Rinse the lentils in a sieve under running water. Then pour them into boiling water - enough to cover by 2". Simmer lentils for 30 minutes. Do not overcook. Drain thoroughly and set aside.
Combine the vinegar, oil, salt, and black pepper in a large bowl. Mix well. Add the lentils, garlic, and jalapenos, and toss gently. Leave to sit for about 30 minutes before serving.
Crunchy Cabbage Salad from West Africa
3 cups finely shredded cabbage
1 cup diced apples
1 cup diced cucumbers
1/4 cup raisins
2/3 cup mayonnaise
1 tablespoon lemon juice
1/2 tablespoon vinegar
1/2 teaspoon salt
1/4 teaspoon sugar
1/3 cup chopped unsalted peanuts
In a medium sized bowl mix cabbage, apples, cucumbers and raisins. Toss to combine. In a small bowl blend together mayonnaise, lemon juice, salt, vinegar and sugar. Pour this blend over cabbage mixture . Toss well to coat. Sprinkle with peanuts and chill.
Smoked Fish Stew, from Ghana
Smoked fish is used in many combination dishes in West Africa, but rarely by itself in a stew. This is a rare discovery from Accra, Ghana.
1/2 lb. Onions, thinly sliced
1/4 cup vegetable oil, cut in 1 inch pieces
1 lb. fresh tomatoes, cut in 1 inch pieces
4 tbsp. tomato paste
1/2 tsp. crushed red pepper (optional)
1 quart water
2 lbs. smoked fish
Salt and pepper
Sauté 1/2 lb. onions, thinly sliced in 1/4 cup vegetable oil until soft, but not brown. Add 1 lb. fresh tomatoes, cut in 1 inch pieces.
Stir into mixture 4 tbsp. tomato paste, crushed red pepper (optional), and 1 quart water. Simmer with cover on for 15 minutes.
Debone 2 lbs. of smoked fish (if smoked herring is used, soak it for one hour to remove excess salt).
Add the deboned, flaked fish to the mixture and simmer for ten minutes longer.
Correct the seasoning with salt, if needed, and pepper.
Add water if necessary to bring stew to consistency.
Serve with rice. Yield: 2 quarts (8 portions).
SHRIMP CURRY, East Africa
Any size shrimp may be used in this curried dish, but small shrimp (over twenty five per pound) are just as satisfactory and far less expensive than the large shrimp.
In a 4-quart saucepan:
Sauté: 1 cup CHOPPED ONION
1 tsp. GARLIC POWDER
1 Tbs. CURRY POWDER
1 tsp. TURMERIC
1 Tbs. SALT
1/2 tsp. CHILI POWDER in
2 oz. BUTTER or OIL until soft but not brown.
Add: 1 cup COCONUT CREAM
2 lbs. SHRIMP, uncooked and peeled
2 cups POTATOES, diced, and
1 cup WATER.
Simmer until tender, about 20 minutes, covered tightly.
Add: 2 oz. LEMON JUICE
1 cup COCONUT CREAM.
Cook until slightly thickened-about 10 minutes more.*
*If a thicker curry is desired, dissolve 2 Tbs. cornstarch in 2 Tbs. water and add in the last few minutes of cooking
Serve hot with rice and accompaniments such as the following in a large sectioned relish dish: Yield: 8 portions FRIED ONION RINGS
MANGO OR PINEAPPLE CHUTNEY
SHREDDED COCONUT-toasted or plain