Palaver Sauce/Soup – a sumptuous and healthy African cuisine made with greens, smoked meat, egusi and crayfish and other aromatic spices and seasonings. An exotic, flavor and nutrient-packed stew that you’d love!
Palaver sauce is a favorite in many West African Cuisine- Ghana, Liberia, Sierra Leone, Cameroon and Nigeria. I remember the first time I tasted this soup it was at an African party. I could have sworn it was bitter-leaf soup , without the bitter-leaves- but it wasn’t.
So as we were eating the question arose …. why is it call ” Palaver sauce”? In order to satisfy my curiosity . I did some research and according to Wikipedia, “the stew was first made, with long, ropey greens, and people would start quarrels by slapping each other with the greens from their stew. Another is that the spices used in the stew mingle together like raised voices in an argument” Some say, it was cooked to settle an argument .
What I know undoubtingly is that palaver is synonymous with, trouble, anxiety or worry . I am going to leave it to the historians to knock themselves out.
There are so many various ways of making this sumptuous meal. No palaver here, because you can adjust the vegetables to suit your environment. Egusi seeds and greens (African greens, collard greens, cocoyam leaf or spinach are the foundation of this soup- the rest is up to you.)
In this recipe, I used smoked fish, meat (you can sub with smoked turkey, chicken or ham hock) The only trouble with this soup is finding egusi.. for those living abroad. Your best bet would be African stores or you can order them online. Can you make it without egusi? Of course, no one would take you jail for that. I have done so several times. Enjoy
- 2 pounds Meat Beef shanks, Oxtail cut in bite size pieces
- 1 pound Smoked fish chicken or ham hocks
- ¼- ½ cup palm or canola oil I used half and half
- 1 medium onion diced
- 2 tomatoes sliced
- 2 teaspoons garlic minced
- ½ cup ground crayfish
- ¾ cup ground egusi
- Salt and pepper to taste
- 2-3 pound fresh vegetables kale, collard greens, spinach
- Boil beef, ham hocks with salt, Maggi and onions and boil until tender depending on the choice of meat. You should have about 2-3 cups of stock from the meat and smoked fish (if using any). Reserve the rest or freeze it.
- While beef n is cooking, slice tomatoes, onions and mince the garlic.
- Heat the oil in a heavy saucepan over medium heat. Add the onions. Sauté the onion until it is translucent, about 5 minutes. Season with salt, and pepper, to taste.
- Stir in the tomatoes with their juices, garlic, smoked fish, crayfish. Add the beef pieces; press to submerge. Then add ground egusi with chicken stock bring to a simmer.
- Add vegetables; let it simmer for about 2 minutes.
- Serve warm with boiled plantains, fufu or accompaniment of choice.