Friday, June 29, 2007

Fais Comme Moi

The following is the recipe for pâte blanche, the staple Beninese meal. I eat this on a daily basis when I’m at home, though I don’t cook it myself. You can buy enough for a very filling meal for 30 cents. Enjoy!

The Sauce

4 tbs vegetable oil
2 big onions
3 cloves garlic, crushed
3 cups water
12 tomatoes, ground
2-3 spicy peppers
1 shrimp bullion cube

Heat oil and add tomatoes, onions, peppers, and garlic. Sauté for about 5 minutes, then add 3 cups of water and the bullion cube. Cover and let boil for about 20 minutes, until all the ingredients have had a chance to mix well.


1 ½ cups corn meal mixed with 1 ½ cups water
1 ½ cups corn meal additional
2 cups water

Bring the 2 cups of water to a boil. Add cornmeal-water mixture and let cook for 10-15 minutes, stirring occasionally. Add remaining cornmeal, stirring vigorously, until really thick (at least another 5 minutes). You’re going for a consistency such that it will form a mold and stand by its own when you put it on a plate, at least once it cools a bit.

Eating Pâte

Wash your hands. Put the sauce onto one plate and the pâte on another. Then, tear out a bite-sized chunk of pâte, dip it in the sauce, and eat.


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