Cou cou is a typical dish from Barbados, one of the paradise islands of the Caribbeans. It is a simple cake made of cornmeal and okra: the okra is cooked together with onion and water, and part of the cooking water is then cooked with the cornmeal. The result is much tastier than European polenta.
To prepare this dish, I used canned okra, to reduce the cooking time. You can as well use frozen okra slices or fresh okra. I also used some tomato sauce and a few tablespoons of okra as a condiment.
- 8oz cornmeal
- 3oz okras
- 1 onion
- Pinch of salt
- 5 tablespoons tomato sauce
- 2 teaspoons coconut butter
Pour the cornmeal into a saucepan and cover it with water. Stir with a whisk and set aside. Put the okra in a different skillet or saucepan, together with a finely chopped onion and 1/2 cup water. Heat to medium and let cook until the onion is soft. Finally, drain and set aside the excess okra liquid.
Add the drained okra and 1/4 of the water to the cornmeal and heat to medium. Let cook for a few minutes, continuously stirring with a whisk to avoid the formation of lumps. Add gradually the remaining water. When bubbles start to form on the surface, turn the heat to low and cook for another 2-3 minutes.
Shape the cornmeal as desired in the serving dish (I used cookie cutters), add a teaspoon of coconut butter on top and set aside while you prepare the side sauce. Heat the tomato sauce and some extra okra in a saucepan, until you obtain a creamy consistency.
Yop the cornmeal cake with a spoon of tomato sauce and okra, and serve the rest on the side.
Cou cou is delicious hot or at room temperature. Enjoy!