Monday, August 17, 2009

Recipe #7, continued (banku)

We ate our banku with a stew. Today I'll mention the steps to finish the banku, and tomorrow #9 will be an okra/eggplant/fish stew that pairs well with it.

Basically, when using the fermented Indian Head cornmeal dough, just bring a couple of cups of water to a boil in a saucepan (about a 3-quart saucepan, with a handle), add a teaspoon of salt, and gradually stir in the fermented dough. If you stirred the dough every day it should not have mold on it, but if there is any, scrap it off before adding the dough to the boiling water. Incidentally, the more days you let the dough ferment, the more sour it will be. If it's your first time, probably 2 days will be long enough.

Lower the heat and stir constantly to keep it from forming lumps. Stir the banku for about 15 minutes using a strong wooden spoon or paddle (something flimsy will likely break), scraping the bottom of the pan and turning the dough as it cooks. If necessary, add a little water to keep it from scorching, and/or turn down the heat. Once the banku is cooked, remove it from the heat and let it sit a few minutes. When it is cool enough to handle, wet your hands and shape the banku into one large or several small loaves (I generally make individual servings). Banku is usually eaten warm or lukewarm.

Has anyone tried making banku in the microwave? Please let me know if you have, and how it worked out. The same basic procedure is used when making banku from already-prepared frozen dough, after defrosting it. If using the powder, one must of course add more water (I would add some water to make the dough, then bring more water to a boil and continue as with the Indian Head fermented dough).

Gosh, just remembering this is making me hungry again.

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