It’s been years since I last ate gari foto. It’s not that I don’t like it, I just don’t remember to make it. However my dad got me 3 avocados a week ago and I thought it’d be perfect with gari fotor. I’m one of those people who builds a dish around a particular ingredient, I just decide to chose one ingredient and add other ingredients that complement it very well. The day to make the fotor arrived and I brought all the avocado out and washed them. I decided to cut them open when I was ready to serve the food. In fact I thought that 3 avocados are one too many so I’d use just one and eat the rest with butter bread i had planed to make later in the evening. I then went ahead to work on my tomato stew. Gari fotor seems like such a simple dish but if your tomato stew base isn’t great, you won’t like the gari fotor. After everything was ready and the gari had been mixed, I decided to go ahead and slice my avocados. Believe me when I tell you that not a single avocados was edible, they had all gone bad. I have never experienced such bone crushing disappointment in my life. I guess all I’m trying to say is that you should be very certain your avocados are in good shape before you plan a dish around it. Though my avocados disappointed me, this gari fotor was so good I was reluctant to even share. It was just delicious and I’ll definitely be making it often now.
Recipe 3 Servings
what you need
For the fotor
1 1/2 cup gari
2/3 cup water
2 medium sized fresh red snappers (optional)
120g tuna flakes (I used starkist)
For the fish marinade
1/2 teaspoon spice mix.
1 teaspoon freshly grated ginger
1 teaspoon freshly grated garlic
For the tomato stew
7 fresh tomatoes ( 3 chopped and the rest blended with the other ingredients)
2 tablespoons tomato paste
2 carrots, diced
2 onions , 1 sliced and the other lended with the other ingredients
1/8 teaspoon ground nutmeg
1 teaspoon fresh/dried rosemary
4 garlic cloves, grated/ finely chopped
1 teaspoon fave spice mix
1 teaspoon curry powder
1 teaspoon sugar
pepper (as much as you want)
2 cups mushroom, sliced
Pinch of black pepper
2 ripened plantains, peeled and cut into thick cubes.
Chopped onions/spring onions
Wash the red snapper in water mixed with a bit of lemon. Pat try and cut shallow diagonal lines on it. Combine the ingredients for the marinade. Toss together with the fish and allow it to marinate for about 15 mins.
Blend 4 tomatoes , 1 onion and pepper to desired consistency and set aside.
Add a teaspoon of salt to plantain and toss to coat fully.
Heat oil in non stick pan over medium heat and add plantain (if using any). Fry until golden brown. Remove from oil and allow to drain in a paper towel. In the same oil, add the red snapper. Fry each side for about 5 minutes and then turn over to cook the other side. Set aside in a warm place.
Discard all but 1/3 cup of the oil and add sliced onion. Fry until onion softens then add the garlic . Fry until fragrant then add the tomato paste. Fry for 5 minutes then add the chopped tomatoes and the blended mixture. Turn heat to low and add your spice mix and curry powder. Depending on how crunchy you like your carrots, you can add them now or at the end.
Allow stew to simmer for about 10 minutes , taste and adjust salt and add the sliced mushrooms and sugar ( don’t worry if the stew becomes too sweet, you won’t even notice it when you mix the gari fotor). Add the nutmeg and black pepper and simmer until the mushrooms are cooked, about 4 minutes. Turn heat off and allow it to cool down.
To make the gari foto, place the gari in a bowl, add a pinch of salt and sprinkle water over it. Fluff it with a fork. Add the stew in bits, making sure to mix completely each time. Add the tuna flakes (you can drain the oil if you wish to, I didn't). Add the extra chopped onions and mix. You’d probably use all the stew. Taste and adjust salt.
Serve hot with fried plantain and the fried snapper, avocado if you have any