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Fried Plantains in Tomato Gravy [Vegan, Gluten-Free]

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Green plantains are frequently used as a main ingredient in African dishes. This recipe combines the sweet starchiness of the vegetable pairs well with the indulgent tomato gravy. The sauce is seasoned using the African spice berbere, which can be found in African grocery stores or online. This recipe tastes great by itself, but, if you want to make it even more filling, serve it with basmati rice.

Fried Plantains in Tomato Gravy [Vegan, Gluten-Free]





Cook Time



  • 1 red bell pepper, cut into strips
  • 4 White Button mushrooms, cut into long, thin slices
  • 1 shallot, cut into circular shapes
  • 3 tablespoons corn oil
  • 2 green plantains
  • 1 8-ounce tomato sauce, unsalted
  • 5 cloves garlic
  • 2 cups water
  • 1/2 teaspoon black pepper, crushed
  • 1 teaspoon berbere, to taste (substitute taco seasoning if you can’t find it)
  • 1 teaspoon salt
  • 1 teaspoon sugar


  1. In a bowl, add room temperature water and garlic. Set aside.
  2. Peel the green plantain by making long cuts into them and peeling off the skin. Then, cut into 1-inch wedges.
  3. In a cast iron pan, add the oil. After heating up, add the plantain wedges in a single layer. On medium heat, roast on one side for about 5 minutes or until browned. Flip them over, one at a time and roast on the other side for 5 minutes until brown.
  4. Remove the plantains from the pan and place them on a paper napkin. Dab them to remove excess oil. Set aside the cast iron.
  5. Allow them to cool before using a wooden spoon to gently flatten them. Place the flattened plantains in the water.  You may have to put them in batches.
  6. Remove after 5 minutes and dab them to remove excess water. Do not discard the garlic and water.
  7. In the same cast iron pan, re-fry the plantains in the same way as before. In the cast iron, there should be some left over oil. If not, add 1 teaspoon before re-frying.
  8. Remove them and set aside. You can dab them to remove excess oil.
  9. Add the shallots to the cast iron and let them brown on medium heat.
  10. Add the peppers and mushrooms and stir fry until the mushrooms are browned and the peppers are soft.
  11. Add the fried plantains, salt, pepper, sugar, and berbere.
  12. Stir in the tomato sauce and about 1/2 of the garlic water. Cook until most of the water has dissipated. If you like more gravy, turn it off about 6 minutes after adding the water.





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