When you're missing garden egg stew, a delicious eggplant (aubergine) dish from West Africa, you go to drastic measures to attempt to recreate it with whatever you have on-hand.
Garden Egg stew is one of my favorite dishes. I eat it religiously in Ghana. One of the best preparations is at Bar Naas/NW9 -- a hip and contemporary African restaurant based in Kumasi in Nhyieso, that offers a variety of cuisine ranging from garden egg stew (of course), to shawarma, to pizza to fish n' chips (yum) and more.
Equipped with Italian eggplant, anchovies, sardines, fresh tomatoes, onions, olive oil and a variety of seasonings (i.e., salt, pepper, dried pepper flakes and nutmeg) and some inspiration from TimeOut.com, I set out to satisfy my deep craving for garden egg stew. What happened was nothing short of a miracle. While clearly not garden egg stew, this poor (wo)man's rendition was quite tasty.
Here's what I did:
For roughly 3 servings, 1 onion, 2-3 tomatoes, 1 small tin of sardines, 1 small tin of anchovies and 1 Italian eggplant are plenty.
It was so nice that I only got to eat it twice.
Besides enjoying 'good eats', my sister and I attempt to recreate dishes we have enjoyed elsewhere. Friends sometimes join us in the trial and error. Some attempts are more successful than others.