Sanka Sauce (West African Foods)

A continuation of past posts: Red Palm Oil, Banku & Kenkey, Sea Monkey & FuFu

This one will be a little hard to explain, well ok, not really. Its just it may be a little hard for you to replicate if you are the kind of person who needs a recipe of exact measurements.

Elements of this sauce are mostly the basics of a lot of stews, palava sauce (althought it can be argued like most everything food can be nowadays as to origin or authenticity), meat sauces, and other soups & sauces of the West African people.

First I will explain that you can't really google (search) for this recipe the name is unique and created by a few West Africans and a North American white boy from southern part of the United States, Alabama & Georgia. Why? Because they didn't know what to call it besides red sauce, which means many different things to many different cultures. And because it was finally nice to make it difinitive in our minds.

First the basics then the story:

Start with oil (red palm oil if you got it) don't be shy, throw in chopped onions, diced/chopped/pressed garlic, saute till translucent. Add chopped bell/sweet pepper (green, red, etc...), fresh ginger, saute about 3-5 minutes longer (med high heat). Add in cayenne or local equivalent hot pepper ( use for amount of heat YOU can stand) tomato paste and some fresh chopped tomatoes. Tomato paste should be a good wooden spoon size dollop to start, more as necessary...fresh tomatoes should be about 5 or 6 roma tomatoes worth (so we are going for a medium size HOME pot worth of sauce). Let simmer, if sauce gets too thick water it down some more and let simmer. They usually let this sauce cook for at least a half hour and up to a full hour or more (depending what meats, fish, chicken feet, egg or other things they may cook in there with it.

And by the way, Chicken feet put out good taste for soups and sauces and if your not shy you can suck off whatever substance (meat & sauce) is left on them when your done cooking, its tasty.

The consistency has been between soup and a sauce most times when I have had it. Spinach and a few other ingredients can been added to make a palava sauce, goat meat for certain stews...it becomes endless the possibilities.

Check your seasonings, salt & pepper as needed, more cayenne or hot pepper? Need more sauce? Add more paste, tomatoes, and/or water (sauce should not take on a sweet taste from the paste, that would be entirely too much).

We (Reuben, Alex, Alex, Joe, Charles, Kafue, Frank...countries represented: Ghana, Togo, Sierra Leonne, etc..), loved the movie Cool Runnings and since it was one of the favorites on our small ship (Caribbean Mercy, now retired) we watched it over and over again when we got bored on a sail. In the story of the jamaican bobsled team that went to the Olympics was a team member name Sanka, and Sanka had a lucky egg. See where I am going with this yet?

Reuben made this sauce most of the time and everyone else stood around telling him how they thought he should be making it. But I think it was safe to say Reuben made it the best and he usually ALWAYS added egg in the sauce, like you would an egg drop soup. Mix egg or at least crack yolk. Drop egg into Sanka Sauce while it was simmering and then just stir around once or twice, then let it cook.

Meat or additional things could be added almost anytime taking into account you simmered the sauce long enough to cook what was in it, or if it was a bean or pea of sorts then it would go in when the fresh tomatoes and paste went in.

Sanka Sauce. Nothing more than the traditional West African red sauce with an egg thrown in, or not! [now maybe after I post this you can google search for Sanka Sauce and it may start coming up. SMILE]

* I am not an authority by any means on West African food or cooking, these are my personal views and experiences as they have happened to me and many of my friends who are from these regions of the world*

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