Palaver sauce or palava sauce or plasas is a type of stew widely eaten in West Africa, including Ghana, Liberia, Sierra Leone and Nigeria. 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. 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. Another is that the spices used in the stew mingle together like raised voices in an argument. It has been thought of as having the power to calm tensions, or to cause them. Other names for the dish include Kontonmire, Kentumere, Nkontommire and pla'sas.
|Alternative names||Palava sauce|
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. Outside of Africa, spinach is often used as a substitute for other greens. The leaves used to make this soup in Liberia are called Molokhia or Mulukhiyah leaves.
The meat is first cut into small pieces and is fried in palm oil in a pan, and to the pan is added onion, pepper and chilli. Then is added the fish dried or smoked, that is previously moistened and cut in chunks, the vegetables are sliced and incorporated into the cooking-pan (spinach leaves or bean leaves, cabbage, kale, okra), and finally water is poured to help in the cooking and spices for seasoning. The mixture is kept on a low fire until all the ingredients are cooked and the water has reduced. It is served with white rice.
- Sandler, Bea. "Palaver sauce (Beef and Spinach)". The African Cookbook. Retrieved 2007-09-30.
- Osseo-Asare, Fran (2005). Food Culture In Sub-saharan Africa. Greenwood Press. p. 23. ISBN 0-313-32488-3.
- Ogunyemi, Chikwenye Okonjo (1996). Africa Wo/man Palava: The Nigerian Novel by Women. University of Chicago Press. p. 100. ISBN 0-226-62085-9.
- "Palaver 'Sauce'". Ghana.co.uk. Archived from the original on 2007-08-30. Retrieved 2007-09-30.
- "Sauce/Stew". Ghanaweb.com. Retrieved 2007-09-30.