Friday, August 21, 2009

Tubaane (steamed bean pudding), continued

I spent the morning re-making tubaane. It was better, but I'm still struggling with the batter: the moin moin recipe on the package says to use 1/2 cup of the powder to 1 1/2 cups of warm water, and let it sit for an hour. I tried that and it was a watery mess that could never be spooned onto a leaf, so I added more bean flour, 1/4 cup at a time, until I eventually ended up using 1 1/4 cups of flour to 1 1/2 cups of water. That seems like a lot, but anything less and the batter was too thin.

Next I used an electric mixer to beat it for 5 minutes (rather than by hand as we did in Tamale), added 1/2 teaspoon of baking soda (to replace the
kanwa we used in Ghana), and beat it for another 5 minutes, then spooned it into plantain leaves (and tried a few with parchment paper, but those crumpled up badly, whereas the plantain leaves made a smoother package).

Please note that the pictures of the tubaane above were taken in Ghana, whereas the leaves and batter I used in Pennsylvania today are in the other pictures. To form the packets, make a slight "cup" in your palm and, holding the leaf with the underside up, spoon a spoonful into it, then fold one side over, then the other, then the two ends, one at a time, as in the photos. Put a steamer insert into a large pot with a little water in it and add the packets, then steam them for about an hour. I probably could have taken them out sooner, since they were a little harder than I'd have liked. After unwrapping them, cut them in half on the diagonal (as I was taught in Ghana) and put them into a bowl.

In Ghana they were served
with some sliced onion sauteed in a little vegetable oil and added to the bowl (but I was told NOT to use palm oil), along with some salt and dried red pepper mixed together and sprinkled over it. It made a nice snack (or "small chop" as they say in Ghana).

The plantain leaves enhanced the delicate flavor of the beans, and the red pepper gave it a nice kick (if you're not fond of spicy food, mix in some paprika to cut the heat).

At the same time that I was working on the
tubaane, I was making some kenkey with some more corn dough I mixed up a few days ago. The next recipe will be Ga-style kenkey.

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