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This Ghanian recipe is served as a dessert.   More to American taste is to present it as a side dish; we like it with Picadillo and white rice.  Traditionally it's cooked in masses of hot oil; we tampered with it.  Don't skimp on the hot pepper; it won't bite in this dish!

Kele Wele (Kelewele)

2 or 3 well-ripened yellow plantains (cooking bananas) (Note #1)
2 1/2 tablespoons olive oil, divided
1/2 to 1 teaspoon cayenne pepper
1 medium onion, finely chopped
3 garlic cloves, minced
1 thumb-sized piece of fresh ginger, finely chopped, OR
    1 1/2 tablespoons candied chopped ginger  (Note #2)
1 teaspoon salt or salt substitute

Mix together the red pepper, salt, ginger, minced garlic, chopped onion and 1 tablespoon of the oil in a small bowl. 

Peel the plantains and cut on the diagonal into 1/2 inch thick pieces.  Place in a large bowl; add the spices and mix well to coat the plantains.   If desired, place in the refrigerator for a couple of hours to help develop the flavors.

Heat some of the remaining oil in a large, heavy skillet over medium-high heat. (Note #3)  When hot, add plantains in a single layer.  Sauté until browned, turn over and brown other side.  Repeat until all the plantains are cooked.

Serve hot and enjoy!


Note #1  Choose plantains that are completely yellow with liberal specks of brown.  If you plan to have this dish later in the week, leave less mature plantains on the counter, not in the fridge, until they ripen.

Note #2:   You may substitute 1 teaspoon of ground ginger if fresh or candied ginger isn't available, but the flavor won't be the same.

Note #3:    Use a non-stick frying pan if possible, as the plantains tend to stick.

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