Last year for the Blogging from A to Z April Challenge I blogged about different recipes. One of those recipes featured bananas. So I am not a stranger to using bananas as a savory item in a meal. Yes Margaret, bananas are not just for dessert.
Savory Bananas are a Foreign Concept in the US
Here in the United States we mainly use bananas as a sweet component in recipes. Who can deny the deliciousness of banana nut bread, banana pudding, banana split sundae, or even adding sliced banana to cereal? In other regions, particularly tropical ones, bananas are an important food source. As such, this fruit is a main component in savory dishes such as Samoan Green Bananas in Coconut Sauce and Spiced Pork Roast with Plantains. Even my vegetarian meal featuring fried bananas was on the savory side as I charred them a bit to bring out extra flavor. One savory banana dish caught my attention recently. It is a vegetarian dish from Ghana, Red Red with Bananas.
Red Red with Bananas
This recipe is not a traditional Red Red from Ghana but it is a more Americanized version of it. Red Red traditionally is a black-eyed pea dish. I am not a fan of black-eyed peas, so this recipe uses navy beans.
1 lb. pkg dried navy beans
1 Tbsp. olive oil
1 medium onion thinly sliced
1 Tbsp. ginger
1/2 Tbsp. garlic
2 Tomatoes diced
2 Tbsps. tomato paste
1 Tbsp. paprika
2-3 cups of water
1 4oz can green chiles
1 pack of onion soup mix
1 Tbsp. butter
2 firm bananas, halved lengthwise and cut into chunks
salt and pepper to taste
- Soak beans overnight or 6 to 8 hours in cold water.
- Drain the beans after they’ve finished soaking, cook beans for about an hour or until they are tender.
- Drain beans.
- (If using canned beans this is where your cooking begins)
- Heat oil in a large skillet over medium heat.
- Add onion and sauté until golden and tender.
- Stir in garlic, ginger, and paprika.
- Add tomatoes and tomato paste and 1 cup of water.
- Add beans, chiles, remainder of water, and onion soup mix.
- Bring to a boil and simmer for 15 to 20 minutes.
- Add salt and pepper as needed.
- Melt butter in a separate skillet over medium-high heat.
- Reduce heat to medium and add bananas. Cook for five minutes or until golden on all sides. If you like a little char, cook longer to get a char on the bananas.
- Serve along with Red Red in a bowl.
Foodie Fridays in May
Every Friday in May, I will feature a new banana recipe. There may even be two of them. Not all will be savory. There will be a mix of savory and sweet for you. Bon appétit and all of that good eating stuff!