Djenkoume (Togolese tomato-cornmeal cakes) are the perfect and traditional accompaniment to many dishes found in Togolese cuisine.
2 cups cornmeal
4 large cloves garlic, peeled and crushed
1 tsp. freshly grated ginger root
1 medium-sized onion, peeled and minced
2 tbsp. red palm oil (a must have ingredient, no other oil will match this rich, West African flavor)
15 oz. canned chopped tomatoes
2 tbsp. canned tomato paste
Salt and pepper, to taste
4 cups chicken broth (vegans can substitute vegetable broth)
1. Sauté the garlic, ginger, and onion in the red palm oil over medium-high flame until softened and fragrant.
2. Add and stir in the tomatoes and tomato paste, adjust the heat to a gentle simmer and cook the mixture about 15 minutes, until a thick sauce forms. This breaks down the tomatoes and melds all the flavors together. Remove 1 cup of the mixture and reserve to serve as a dipping sauce.
3. Now pour the chicken stock into the remaining seasoned tomato sauce mixture, and then gradually whisk in the cornmeal. Keep whisking while slowly adding in the meal, until it is all incorporated and the mixture is very smooth.
4. Simmer the mixture for about 10 minutes, until nicely thickened. The cornmeal will be speckled with bits of onion and tomato. Form into cakes to serve.
5. Serve your Djenkoume while nice and hot. Goes great with most any West African meal, but try serving with grilled meats, like Grilled Togo Chicken – fabulously delicious!