A lot of times, some people think Africa is a country. Others think we speak one language(No, we don’t speak African). But the beautiful thing is, Africa is a continent. The second largest continent in the world. Africa has 54 countries and about 2000 languages. It also is actually one of the richest continents in the world. With minerals and natural resources like cocoa, coltan, Nikel, diamond and gold.
One of the countries in Africa, located on the Western part of the map and so rich in culture is Cote D’Ivoire…Also known as Ivory Coast…
Apart from the alluring French language, there are plenty other reasons why you must visit Cote D’Ivoire.
“The music” says…Estelle…”the spontaneity, rythm, and dance moves are totally flavorful.”
“The local joints at night. It’s so lively with the music and people.” Olumide
“The food, yes, but also the people, beaches. Assini and Asouinde are the beach resorts. Yamoussoukro has the Basilica of Our Lady of peace/Basilique Notre-Dame de la Paix(considered one of the wonders of the world by many) and the crocodile lake.” Mimi
One reason, I would love to visit Ivory Coast is for the food. Not just any food, but for Attieke and fish. Attieke, also known as Acheke is actually a side dish made out of Cassava. Attieke to me is like Couscous, but only finer when it comes to the grain and a little sour when it comes to the taste.
To prepare Attieke, some cassava is peeled and grated; then mixed into previously fermented cassava. It is then left to ferment some more until the natural hydrocyanic acid content has disappears. The cassava is thereafter squeezed to remove the water content; then drained and dried. The attieke is ready to be be eaten; when the dried grains are steamed with warm water…
Below is a simple process of preparing Attieke and fish:
For the fish and onion sauce
4-6 pieces of croacker, tilapia, or cat fish
2-3 fingers of cayenne or habanero peppers(optional)
3 garlic cloves
a handfull of parsley(optional)
1 knob of raw ginger
2 tsps oil
salt to taste
1 large onion(sliced)
1 large tomato(sliced)
1tsp chili flakes
1/4 tsp mustard
salt to taste
For the Attieke
300grams of Attieke
2cups of water
1tbsp butter or oil
salt to taste
Wash and pat the fish dry. With a sharp knife, make 2 incisions on the flesh of each side of fish, season with salt and set aside for about 10minutes to an hour.
In a mortar, mash the peppers, ginger, parsley garlic, bouillon and a pinch of salt (just a pinch); then mix with 1 tsp oil. After one hour. pre heat a tsp of oil in a pan and pre heat your oven to 350 degrees…Sear the fish in the pan until brown on both sides; then rub with the mashed pepper mix. Place in a non stick oven tray and cook until the fish is tender(about 10-15 minutes)…Alternatively, instead of searing first, you could grill the fish on an out door or in door grill and baste with the ingredients as it cooks.
mix the onion, mustard, pinch of salt, pepper, tomato, chili flakes and vinegar. Leave to chill and serve with the Attieke and fish
For the Attieke, mix it with the water in a pot, cover and let it rise. Heat over steam on low heat. Add the butter and continuously fluff with a fork as it steams. This helps to separate the grain. After 3 minutes, remove from the heat and serve as shown below with fried plantains(or not)…