I've gotten into another African country - Western Africa this time. Benin offers plenty of vegetarian and vegan options, so I happily made most of this meal with my vegan sister :)
I researched on Top 5 Dishes from Benin - Vibrant West Afrian Cuisine (vibrantwestafricancuisine.com) and 3 Most Popular Beninese Dishes - TasteAtlas to find what dishes I should make, as I know nothing about Western African cuisine. I decided to make Kuli-Kuli - Traditional Ghanaian Recipe | 196 flavors (fried peanut sticks - yes, you read that right) and A Recipe Blog of Vegetarian Recipes From Around the World: Complete Jollof Rice from Benin (internationalvegetarian.blogspot.com) (veggie rice). Many African countries eat their own versions of jollof rice, I've learned.
Firstly I made the mixture for the peanut sticks. Just peanuts, spices, and oil pureed together and then formed into sticks. I was worried about the lack of a binder, but trusted the recipe.
Into the chiller they went.
Look at all these vegetables for the jollof rice! I eat more vegetables when I eat foreign countries. They're defs a bit more veggie-focused than we Americans XD
I roasted off the pepper on the open flame. Then, once cooled, you can just peel off the skin.
Cut up and salted some eggplant. The salt draws out the bitterness. It looks like beads of sweat on the eggplant.
You cut up the vegetables and cook them up nice and pretty.
Oil hot, the peanut sticks were put in. My trust in this recipe was broken as what my logical brain thought would happen DID happen: most of the peanut sticks dissolved. My little sister, who was tasked with this activity, was horrified and panicked a little. I reassured her that we followed the recipe, so we did what we could. If the recipe was destined for more'n half of the peanut mixture to burn on the bottom of my hot oil, then so be it. We learned a thing or two are inevitable.
Moneyshot of the jollof rice!!!
Chockful of veggies. My sister and I were off to a show, so I just ate a little bit and she ate hers on the way. It was comforting, full of differently textured vegetables. The rice was just al dente; it was warm and a little spicy - nice. The kuli-kuli tasted like warm peanut butter, lolz.
Day made: 2/20/2022, Sunday
Day post made: 4/9/2022, Saturday
Would I make it again? 7.5/10, I'm not the biggest fan of eating so many veggies without meat, but my sister loved it!!! (And that is more important to me than my liking it.)