Stews and sauces

Kontomire with smoked salmon and melon seeds (Palava sauce)

Kontomire stew is a staple in our house. We mostly alternate between garden egg stew and kontomire stew weekly. I am surprised I do not get tired of it. It is part of our taste bud make up and we do not get fed up of it.

We mostly make kontomire with smoked salmon, my favourite and melon seeds( agushie/akatoa). Feel free to serve it up with any dish of choice. I prefer mine with partially riped plantains. What would you eat yours with?

Palava sauce; this stew is made with kontomire leaves and grounded melon seeds with smoked salmon. Spinach can also be substituted for kontomire leaves.
Kontomire stew with smoked salmon and melon seeds (Palava sauce)
Prep Time
15 mins
Cook Time
30 mins
Total Time
45 mins
Servings: 4 plus
  • Kontomire leaves/ cocoyam leaves About 15
  • 6 tomatoes
  • 1/4 cup turkey berries
  • 3 medium onions
  • Pepper as required
  • 2 medium smoked salmon
  • 1 cup melon seeds AKA akatoa or agushie
  • 1/2 cup palm oil
  • momoni optional
  • 1 teaspoon grounded shrimp
  • salt as required
Prepare the ingredients
  1. Soak melon seeds in water, set aside. Wash kontomire leaves with a generous amount of salt to prevent itching of hands when cutting. Cut kontomire into desired stripes. Put the cut kotomire into a saucepan with little water and place on high heat. Cover and bring to a boil. Turn the kontomire after about five minutes of cooking to make sure everything is cooked through. Turn off fire and set aside.
  2. Blend two onions, tomatoes, pepper and turkey berries together, set aside. Remove the flesh of the salmon, break into two and remove the bones, break into desired sizes, set aside. Wash the soaked melon seeds and put into a blender. Add about ¼ teaspoon salt and just enough water to blend into a paste. Set aside. Slice the remaining onion.

To make the stew
  1. Pour palm oil into a medium saucepan, add half of the sliced onions and momoni if using. Fry till onions are softened. Add the blended tomatoes, onions, turkey berries and pepper. Bring to a simmer on medium heat. Add the salmon, salt and grounded shrimp if using. Cover and let simmer for 7 to 10 minutes till sauce is bare thickened.

  2. Add in the blended melon seeds, DO NOT STIR, cover and reduce heat to low. Let it simmer 8 to 10 minutes or till the blended melon seeds sets. Gently stir in the steamed kontomire. Add the remaining sliced onions, let simmer for about five minutes till onions are softened. Serve with yam, rice, cocoyam, cassava, plantains or sweet potatoes.

Recipe Notes

Spinach can be substituted for kontomire. Do not steam like we do for kontomire leaves, cut it up and add it up after the blended melon seeds set. Leave to simmer till it is softened and cooked through. You can also substitute equal amounts of already grounded melon seeds (akatoa/agushie). Season with salt, make a slightly thick solution with water and add in.

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