Header image via Eat Well Abi
Matoke, known in English as East African Highland banana is a staple around East Africa, particularly Uganda and Tanzania. The meal prepared from unripe, green matoke is also known as “matoke." The East African Highland bananas are short and thick and they are enjoyed in their green form for cooking. Ripe matoke is sweet and soft like most bananas, similar to plantain. Green bananas, also called cooking bananas, are a staple food around most of Africa, the Caribbean, South America and South East Asia. They are rich in potassium and are a good source of fibre. Matoke is so popular, it is known as the national dish of Uganda and is eaten at most meal times. It is readily available, cheap and filling and are typically served mashed or boiled. They are usually eaten with meats, fish or peanut sauce; and some vegetables. This delicious recipe is suitable for vegetarian and vegans and the best part is, it is very easy to prepare! Apart from the matoke, all the ingredients for this dish are standard store cupboard items. What makes matoke good for cooking is its high starchy content; which you would not find in a lot of bananas. Matoke is often available in African shops in the UK. If you can’t find matoke, then green plantain or Thai green bananas which are often sold in Asian food shops are good substitutes. We adapted 2 delicious recipes from Eat Well Abi and Taste of Home so we highly recommend checking them out!
Image of matoke via The Spruce Eats
- 4 green matoke, cut into ½ inch slices
- 2 tablespoons oil
- 1 onion chopped
- 1 teaspoon grated ginger
- 1/2 teaspoon mustard seeds
- 2 cloves garlic, chopped
- 2 cups water
- 1/2 cup finely ground peanuts
- 1/2 teaspoon cumin
- 1/2 teaspoon ground turmeric
- 1 can chopped tomatoes or 400g fresh tomatoes
- 1/2 can kidney beans or 200g, drained
- 1/2 cup vegetable stock or water
- 3 to 4 red chillies, seeded and finely chopped
- 1 teaspoon salt
- 1/2 cup coriander chopped
Wash the matoke well. Remove the tops and ends. Boil in hot water for 10 mins, then remove from heat. Allow to cool before removing the skin and chopping.
- In a large skillet, sauté the onion and mustard seeds in oil until onion is tender. Add the garlic and cook for 1 minute longer. Stir in the chillies, spices, beans and tomatoes. Bring to a boil. Reduce the heat and simmer, uncovered, for 5-7 minutes or until slightly thickened.
- Add the matoke and water. Bring to a boil. Reduce heat; simmer, uncovered, for 20 minutes or until the matoke are tender, stirring occasionally. Stir in peanuts. Garnish with fresh coriander if you like.
We hope you enjoy this delicious recipe!