(Read more about African Walnuts here).
African Walnuts (locally called ukpa, ukporo, asala or awusa) are mostly eaten boiled, usually as a snack, when in season. I enjoy them this way, but I long for other ways to enjoy them, in particular, ways to make them a main dish, other then just a snack.
Back to now, I decided to cook my walnuts in some sauce to figure out what new tastes or flavours would emerge. So using some pre-made red pepper sauce, I sauteed the chopped walnuts in a pan with some seasoning (largely salt and black pepper and some onions). The taste was wow.....! Why haven't I been doing this before now....
I love walnuts, the taste, the crunchy texture, the mild flavour, everything about it, even the slightly bitter taste when I drink water afterwards....This is the unique character of the fruit and I respect and love it for this reason..... So it was easy for me to love the sauteed version, and yes the bitter taste was reduced a little. (Actually the bitterness is attributed to the high levels of certain alkaloids and phytochemicals present in the fruit.....its not toxic and is perfectly safe for human consumption).
What you need
- Lots of freshly boiled African Walnuts
- Some pre-made red pepper sauce (recipe here)
- Red onion chopped
- Freshly milled black pepper
- Red Palm oil (or any other vegetable oil of choice)
- Shell the walnuts and remove the white fruit/nut from the kernel. Cut into quarters and set aside.
- Heat some red palm oil in a pan and brown the chopped onions.
- Then add a generous amount of the pre-made red pepper sauce and stir well.
- After a few minutes of stirring, add the chopped walnuts, some black pepper and salt to taste. Stir well to combine all the ingredients.
- Allow to cook for another few minutes then serve.
- Excellent served as a side dish, or as a warm salad with other veggies.
- Can also be served with a bit of chicken or fish for a light lunch or dinner.