Wednesday, February 22, 2012

Weird bananas, and a non-banana recipe: African Ginger Tea

Red bananas, courtesy
Moment of truth. I'm still working on my taste for matooke, one of the few common Ugandan foods. Matooke (sounds like ma-toke-ay) is a cross between a banana and a cooked potato, the best I can describe. They're sold very inexpensively in huge bunches that look like green bananas along the side of the road, even though they grow like bananas do: A tree grows a bunch, is harvested, is cut down to a stump, and then grows another bunch in about a year. (Isn't it amazing that bananas are so cheap?)

Side note #1: We have planted two matooke trees here already, since they'll grow within a year, and it's kind of fun to give to our house help and our guard.

Side note #2: We have been gifted some banana tree babies that are to arrive tomorrow for us to plant! Well, for the guard to plant, because our guard is also a groundskeeper. (Cool--he takes care of whatever I think it would be fun to plant.) We are actually getting red banana trees: As in, the tree has a red stalk, and the banana peels are red, and I am told the insides are pink! What a great addition to landscaping. They don't transport well, so you don't get them in markets. Ugandans may plant a type of birds-of-paradise (this is a plant, not an animal...) next to it, because there's a bug that likes banana trees, but likes the smell of birds-of-paradise better, which also happens to be poisonous to the bug.

Anyhoo--there is a Ugandan food that I adore: African Ginger Tea.

Equal parts water and milk
Fresh ginger, peeled and minced/mashed
Black tea bags
Sugar to taste

Just boil them together and let 'em steep awhile. Uh, yum.

1 comment:

Kelli said...

We have red bananas here! They only grow in Burma, and they're still the "normal" color inside (just red peel and stalk)...and they're sour! It's amazing, and I love 'em! It's like a banana war head from nature :)