ILA (SHRIMP AND OKRA STEW)

This interesting combination of shrimp and bananas gives this West African dish an exotic flair. It is light and delicious.

3 tablespoons peanut or vegetable oil

1 cup chopped onion

1 pound fresh or frozen okra, sliced into ½-inch rounds

1 large ripe banana, cubed

5 medium tomatoes, peeled and chopped

½ pound cooked shrimp or prawns

juice of 1 fresh lime or lemon

1 teaspoon cayenne

1 teaspoon salt

¾ cup water

Het the oil in a casserole, add the chopped onion, and sauté for 1 minute.

Cut the tops of the okra and slice thinly. frozen okra should be thawed just enough to slice. Add the okra to the sautéed onions.

Add the cubed banana and the tomatoes to the onion mixture and simmer for 3 minutes.

Mash the shrimp in a bowl with a potato masher and add the lime juice, cayenne pepper, and salt. Then add this mixture to the onion mixture. Add ¾ cup of water, cover, and simmer for about 25 minutes, checking the water level to be sure it doesn’t dry out.

Serve with hot, cooked rice.

Yield: 4 servings

Heat Scale: Mild

area : West Africa

course : main dish

source : Flavors of Africa Cookbook : Spicy African Cooking - From Indigenious Recipes to Those Influenced by Asian and European Settlers / Dave DeWitt, Mary Jane Wilan and Melissa T. Stock