Africa and indeed the African Diaspora is the home of very delicious, classic and even spiritual meals. At ILoveAfrica, we love to share very exotic meal recipes from all over the continent, and today we have a Vatapa, Brazilian Seafood dish with African origins.
Vatapá is a sumptuous seafood stew and is one of the classic dishes of Brazilian cuisine. It hails from Bahia state on the northeast coast where many of the dishes have African origins. It is a very spicy cassava flour mixture to which coconut milk, palm oil; cashew nuts and dried shrimp are added. The dish is then garnished with condiments such as onion, coriander or chilli and served with rice.
Ingredients for Vatapa
- Onion, chopped — 2
- Dried shrimp (see notes) — 1/2 cup
- Garlic, chopped — 2 to 3 cloves
- Malagueta or jalapeño chile peppers, chopped — 1 to 3
- Oil — 3 tablespoons
- Stock or water — 1 1/2 cups
- Natural peanut or cashew butter — 1/2 cup
- Breadcrumbs — 1 cup
- Salt and pepper — to taste
- Shrimp, peeled and deveined — 1 pound
- Coconut milk — 2 cups
- Dendê, or red palm oil (optional) — 1/4 cup
- Place the onion, dried shrimp, garlic and chilies in a food processor or blender and puree well. Add a little water if necessary.
- Heat the oil in a large saucepan over medium heat. Add the onion-shrimp mixture and saute until cooked through, about 5 to 7 minutes.
- Stir in the stock or water and whisk in the peanut or cashew butter until smooth. Then stir in the breadcrumbs, salt and pepper. Bring to a boil, then reduce heat to medium-low and simmer for 5 to 8 minutes to meld the flavors.
- Stir in the shrimp and coconut milk and simmer another 5 or 6 minutes, or until shrimp is almost cooked through.
- Remove from heat, stir in the dendê/palm oil and serve over rice.