When Was The Last Time You Had Garden Egg Stew?
If this question were posed to me three months ago I would have been clueless. This is because until the month of July, neither had I heard of nor tasted the wonders and goodness of this delicacy. Garden egg stew (also known as Aubergine stew or Nigerian eggplant) originated from the Southeastern part of Nigeria the Igbo tribe to be precise. In this article, I will be sharing its recipe. Hopefully, this will be a worthy excuse to set aside the cliché fried eggs, egg sauce or fish stew and settle for something new.
Before diving into its method of preparation, I will like to share some reasons why garden egg stew should be your next meal. First, its ingredients are quite basic and affordable, they are easily available in our environment and its preparation requires no expertise in cooking! The first time I tasted this delicacy was at a friend’s place and unashamedly I asked for a second helping because it tasted so good! The second time I had it I prepared it myself and it was just as splendid.
To prepare this delicacy, get six to eight medium-sized garden eggs set aside, freshly chopped onions, bell peppers and tomatoes (the amount depends on your preference, but have just enough to make your stew worth it). With that settled, boil your garden eggs in adequate water and add salt to taste. While you wait, you can go ahead to prepare the kind of fish that you want in it. Some people might opt for a combination of smoked mackerel and shrimp, but I will suggest that you go for whatever is easily available in your environment. Smoked fish and crayfish will do just fine. Also, adding fish to the stew is optional.
Wait till your garden eggs can be easily crushed with a fork. This might take about twenty-five minutes or even shorter if you cut them into quarters beforehand. Drain and mash them till they have the semblance and consistency of mashed tomatoes. Next, place your frying pan or deep saucepan on your heat source, add just enough palm oil and leave to heat up, but not for too long (a maximum of two minutes) to prevent it from bleaching. Then add your chopped mixture of onions and peppers, and allow to fry till they soften and become brown a little.
Add in the tomatoes and steam over medium heat for twenty minutes till the sauce thickens. Now add in your mashed garden eggs, and steam on medium heat for the next five minutes. Add seasoning cubes and other spices of your choice and your fish combination. At this point, you can now taste and adjust the salt to your liking. Also, you can add dry pepper if you are a Yoruba woman and the pepper is “not enough”. There you have it! A sizzling pot of sumptuous garden egg stew before your eyes waiting to be savoured.
The first time I tried this delicacy, I paired it with boiled yam and I was hooked immediately. Other equally good options to pair this stew with are fried or boiled plantains, fried or boiled potatoes and even rice or pasta! Make sure to try this recipe out!