Africans prepare fish in many interesting ways. Coconut is often used in cooking fish, as are pumpkin and squash as presented in the recipe below. In this dish the rice absorbs the flavors of all the ingredients and seasonings in the steaming process with most delicious results. This is an ideal dish to cook in individual casseroles if you have them. The secret is to cover the casseroles tightly so that the rice steams. Use aluminum foil if your casseroles do not have lids.

2 cups yellow onions, chopped finely

1 tsp. crushed red pepper

1 Tbs. salt

1 tsp. black pepper

4 oz. peanut oil

2 Ibs. pumpkin (or yellow squash)

2 ½ lbs. halibut, filleted, cut in ½- to ¾-inch slices

1 cup coconut, peeled and cut in 1-inch strips

2 cups white rice, uncooked

2 quarts water

the water from the coconut

1 6-oz. can tomato paste


In a 6-quart Dutch oven or casserole baking dish sauté yellow onions, crushed red pepper, salt and black pepper in peanut oil until soft but not brown. Peel pumpkin. Cut in 1 inch slices and lay over the onions. Place halibut carefully over the pumpkin. Arrange coconut over the fish. Pour white rice over the coconut and sprinkle with saIt. Combine water with the water from the coconut and tomato paste. Pour this liquid into the pot carefully so as not to disturb contents. Cover tightly and allow to cook gently for about 30 minutes or until rice, fish, and vegetables are tender and the liquid is absorbed. Serve directly from the dish in which it is cooked. Do not stir before serving. Section out portions, cut through, and remove with a wide spatula.

Serves 8.


country : Ivory Coast

course : fish dish


source : The African Cookbook / Bea Sandler