Mtori is a traditional Swahili dish prepared from the unusual combination of green bananas and stewing beef. Guests at Singita Sasakwa Lodge in Tanzania were recently treated to an expert cooking demonstration of this local speciality by chef Donna Patterson.
The tennis pavilion became a stage for what could have turned into a Masterchef class. While the children challenged each other to a game on the court, I carefully shared the recipe with the adults, that had been taught to me by one of the local chefs in our kitchen.
Traditionally the soup is served to Swahili mothers when they are pregnant and breastfeeding as it is a rich source of nutrients for the diet. It has evolved into a dish for the whole family, with the recipe being handed down from generation to generation.
Ingredients (serves 4):
1 onion, diced
2 cloves garlic, crushed
1 Tbls vegetable oil
6 green bananas, peeled and chopped
300g stewing beef, cubed (off the bone)
salt and pepper
Fry the onions and garlic in the oil for 5 minutes over a medium heat in a heavy based pot.
Add the cubed beef and stir to brown all sides of the meat.
Add the peeled and chopped green bananas and stir for a further 3 minutes.
Cover the mixture with water, reduce the heat and allow to simmer until the bananas become soft.
Traditionally the soup is mashed together with a wooden spoon and served as is. I tend to remove the meat, shred it and keep it aside and then blend the banana part of the soup in an electric blender.
Season to taste with salt and pepper and add the meat back to the soup. Enjoy the tastes of Tanzania!