Palaver sauce

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Palaver sauce
Palava sauce w- cocoyam leaf (5612472154).jpg
Ghanaian palaver sauce
Alternative names Palava sauce
Type Stew
Cookbook:Palaver sauce  Palaver sauce

Palaver sauce or Palava sauce or Plasas is a type of stew widely eaten in West Africa, including Ghana, Liberia, Sierra Leone and Nigeria.[1][2][3] The word palaver comes from the Portuguese language and means a talk, lengthy debate or quarrel. It is unclear how this led to the name of the stew.[4] One theory is that when the stew was first made, with long, ropey greens, people would start quarrels by slapping each other with the greens from their stew.[1] Another is that the spices used in the stew mingle together like raised voices in an argument.[2] It has been thought of as having the power to calm tensions, or to cause them.[3] Other names for the dish include Kontonmire, Kentumere, Nkontommire and pla'sas.[2][4][5]

It has regional variations and can contain beef, fish, shrimp, pepitas, cassava, taro (cocoyam) leaves, and palm oil. It is served with boiled rice, potatoes, garri, fufu or yams.[2][3] Outside of Africa, spinach is often used as a substitute for other greens.[4] The leaves used to make this soup in Liberia are called Molokhia or Mulukhiyah leaves.

See also[edit]


  1. ^ a b Sandler, Bea. "Palaver sauce (Beef and Spinach)". The African Cookbook. Retrieved 2007-09-30. 
  2. ^ a b c d Osseo-Asare, Fran (2005). Food Culture In Sub-saharan Africa. Greenwood Press. p. 23. ISBN 0-313-32488-3. 
  3. ^ a b c Ogunyemi, Chikwenye Okonjo (1996). Africa Wo/man Palava: The Nigerian Novel by Women. University of Chicago Press. p. 100. ISBN 0-226-62085-9. 
  4. ^ a b c "Palaver 'Sauce'". Archived from the original on 2007-08-30. Retrieved 2007-09-30. 
  5. ^ "Sauce/Stew". Retrieved 2007-09-30.