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Submitted by West Africa Cooks on Sun, 2016-08-21 13:24


6 Servings
SourceThe Gyetiase Cook Book
Prep time
Cooking time
Total time


This is a traditional spinach stew, found all over West Africa, where it is made with coco yam leaves rather than spinach. If you can not find palm oil, substitute corn or sun flower oil and add 4 teaspoons of turmeric as indicated in the recipe.


250 milliliters
palm oil (or corn/ sunflower oil and 4 tsp turmeric powder)
tomatoes (finely chopped or 400g tin chopped tomatoes)
salt and pepper (to season)
red chillis (finely chopped 2-4)
250 grams
smoked fish (e.g. tuna, salmon, haddock)
3 bunches
spinach (or 750g frozen spinach)
100 grams
sunflower (or pumpkin seeds, ground in a coffee grinder)


How to make Palava?

Heat the oil in a saucepan and fry the onions until golden. Add the tomatoes, pepper to taste and the chillis. If not using palm oil, add turmeric here. Cook on a low heat for 10 - 15 minutes, stirring regularly. Add salt and your choice of fish, and simmer on a very low heat, stirring regularly.

Add the spinach and cover, cooking for 10 - 15 minutes. Add the ground seeds and cook for a further 15 minutes.

Serve with rice, plantains, yam or any roasted root vegetables.

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