Friday, 12 June 2015

Kontomire Abomu (Puto hwe gu mu)

Every time I make this hearty meal, it's always an all dig in affair. That is how we do it in Ghana. Meal times are family gathering times and what makes it even more beautiful and engaging is when all the family eat from the same pot. Of course if there are too many, groups of 2 or 3 or 4 are formed and they share a bowl. Being the youngest of seven siblings, I found it quite challenging having to match up to the mouthful bites, which we called 'blows', my older siblings would take at a time. We used to say, 'this is survival of the fittest' and it sure did teach me a thing or two on how to survive in challenging situations!


  • 1 Medium size onion,
  • 4 Kpakposhito (Pettie Belle Chilli) or any chilli of your choice and to your taste),
  • 2 Medium sized fresh tomatoes, 
  • Piece of Koobi (salted dry tilapia)
  • About 10 leaves of Kontomire (cocoyam leaves)
  • 2 Maggie cubes crushed into powder
  • Grilled Mackerel/ Fried Fish or any protein of your choice 
  • Salt 
  • 1 ladle of Palm Oil 


1. Wash the kontomire leaves well, remove the stalk from the vine and place in a pot.

2. Add the tomatoes, onion, pepper and koobi to the pot and add just enough water to steam.

3. Steam until the tomatoes, onions and kontomire leaves are tender. Turn off the heat and keep any remaining water left after the steaming.

4. Place the chilli, onion and a piece of the koobi in an asanka (earthenware mortar) and mash it with the pestle. If you don’t own an asanka, you can use a blender, however you will not get the same texture and earthy flavour which comes from the asanka.

5. Now add the tomatoes to the mortar. Mash until it is well incorporate with the onion mixture.

6. Now add the kontomire and mash well into the mixture. If it is too thick, loosen it up with a bit of water from the steaming process.

7. Check the seasoning at this point and add the Maggie. Stir well and check if the seasoning is ok. You may not need any more salt at this point as the koobi is salty. After this process the sauce can be eaten with a bit of palm oil drizzled over it. However, I like to take it a step further. Placing the asanka on the hob to heat up the sauce releases an earthy flavour from the asanka which gets infused in the sauce. I just love this earthy flavour, it just brings a soul to the sauce.

8. Place the asanka on the hob and heat it up and add the palm oil. As the sauce heats up, the water in the sauce will bubble. After some couple of minutes the bubbles will reduce in size and the oil will form a layer on the surface. Caution, the asanka gets very hot and it keeps conducting heat even when it’s taken off the hob. 

9. Check your seasoning and add a pinch of salt if needed.

10. Serve this sauce with boiled yams, ripe & unripe plantains, cocoyam or boiled rice. Dig in, no need to get a plate! But be careful you don't burn your fingers!

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