Matoke recipe is a unique dish made from green bananas, it is rich in flavors and is made using tomatoes, bell pepper, curry powder, and cayenne pepper. It is not just easy to make but is vegan and thus perfect for lunch and dinner. Try this amazing and unique recipe, and I am sure you will love it.

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What is Matoke?

Matoke, or matooke, also known as Mataba, is a traditional banana-based dish in many parts of Africa. It is popular in Uganda, Kenya, and Tanzania. Matoke can be made in different ways and according to different recipes, but the process is always the same.

Matoke is a regular meal bearing different names in each region in the world. Everyone has had this delicacy in one way or the other. People eat matoke during lunch or dinner due to its ability to keep you full and satisfied.

Matoke tends to be a bit sour but is one of the most appetizing dishes. The different matoke recipes make it acceptable and a great compliment to other dishes on the menu.

There is no doubt that once you finish your plate of matoke, you’ll find yourself yearning for more.

There are slight variations of the dish depending on the preparation method used. The dish can be served is traditionally served with fish, beef, chicken, and/or vegetable stew. However, it is usually served with or alongside Ugali, a millet-based staple food in Western and Central Africa.

The original matoke recipe might seem a bit intimidating. However, we have simplified it to give you a dish that is not just easy to make but is a perfect homage to African cuisine.

Also try Jollof Rice, Kachumbari, and Okra and Tomato Stew. 

Matoke recipe overlay in a saucepan on a grey background with grey and white stripe towel

Health benefits of Matoke

Matoke might be an unusual dish, but it sure is healthy because it is made from vegan ingredients and offers several health benefits. Here are a few to name:

  • Matoke is a healthy and delicious food that can help you lose weight, improve your digestive system, and boost your immune system.
  • Containing only 90 calories per serving, Matoke is filling enough to keep you going all day while being low in calories.
  • It’s also high in fiber, which helps with weight loss.
  • On top of that, it’s a good source of potassium, which aids in the regulation of blood pressure, and is full of antioxidants. For people who suffer from diabetes or are at risk for heart disease, Matoke should be included in their diet as much as possible because it helps control blood sugar levels and reduces the risk of heart disease.
  • It can also help reduce blood pressure, helps reduce the risk of stroke. and inflammation, improve brain function, and promote wound healing, among other things.
  • Matoke is normally cooked before consumption. Matoke has anti-inflammatory properties due to its high levels of polyphenols such as quercetin which have been shown to prevent inflammation caused by various diseases like cancer or arthritis.
  • They also protect against oxidative stress from free radicals that can damage cells over time, leading to premature aging and disease development (e.g., Alzheimer’s).
  • The high fiber content in Matoke makes it a great choice for those looking to lose weight because it contains fiber. Which is also crucial in digestive and heart health.
  • Matoke is an excellent source of vitamin B6 and vitamin C, which eases the absorption of nutrients and minerals.
  • Matoke is ideal for diabetic people because of its low sugar content.
  • Matoke is a source of resistant starch which is converted to short-chain fatty acids and helps keep cholesterol levels low.
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green banana on white background

Matoke Ingredients

  • Green banana: The main ingredient you will need to make this dish is green bananas. These green bananas are unripe bananas that are a bit hard in texture and bland in taste. So, these soak up the flavors f the other ingredients and thus tend to turn out very tasteful. Plus, they are a bit different from the regular unripe bananas. You can easily find them at an Asian or African grocery store. You will need to peel the green bananas and cut them into 2-inch pieces to ensure even cooking.
  • Avocado oil: You can use any vegetable oil for this recipe. I usually love using olive oil or avocado oil.
  • Onion: Use either white or red onions for this recipe. Onions add a savory flavor to the dish. They set the base for the dish and therefore is, a compulsory ingredient.
  • Garlic: adds a boost of flavor to the stew, you can substitute with garlic powder.
  • Ginger: I prefer freshly grated ginger.
  • Red bell pepper: Red bell pepper has a fruity flavor. Plus, it has a beautiful and vibrant color. Adding it to this dish elevates its flavor.
  • Tomatoes: Chopped tomatoes add so much flavor to this dish. They offer a tangy flavor and aid in giving you a rich flavorsome gravy.
  • Curry powder: Curry powder is an essential ingredient in many Caribbean recipes. It is a blend of different spices and has a rich and intense flavor and aroma.
  • Cayenne pepper: Cayenne pepper adds heat to the dish and makes it more tasteful. You can adjust this ingredient according to your liking.
  • Cilantro: Fresh grassy flavor of cilantro is the right choice to garnish this dish.
  • Bouillon cubes: Bouillon cubes are a magical ingreidnet. They offer a savory and umami flavor to any dish. Adding it to the dish means you don’t have to worry about adding salt and other seasonings. Make sure you are choosing vegan bouillon cubes for this recipe.
  • Water: Water will aid in cooking the green bananas until they are mushy. You can also add water to get some gravy.
Cooking matoke

How to make Matoke?

Making Matoke is super easy. Here are some simple steps you have to follow:

Step 1: Peel the bananas; then cut them into two-inch pieces and place them inside salted water to avoid discoloration when they come into contact with air.

Step 2: Place a saucepan over medium heat and add avocado oil to it. Once the oil is hot, add chopped onion and cook for about 2 minutes or until they are translucent and soft. Next, garlic, ginger, bell pepper, and tomatoes and continue to cook for 2 more minutes.

Step 3: Now, add curry powder, cayenne pepper, bouillon cube, and cilantro, and mix well. Cook for a minute or two until spices are fragrant.

Step 4: Add the green bananas and mix well.

Step 5: Pour water and stir. Bring the mixture to a boil and cover the saucepan with a lid. Reduce the heat and let the mixture simmer for about 25 minutes or until the green bananas are tender.

Step 6: Serve.

 

Tips to remember

When making Matoke, here are a few things you should keep in mind for perfect results:

  • Make sure you cut the green bananas in equal size. It is crucial for even cooking.
  • Don’t forget to soak the green bananas in cold water for about 10 minutes before cooking.
  • You can use green or yellow bell peppers instead of red bell pepper as well.
  • Use canned tomatoes if you don’t happen to have fresh tomatoes.
  • You can replace cayenne pepper with paprika powder. If you are a spice-lover, you can use a scotch bonnet as well.
  • Add more vegetables like carrots, peas, or squash to this dish to make it more wholesome.
  • If you don’t have vegan bouillon cubes, use vegetable stock instead of these and water.
  • For more texture, you can garnish it with toasted sesame seeds or peanuts.
  • For a creamy texture, add full-fat coconut milk to this dish in the end and let it simmer for 5 minutes.

What to serve with Matoke?

Matoke is a dish of endless possibilities when it comes to accompaniments. Matoke can be served on its own or Githeri, Sukuma Wiki, Red Red Beans.

How to store Matoke?

Store the leftover Matoke by placing it in an airtight container and refrigerating for up to 3 days. Moreover, you can also freeze this dish. It will last for up to a month in the freezer. You can thaw it and reheat it to enjoy.

Other African Inspired Recipes To Try

  1. Turmeric Coconut Fonio
  2. African Braised Kale And Tomatoes
  3. Black-Eyed Peas Fritters
  4. Agatogo
  5. Malanga Fufu
  6. Gomen
matoke green banana stew in saucepan

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Nutrition

(Per serving)
  • Energy: 143 kcal / 598 kJ
  • Fat: 1.5 g
  • Protein: 2.7 g
  • Carbs: 33.8 g

Cook Time

  • Preparation: 10 min
  • Cooking: 25 min
  • Ready in: 35 min
  • For: 6 Servings

Ingredients

Instructions

  1. Peel the bananas; then cut them into two-inch pieces and place them inside salted water to avoid discoloration when they come into contact with air.
  2. Place a saucepan over medium heat and add avocado oil to it. Once the oil is hot, add chopped onion and cook for about 2 minutes or until they are translucent and soft. Next, garlic, ginger, bell pepper, and tomatoes and continue to cook for 2 more minutes.
  3. Now, add curry powder, cayenne pepper, bouillon cube, and cilantro, and mix well. Cook for a minute or two until spices are fragrant.
  4. Add the green bananas and mix well.
  5. Pour water and stir. Bring the mixture to a boil and cover the saucepan with a lid. Reduce the heat and let the mixture simmer for about 25 minutes or until the green bananas are tender.
  6. Season with salt and cayenne pepper to taste. Enjoy!
Recipe author's Gravatar image

Michelle Blackwood, RN

Hi, I’m Michelle, I’m the voice, content creator and photographer behind Healthier Steps. I share vegan and gluten-free recipes because of past health issues. My goal is to help you make healthier choices and show you how healthy eating is easy and delicious.