Traditionally, the Palm Oil Chop is chicken cut into smallish pieces, or cubed beef — or both — and browned in palm oil with ginger and cinnamon and some chilli. Then onions and tomatoes and bell peppers are chopped, added to the oil and cooked until tender — about 20 minutes. Then the chicken and/or the beef is returned and cooked for up to an hour or more. By this time then vegetables will be more like a sauce than separate pieces. Season well with salt and pepper and serve over rice … with garnishes.
This dish is all about the garnishes and that’s where the fun begins. Especially on a festive occasion like Christmas, you can go a bit overboard on the garnishes and it can make for lovely decoration of the Christmas table. I usually serve all this buffet-style. Here are some of the garnishes that I’ve used and you can come up with your own, too.
Roasted dried coconut
Finely chopped red onions
Crispy fried onions
Fried banana and/or plantain
Chopped hard-boiled eggs — or serve whole hard-boiled eggs, a là Doro Wat
What I recommend is that you put a small amount of rice on your plate. Add a few garnishes that take your fancy, then mix the rice and the garnishes together thoroughly. Add some sauce and mix that in, too. Give that combination a try, then get some more rice and some more garnishes and try out that combination. Yes, the sauce is important but the rice/garnish combinations are where you can have a fun culinary experience.
I usually have a few different curried dishes — a lamb Rogan Josh, spicy chicken in a sauce with cream and banana, perhaps a vegetable curry and maybe some Saag Paneer.