When the rainy season sets in, and everything and everywhere is cold, then we start cooking or looking for foods that are soo tasty when eaten hot to keep us all warm and mushy inside.
My mom once told me that, when I was a toddler. I was sent to my grandma who lives at Odumase, in the Eastern Region of Ghana. It is very cold there throughout the year, but more so during the rainy season.
In Ghana, we have two major seasons unlike in the United States and other parts of the world. We have the Harmattan season which starts from November, intensifies during the Christmas and new year and dwindles down by March. The rainy season starts from April intensifies between June and July and ends in October.
I was told that my grandma prepared mpotompoto for me to eat. She used cocoyam which was in season. According to my mom, after I tasted the food, I refused to eat anything again because I enjoyed it soo much.
For my aunties and grandma, they were relieved because back home with my parents, I did not eat anything apart from Cerelac,(a cereal) and they were wondering how they were going to manage to feed me after the cerelac my mom sent to them had run out.
Upon my return to my parents house in Accra, my grandma gave my mom the exact recipe, but after my mom prepared it, I would not eat it. According to my mom, I recognized the food as my favorite and was excited to eat it, but upon tasting it, my little brain told my little taste buds that “this is not how grandma prepared it”
You can imagine my mom’s trepidation. It took my mom soo many tries and lots of persuasions before I would even take a bite.
More than thirty (30) years later, whenever I visit my mom during the rainy season and she prepares this meal, we relive the story once again sending all of us into fits of laughter.
Now I am all grown up and I can prepare my very own mpotompoto. I sometimes vary it up with either yam, cocoyam or sweet potatoes depending on what is in season.
So now I share this recipe with you in the hopes that as the rainy season has set in Ghana and most parts of Africa and in other parts of the world where it is cold, and especially during this CONVID-19 pandemic where you may be looking for a low budget-yummylicious-nutritious-simple-vegan meal (you can turn it into anything depending on the protein type you use like beans), then look no further than the mpotompoto recipe below:
- Medium sized yam (preferably water yam)/cocoyam
- Two (2) medium or large sized tomatoes
- Tw (2) medium sized onions
- Green pepper(Quantity according to your tolerance of pepper)
- A dash of tomato paste
- Dry fish(or beans if you want it pure vegan) and salted fish (koobi) or any fish of choice
- Palm (red) oil
- Salt to taste
- Peel and wash the yam
- Cut it into small chunks or squares to enable it to cook easier
- Bring it to boil in a saucepan over medium heat
- Wash tomatoes, onions, green pepper and fish.
- Add it to the yam in the saucepan
- Please be sure to add enough water to cover the content in the saucepan
- Add salt to taste and allow t to cook for about 20 to 25 minutes
- Cook till tender and take the tomatoes, onions and pepper out and grind or blend together
- Add the mixture to the yam which would be boiling over by now
- Add your fish(or beans)
- Stir all the contents together so that everything mixes well
- You can use your spatula or spoon to mash some of the yam in the saucepan if you want a more porridge look or leave the chunks in there.
- Add your palm (red) oil
- Allow to cook for about 10 minutes and food is ready
- Dish out and garnish with any vegetable of choice eg. Parsley or spring onions