Easy Nigerian Eggplant/Garden Egg Stew
Eggplant/Garden Egg Stew is one of those delicious recipes I remember eating back at home with boiled yam or fried plantains on Saturday mornings.
I love when my mom or my mother-in-law (aka my other mom) come over to my home to spend sometime with me. I always learn a ton from them, especially in the kitchen and in the market place. On a recent visit from my mother-in-law, I re-discovered my love for eggplant / garden egg stew. My mom and I went to an Asian market that had tons of produce, we were picking out vegetables when we spotted some Thai-eggplants or as we call them at home, garden eggs. We decided to pick them up and make a simple yet delicious eggplant/garden egg stew.
In Nigeria, we usually have two popular varieties of eggplants: the green ones used in this recipe, and the another white variety that is similar to this, only slightly bigger. Both of those varieties would work best for this eggplant/garden egg stew recipe. The typical purple eggplant would not come out with the same texture or taste as the green and white eggplants, however, in a pinch you can use them; just peel the skin off before using it (see recipe notes for more tips on substituting with these).
Eggplant/garden egg stew is one of those recipes I remember eating back at home with boiled yam or fried plantains on Saturday mornings when we were not eating Moimoi or Akara. I loved Saturdays like these, because it meant I didn’t have to spend my Friday evening skinning beans to prep for blending to make Moimoi or Akara (I will be sharing those recipes sometime in the future, so be on the look out).
I paired my sauce with fried plantains, but it also goes well with boiled plantains, boiled or fried yams, boiled or fried potatoes, and even rice.
- 15 Thai eggplants aka green garden-egg
- 6 plum tomatoes
- 1 large white onion
- ¼ cup palm oil
- 1 scotch bonnet pepper chopped
- 340 g smoked mackerel the equivalent of one large mackerel skinned and de-boned
- 1 tsp chicken/ vegetable bullion
- 1 small handful of Clove basil aka Nigerian scent leaf/Thai basil
- Salt to taste
- Optional: 2 tbsp dried shrimp
- Optional: Extra dried chilli-pepper
To prep the eggplants, take off the stems, wash and quarter each eggplant then boil in salted water for 10- 15 minutes.
While the eggplants are boiling, slice the onions into half-moons, dice the tomatoes, roughly chop the basil, and flake the fish.
Once the eggplants are fork tender, drain them, and mash them with a potato masher or a fork. They should be the consistency of crushed tomatoes, only slightly chunky.
In a deep sauce pan, heat up the palm oil for 2 minutes (be careful not to heat the oil for too long or over high heat, unless the oil will bleach), and gently sauté the onions and scotch bonnet peppers until it is softened and starting to brown ever so lightly on the edges of the onions.
Add in the tomatoes and scotch bonnet pepper, and cook over medium heat for about 20 minutes, or until the sauce thickens, and the oil starts to raise to the top.
Add in the smashed eggplant, and continue cooking on low-medium heat for five minutes.
Add in the smoked mackerel, dried shrimp, and bullion, stir and continue to simmer on low heat.
At this point, taste the stew, and adjust for salt, and if you are like me add some extra dry pepper for a little bit more heat. Stir in the chopped basil, and turn off the heat.
Serve warm with a side of your favorite carbs.
Feel free to substitute the smoked mackerel for cooked mackerel. There is a slight difference in the final taste, but it is just as delicious.
Try it out and let me know if you like it! If you want to try some other delicious West African stews, why not check out my Spinach Stew; Yoruba Style recipe or my Nigerian Spicy Peanut Stew (Groundnut stew) recipe?