Recipe of the Month: Red Red, a Ghanaian Bean Stew

Red red is a Ghanaian bean stew served with fried plantains and often garnished with gari, a coarse toasted cassava flour. It makes an altogether delightful dish that is perfectly suitable for vegans and vegetarians alike. If you would like to try something West African, have a go at this.

Serves 4


1 cup of dry black eyed peas (180-200g or 1 canned beans)

1/4 cup red palm fruit oil (dende oil)

1 large onion

1 tablespoon tomato paste

4 medium size, ripe tomatoes

1 inch fresh ginger

2 cloves garlic

1 scotch bonnet pepper

500ml vegetable stock

salt to taste

water for soaking beans, extra as needed.


Soak the beans in fresh water for about 2 hours or overnight, this makes the cooking process quicker. You can also soak the beans in hot water for half an hour before cooking. Cook the beans for 30 to 45 minutes until cooked through but firm.

Chop the vegetables. Sauté the onions until caramelized then add the tomato paste.

Add the tomatoes and fry until they have cooked down. This should take 5 to 10 minutes.

Add the scotch bonnet pepper. For reduced heat, pierce the pepper and add whole rather than finely chop. Add the vegetable stock and allow it all to simmer for half an hour on low heat. During this time you can prepare the plantains.

Take 4 plantains. Peel, slice, season with salt and deep fry or oven roast at 220 degrees for about 15 minutes. Garnish the beans with a little gari powder and serve hot.

Where you can get these ingredients

These are now widely available in the UK online at Amazon, High Street supermarkets or at Afro Caribbean grocers. In London you will be able to find these in most supermarkets South of the river, and in areas like North End Road market and markets around Peckham and East Croydon.