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How to make palm nut cream for your palm nut soup

Making palm nut cream at home is a rewarding process that can help you prepare traditional dishes like palm nut soup more conveniently.

Palm nut cream

By creating your own palm nut cream, you can ensure it's ready to use for quick meals on busy days. Here’s a straightforward method to prepare palm nut cream at home:

  • Fresh palm nuts (about 2-3 cups)
  • Water
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  • Large pot
  • Mortar and pestle or a food processor
  • Fine mesh sieve or cheesecloth
  • Large bowl

Clean the palm nuts:

  • Rinse the palm nuts thoroughly in water to remove any dirt or debris.

Boil the palm nuts:

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  • Place the cleaned palm nuts in a large pot and add water until they are fully submerged.
  • Bring the water to a boil, then reduce the heat and let the nuts simmer for about 30 minutes, or until the flesh softens and the nuts are tender.

Cool and extract the flesh:

  • Drain the nuts and allow them to cool until they can be handled comfortably.
  • Crack the nuts open and extract the flesh from the shells. You can use a mortar and pestle to gently crush the nuts and make the flesh easier to remove.

Process the palm nut flesh:

  • Transfer the flesh to a food processor (or continue using the mortar and pestle) and add a small amount of warm water.
  • Process or pound the flesh until it forms a smooth, thick paste. This paste is the basis of your palm nut cream.
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Extract the cream:

  • Place the palm nut paste in a large bowl and add warm water. The water should be just enough to cover the paste.
  • Mix thoroughly by hand, squeezing the paste to extract the creamy oil. This process might take a few minutes of mixing and squeezing.

Strain the mixture:

  • Pour the mixture through a fine mesh sieve or a cheesecloth into another bowl. Press or squeeze out as much liquid as possible. The creamy liquid that passes through is your homemade palm nut cream.
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Boil the cream:

  • Pour the extracted liquid into a pot and bring it to a boil. Reduce the heat and simmer for about 10 minutes to thicken the cream slightly.

Cool and store:

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  • Allow the cream to cool completely. Transfer it into airtight containers or jars.
  • Store in the refrigerator for up to a week, or freeze for longer storage. When ready to use, simply thaw and add directly to your recipes.

This homemade palm nut cream can be used immediately in recipes or stored for later use, making it a convenient addition to your cooking repertoire, especially for traditional African dishes.

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