How to make Aloco - A West African Recipe
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Aloco Recipe


Heat a cup of red palm oil (or peanut oil if you can't get palm oil) in a frying pan. Peel and slice raw plantains (they're like bananas) into discs or chunks and sprinkle them with salt. Fry the plantains until they are golden brown. Take the plantains out of the frying pan with a slotted spoon and leave them in a bowl.

In the same palm oil, fry sliced onion, tomato, and chili pepper for a few minutes. Add 3 tablespoons of water and one tablespoon of vinegar, turn the heat down, and simmer a little while until the sauce thickens. Pour the sauce over the cooked plantains and serve. People often serve aloco with grilled fish.

People could not really have eaten this recipe in ancient Africa. Plantains are not originally African (traders brought them to Africa from India). Neither are tomatoes or chili peppers, which both came to Africa from Latin America. But this is a recipe that people do make in West Africa, and it uses palm oil.

More about palm oil
More about African Food

Bibliography and further reading about West African food:

What about olive oil? home

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Karen Carr is Associate Professor Emerita, Department of History, Portland State University. She holds a doctorate in Classical Art and Archaeology from the University of Michigan. Follow her on Instagram or Twitter, or buy her book, Vandals to Visigoths.
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  • Carr, K.E. . Study Guides, . Web. 30 March, 2017