"Baked plantain boat with refried beans "is a delicious combination of plantain and refried beans. The sweetness of the plantain nicely complements the savoury flavour of the refried beans. The smoky flavour of the smoked paprika in the refried beans adds a punch to the whole dish.
Beans and fried plantain (dodo) is something we traditionally eat as Nigerians, and which I wouldn’t change for anything; however, this baked plantain boat only takes about 30 mins; and is a quick alternative for when I don’t have a lot of time to spend in the kitchen. It is perfect for a quick lunch or dinner.
Plantain is the less sweet, starchier cousin of banana. It is commonly eaten in Africa, Caribbean and South America. It is very versatile and tastes amazing, whatever you do to it – boil, fry, grill, roast, bake! Raw plantain is very starchy which lends it to particular dishes and snacks (plantain chips is just yum!). As it ripens, the sugars are converted to starches, which makes the plantain sweeter and softer.
Refried beans is a Mexican dish, which is usually eaten as a side or as a filling. However, if you’re greedy like me; it can also be a main meal. The first time I ate this was in a Tex-Mex restaurant chain, and it was so creamy and delicious. I then ordered it at another branch of the chain a few weeks later, and it was horrible – the beans, water and oil were separated in the bowl. Consequently, I didn't eat refried beans for a while. I now prepare it at home, and have fallen in love with the dish all over again.
Refried beans is very straightforward, and quick to prepare, if you use canned beans like I do. Canned pinto is my preferred beans for re-fried beans recipe because of its starchiness, which makes the dish creamy. That is not to say that you can't cook the beans from scratch, if you prefer that. Equally, you can use black beans or other types of beans depending on what is available where you are.
One tip to save time is to prepare the re-fried beans while the plantain is in the oven, so that by the time the plantain cooks, and cool, the beans is ready to be stuffed.
Plantain Boat With Refried Beans Recipe
- 2 Plantains ripe, medium sized
- 2 tablespoons Cooking oil
- ½ Onions medium, chopped
- 2 cloves Garlic chopped
- 2 teaspoons Smoked paprika
- 1 teaspoon Cumin
- ½ teaspoon Chilli flakes
- Salt to taste
- 2 Pinto beans cans drained
- Set the oven to 1800C.
- Cut the two ends off the plantain and make a cut across the length of the skin.
- Remove the skin from the plantain.
- Make a cut down the length (You can follow the line already made from when you removed the skin).
- Place the plantain on a lined tray inside the oven and allow to cook for 10 mins.
- Turn on the side and leave for another 10 mins.
- Remove from the oven and allow to cool.
- Heat the oil in a pan.
- Add onions and allow to soften, stir occasionally.
- Pour in the garlic, smoked paprika, cumin and chilli powder and some salt. Stir continuously for 1 min.
- Add the beans and pour in about a quarter of cup of water.
- Mix the content of the pan, and cover 10 mins to cook.
- Reduce the heat.
- Use a potato masher or wooden spoon to mash the beans to your desire texture (as you mash the beans, the consistency becomes thick, and you may need to add more water).
- Remove from heat
- Stuff the refried beans into the opening on the plantains.
Other plantain dishes to try;