, for about 5 minutes. Add the chopped garlic, pepper, and ginger and cook for another 5 minutes.
Step 6: Add the tinned tomatoes, soy sauce and the powdered spices to the onion/pepper/ginger/garlic mixture. Season to taste with salt and pepper. Cook for about 8-10 minutes on a simmer, stirring occasionally.
Step 7: Add the boiled beans to the tomato sauce, mix, and let it sit until ready to be served.
Step 8: Peel the yam and chop it into inch (2.5cm) thick pieces. Place them in a pot with cold water, set the heat to high and let boil for 15-20 minutes.
Step 9: Peel the plantains and chop them up to about an inch (2.5cm) thick pieces. Heat up some frying oil in a pan or a wok and fry the plantains until golden brown, about 3-5 minutes. After frying, place the plantains on a paper towel to drain off excessive oil.
Step 10: Place the tomato-bean sauce on a plate, together with fried plantains and boiled yam. Garnish with fresh herbs, like basil or coriander. Serve and enjoy!