Plantain with Eggplant Sauce (Akpessi)

how to make eggplant sauce
Ivory Coast akpessi. © Maeva / @maev.arts

This Ivorian traditional dish is bursting full of fresh flavours with exotic spices. Boiled plantain accompanied with a tasty eggplant sauce and grilled fish for a fast and flavoursome dish. This beautiful Ivorian-inspired akpessi recipe is the perfect dish to serve up to family and guests!


Serving 2

  • 8 African eggplants, or use aubergine
  • 2 fresh tomatoes, sliced
  • 2 medium onions, sliced
  • 2 cloves garlic, minced
  • 2 medium tilapia or bream fish
  • 1 tbsp tomato paste
  • Vegetable, or palm oil
  • Salt to taste
  • Pepper to taste 


  1. Peel the eggplant, then cut in half lengthwise. Transfer to a cooking pot, add enough, cover, and steam for 20 minutes, until the eggplant is very soft.
  2. Transfer the cooked eggplant in a food processor and blend together with garlic, fresh tomatoes and one onion.
  3. Heat oil in a dry pot. Once the oil heats up, add the sliced onions and fry for about 2 minutes. Add the blended puree and stir together.
  4. Cover pot and cook-fry till the water in the puree dries up. You can easily tell this, when the palm oil has separated from the puree.
  5. While the sauce is cooking, clean fish and season with spices of choice.
  6. In a frying pan, heat oil on medium, then lower the fish into the oil and fry till crisp. Turn over and further fry the other side.
  7. Add and adjust salt, pepper and extra spices to the sauce, if desired.
  8. Serve the eggplant sauce warm over boiled plantain, topped with chopped fried fish.
  9. Enjoy!

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