Red Red is a very popular Ghanaian dish. Red Red is black-eyed beans cooked with palm oil (Zomi palm oil), tomatoes and protein such as fish or meat. I have been hearing about this dish for years and always wondered what was so special about it given the hype I hear about it. After trying out this recipe, I can genuinely say I totally get the hype. Although we have a similar recipe in Nigeria where I am from, I just love how red red is cooked and the somewhat distinct taste it has as well. One thing I am looking forward to whenever I visit Ghana is to try this dish- it is definitely on top of my list of food to try whenever I visit Ghana.
As with most dishes, there are probably different variations of cooking them but there is always the basic that the dish will need. For Red Red, the palm oil is important as that is one of the reason it is called Red Red- due to the colour of the palm oil. However, I've seen and heard that you can use vegetable oil as well.
Red Red although a delicious meal on its one, it can be enjoyed with fried plantain, garri, or rice. As a plantain lover, you already know what I enjoy mine with! I also add garri to it as well and it is delicious! Let's get into the recipe.
- Pressure Cooker or normal pot (pressure cooker will save you so much time as it will cut down drastically the cooking time)
-1 & 1/2 cup of beans (or 450g)
-1 cup palm oil
-2 large onions
-1-2 scotch bonnet (you can add more or less depending on your taste)
-1 tbsp fish or shrimp powder (optional)
-Seasoning cubes- 4 cubes
-6 large fresh tomatoes
-1 whole smoked mackerel or any dried fish (smoked fish elevates this dish in my opinion)
-Salt (to taste)
1) It's best to soak the beans for about 2 hours (over night if you are not using pressure cooker- as it will help reduce the cooking time) to reduce gas in the beans.
2)After soaking the beans, drain the water out and add the beans to the pressure cooker. Add hot water to it and allow to cook for about 15 minutes. If you are not using a pressure cooker, cook this for about 1 hour- 1 hour 30 mins - basically until the beans is soft.
3) Wash the tomatoes, scotch bonnet and onions. If you're using ginger & garlic, peel and wash as well. Cut the onions and tomatoes into chunks. In a blender, add all of these into it and blend until very smooth. Then slice the other onions into thin slices.
4) Place a pot on medium heat and then add in the palm oil. Let it heat up for about 1 minute, then add in the sliced onions. Stir together and allow to fry for about 1-2 minutes. Then pour in the blended tomatoes mixture and then stir altogether. Add the seasoning cubes/powder, salt and also the fish or shrimp powder. Stir altogether and allow to cook for about 15 minutes- until the stew taste properly done. Strain the water from the beans and set aside.
5) Once the stew taste properly done, add the fish you’re using, mix well with the stew and allow to cook for another 10 minutes.
6) Add the drained beans into the stew and mix altogether again. Cover and allow to cook on medium to low heat for about 20 minutes. Once the palm oil rises to the top of the beans, you know it is done.
7)Serve and enjoy with plantain, garri, rice, yam or simply on its own!
Check out the reels section of my Instagram page for a quick video showing the process here.
Any questions, feel free to send an email or message on any of my social media platform.