My Ghanaian wife is from the Volta region. And this, Volta Region Seafood Stew, is a particularly special favorite dish of mine. My bet is, once you’ve tried some, it will be a favorite of yours, too.
Volta Region Seafood Stew Recipe-
- 12 oz. fresh, prawns, (shrimp), peeled and deveined, shells and heads reserved
- 8 oz. fresh calamari, chopped into bite sized rings
- 2 tsp. tomato purée
- 1″ piece fresh root ginger, peeled and chopped fine
- 1 tbsp. vegetable oil
- 4 large cloves garlic, peeled, and chopped fine
- 1 onion, peeled, and rough chopped
- 1 Scotch Bonnet chili pepper, chopped fine
- 1 lb. fresh Atlantic mackerels, scaled, gutted, deboned, and chopped into large chunks
- 2 whole cloves
- 2 Maggi seasoning cubes, crushed
- 1 tsp. smoked paprika
- 1 tsp. fennel seeds
- 1 tsp. coriander seeds
- 14 oz. canned chopped tomatoes
- 1 sprig fresh thyme
- 1 white potato, peeled and chopped into 3/4″ cubes
- 6 oz. okra, trimmed and rough chopped
- chopped fresh cilantro, for garnish
- Place the prawn heads and shells into a medium-sized skillet and sauté until crispy and golden-brown. Crush with the back side of a wooden spoon, then add one teaspoon of the tomato puree and cover with 8 ounces of water. Raise heat to a simmer; skim off any scum that rises to the surface, and leave to simmer until ready for use, later.
- Steam the calamari rings until partially tenderized – about 5-6 minutes should be enough.
- Heat the oil in a heavy-duty large skillet and tenderly fry the garlic, onion, ginger and Scotch Bonnet until softened, and light golden-brown.
- Now add the coriander seeds, cloves, paprika, crushed Maggi cubes and fennel seeds. Stir to combine well.
- Add and stir in the remaining tomato puree, then add and stir in the chopped tomatoes, thyme and cubed potato. Simmer until the potatoes are starting to soften – 5-6 minutes should do it.
- Strain the prawn stock through a sieve, pressing down on the shells and heads, then pour the liquid into the skillet with the stew. Simmer for 6-7 minutes to reduce some, then add and stir in the mackerel, prawns, partially cooked calamari, and okra. Simmer for another 5-6 minutes, just long enough so the seafood is cooked through.
- Serve your Volta Region Seafood Stew garnished with a sprinkling of chopped fresh cilantro. Also, give each person a ball of banku, fufu, or kenkey.
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