Aloco Recipe - Delicious Vegetarian Recipe from Chad


Aloco Recipe - Delicious Vegetarian Recipe from Chad
Region / culture: Chad | Preparation time: 15 minutes | Cooking time: 30 minutes | Servings: 4 | Vegetarian diet



Aloco, a vibrant and flavorful dish, is a beloved staple in West African cuisine, particularly in Côte d'Ivoire. This simple yet delicious recipe combines the sweetness of ripe plantains with the savory depth of a spicy onion and tomato sauce, often accompanied by grilled fish or meat. Aloco is not just a dish; it's a cultural symbol, representing the rich culinary traditions and the fusion of flavors that characterize West African food.


The origins of Aloco can be traced back to the coastal regions of West Africa, where plantains are abundant and form a crucial part of the diet. The dish has evolved over the years, incorporating influences from various cultures due to trade and migration. Originally, it was a simple meal for fishermen and their families, utilizing readily available ingredients. Over time, it has gained popularity across the continent and beyond, becoming a favorite in homes and restaurants alike.


How to prepare

  1. Heat a cup or two of palm oil in a skillet.
  2. Sprinkle the raw plantains with salt.
  3. Fry the plantains until they turn golden brown.
  4. Remove the plantains from the oil and drain them on absorbent paper (paper towel).
  5. It may be best to fry the plantains in a few batches.
  6. In the same skillet and oil used for frying the plantains, fry the onion, tomato, and chile pepper for a few minutes, stirring often.
  7. Add a few spoonfuls of water, reduce the heat, and simmer for several minutes until a thick, chunky sauce is obtained.
  8. Some cooks prefer to add a splash of vinegar.
  9. Place the plantains on a plate, cover them with a grilled fish (see below), and pour the onion-tomato mixture over them.


  • While the basic ingredients of Aloco remain the same, variations exist. Some prefer to add garlic or ginger to the sauce for extra flavor. Others might include a splash of lime juice for a tangy twist. The type of fish or meat used as an accompaniment can also vary based on personal preference and availability.

Cooking Tips & Tricks

To achieve the perfect Aloco, selecting ripe but firm plantains is key. They should have a deep yellow color with black spots. When frying, ensure the oil is hot enough so the plantains cook through and become crispy without absorbing too much oil. Draining them on paper towels helps remove excess oil. For the sauce, simmering it until it thickens brings out the flavors of the onion, tomato, and chile pepper, creating a rich topping for the plantains.

Serving Suggestions

Aloco is traditionally served with grilled fish, but it can also be accompanied by grilled chicken, meat, or tofu for a vegetarian option. It's often enjoyed as a main dish but can also be served as a side.

Cooking Techniques

Frying is the traditional method for cooking the plantains in Aloco, but for a healthier version, they can be baked or air-fried until golden and crispy. The sauce is typically simmered to allow the flavors to meld together, but it can also be blended for a smoother consistency.

Ingredient Substitutions

For those who prefer to avoid red palm oil due to health or environmental concerns, coconut oil or vegetable oil can be used as alternatives. Sweet potatoes can be substituted for plantains for a different twist on the traditional recipe.

Make Ahead Tips

The sauce can be prepared in advance and stored in the refrigerator for up to two days. Reheat it gently while frying or baking the plantains just before serving to ensure the dish is fresh and flavorful.

Presentation Ideas

Serve Aloco on a platter with the plantains arranged around the edge and the sauce in the center. Garnish with fresh cilantro or parsley for a pop of color. If serving with fish or meat, place it on top of the plantains and sauce for an appealing presentation.

Pairing Recommendations

Aloco pairs well with light, crisp beers or white wines that can complement the dish's richness without overpowering it. For a non-alcoholic option, a tangy lemonade or ginger beer would provide a refreshing contrast.

Storage and Reheating Instructions

Leftover Aloco can be stored in an airtight container in the refrigerator for up to two days. Reheat it gently in a skillet or in the microwave, adding a little water if the sauce has thickened too much.

Nutrition Information

Calories per serving

A typical serving of Aloco, including the plantains and sauce, contains about 300-400 calories. Adding grilled fish or meat increases the calorie count, making it a hearty and satisfying meal.


Plantains are a good source of carbohydrates, providing the energy needed for daily activities. A serving of Aloco, primarily made of plantains, contains approximately 40-50 grams of carbohydrates. These are mostly complex carbohydrates, which digest slowly and provide a steady energy release.


The red palm oil used in frying contributes to the fat content of Aloco. However, palm oil contains saturated and unsaturated fats. A serving of Aloco might have around 10-15 grams of fat, depending on the amount of oil used and how well the plantains are drained.


While plantains themselves are not a significant source of protein, the addition of grilled fish or meat increases the protein content of the dish. A serving of Aloco with fish can provide approximately 15-25 grams of protein, essential for building and repairing tissues in the body.

Vitamins and minerals

Plantains are rich in vitamins A and C, which are important for vision, skin health, and immune function. They also contain potassium and magnesium, essential for heart health and muscle function. The tomatoes and onions add additional vitamins and minerals, making Aloco a nutritious meal option.


Aloco is naturally gluten-free and dairy-free, making it suitable for individuals with these common food allergies. However, those with allergies to nightshades should be cautious due to the tomatoes and chile pepper in the sauce.


Overall, Aloco is a balanced dish, providing carbohydrates, proteins, and healthy fats, along with essential vitamins and minerals. It's a nutritious option that can be part of a healthy diet when consumed in moderation and prepared with less oil to reduce fat content.


Aloco is a testament to the simplicity and richness of West African cuisine, offering a delightful combination of flavors and textures. Whether enjoyed in its traditional form or with modern twists, it remains a beloved dish that brings people together, celebrating the joy of good food and shared meals.

How did I get this recipe?

The first time I saw this recipe, I knew it was something I had to try. It was passed down to me by a dear friend who had spent some time in West Africa and had fallen in love with the local cuisine. The dish was called Aloco, a delicious and comforting meal made with ripe plantains, fried until golden and crispy, and served with a spicy tomato and onion sauce.

I was immediately intrigued by the flavors and textures of Aloco, and I knew that I had to learn how to make it myself. My friend graciously shared the recipe with me, along with stories of her time spent in Africa and the people she had met along the way. I could feel the passion and love she had for this dish, and I was eager to recreate it in my own kitchen.

I gathered all the ingredients I would need to make Aloco – ripe plantains, red onions, fresh tomatoes, garlic, chili peppers, and a few other spices. I carefully followed the instructions my friend had given me, slicing the plantains and frying them until they were crispy on the outside and soft on the inside. The aroma that filled my kitchen was intoxicating, and I knew that I was on the right track.

As the plantains cooked, I prepared the spicy tomato and onion sauce that would accompany them. I diced the onions and tomatoes, minced the garlic, and chopped the chili peppers, carefully balancing the flavors to create a sauce that was both tangy and spicy. I let the sauce simmer on the stove, allowing the flavors to meld together and create a rich and complex taste.

Finally, I plated the Aloco, arranging the fried plantains on a large serving dish and spooning the tomato and onion sauce over the top. The colors of the dish were vibrant and inviting, and I couldn't wait to dive in and taste the fruits of my labor.

As I took my first bite of Aloco, I was transported to a world of bold flavors and exotic spices. The plantains were sweet and caramelized, with a crispy exterior that gave way to a soft and luscious interior. The tomato and onion sauce added a burst of freshness and heat, creating a perfect balance of flavors that danced on my palate.

I was filled with a sense of pride and accomplishment as I enjoyed my first taste of Aloco. I had taken a recipe that was unfamiliar to me and made it my own, infusing it with love and care as I cooked. I knew that this dish would become a staple in my kitchen, a reminder of the friendship and shared experiences that had brought it into my life.

Since that first time making Aloco, I have continued to perfect the recipe, tweaking it here and there to suit my own tastes and preferences. I have shared the dish with friends and family, introducing them to the flavors of West Africa and the joy of cooking with passion and creativity.

As I look back on that day when I first saw the recipe for Aloco, I am grateful for the journey it has taken me on. It has brought me closer to my friend, to the people of West Africa, and to the rich tapestry of flavors and cultures that make up our world. And for that, I will always be thankful.


| Chadian Recipes | Chadian Vegetarian | Chile Pepper Recipes | Onion Recipes | Palm Oil Recipes | Plantain Recipes | Tomato Recipes |

Recipes with the same ingredients

(3) Akkara
(3) Arakas
(3) Gbegiri
(3) Llajua
(3) Masamba