Matoke is a simple, healthy, and delicious one-pot East African dish made from green bananas. Easy to prepare but can fill you up for hours! Great for lunch or dinner.
MATOKE WITH BEEF STEW RECIPE – VERY VERSATILE
The best part about this dish is that you can serve it in so many ways! You can eat it on its own, serve it up with bread, chapati, rice — the possibilities! – and for a vegetarian twist, you can skip the meat. All the other processes remain the same.
STEWED GREEN BANANAS WITH MEAT
Matoke can be made in different ways, but I like to make mine with meat (beef or lamb) with a thick, rich sauce. It’s simple and hearty!
WHAT IS MATOKE
Matoke, also known as Matooke (cooking banana), is a staple food in East Africa made from green bananas. It is an important part of the diet for many people in the region.
It is most popular in Burundi, Uganda, Rwanda, and Kenya, but it’s also eaten throughout the region.
Matoke can be used in place of potatoes in any meal. Yes, if you love stewed beef potatoes, you will love this recipe!
HOW LONG DOES MATOKE TAKE TO COOK?
It takes 30 minutes for matoke to become fork tender. However, I will advise to start checking at around 25 minutes in order not to get the matoke mushy. However, this stewed recipe takes 45 minutes from start to finish.
HOW TO PREPARE MATOKE
There are several ways to prepare matoke: boiled, stewed, mashed, roasted, or fried with a sauce made from red hot chili pepper and onion. However, my favorite way to prepare it is to mix it with various sauces like tomato sauce, peanut butter sauce, or coconut sauce.
Every family has its preference and mode of cooking. In fact, almost no one cooks it exactly the same with another person. There’s always a personal touch added to it to make it more personal and distinct.
Some love to cook it with potatoes, carrots, peas, and any other vegetable of choice, but I like to keep it simple because I like the green banana and beef to be the star!
INGREDIENTS FOR MAKING MATOKE
- Matoke – Don’t worry, the only ingredient that can take you to the Asian store is the matoke. Every other ingredient in this recipe is either in your pantry or your local grocery store.
- Oil – Any good cooking oil will work
- Medium onion – diced
- Lamb or beef – cut into small cubes.
- Seasoning and spices – paprika, cayenne pepper, garlic, ginger, curry powder, chicken bouillon powder, salt, and pepper
- Tomatoes – diced
- Water or chicken stock – I used chicken stock for a deeper flavor profile.
- Herbs – A handful of chopped coriander leaves or cilantro
WHAT TYPE OF BANANA SHOULD I USE?
The banana variety used in making this dish is different from what some of us are familiar with. This variety of bananas is indigenous to southwest Uganda. It comes from the family of bananas known as the East African Highland bananas.
If you live in the states, you can easily find a suitable substitute for this banana in Asian stores.
Also, while the traditional recipe doesn’t call for plantains, I have used green plantains a couple of times, and it worked out great for me.
HOW DOES MATOKE TASTE?
When cooked, matoke has a mild taste and a slightly chewy texture—that is why they are used in stews and other dishes to add flavor and texture.
CAN YOU FREEZE GREEN BANANAS?
Yes, you can freeze matoke (green bananas) if you are not ready to use it. It can stay in the freezer for up to 6 months. To freeze them, simply follow these steps:
- Clean the bananas thoroughly, using a damp towel to remove dirt and debris.
- Peel the bananas and cut them into 1.5 to 2-inch pieces.
- Put them in a freezer bag and use them when needed. Be sure to thaw to room temperature before using them.
OTHER DELICIOUS EAST AFRICAN RECIPES YOU MAY LIKE:
- Kachumbari – Onion, tomato, cucumber salad
- East african pilau
- Sukuma wiki
- Irio – East African Mashed Potatoes
- East African Chapati
- 10-12 matoke
- 2 tablespoons oil
- 1 medium onion diced
- 1 teaspoon minced garlic
- ½ teaspoon grated ginger
- 1½ lb beef cut into small cubes
- 1 teaspoon curry powder
- 2 teaspoon chicken bouillon powder or 2 cubes
- 1 teaspoon paprika
- ½ teaspoon cayenne pepper or add to taste
- 4 medium tomatoes diced
- 2½ to 3 cups chicken stock or water
- salt and pepper to taste
- A handful of chopped coriander leaves or cilantro
- Peel and cut the matoke into 1.5 – 2 inch pieces. Put them in water till you are ready to use them so that they don’t become discolored.
- Heat the oil in a large skillet over medium-high heat, add onions, and cook until soft, about 2 minutes.
- Stir in the garlic and ginger and cook until fragrant—a few seconds.
- Stir in the beef and add the paprika, curry powder, bouillon powder, salt, and pepper. Mix well, cover, and leave to cook for 10 minutes, stirring halfway between.
- Add the matoke, diced tomatoes, and stock (or water), stir, cover, and leave to simmer for 25 to 30 minutes or till the matoke becomes tender.
- Stir in the coriander and serve.