Aloco I Recipe | Authentic Ivory Coast Plantain Banana Dish

Aloco I

Aloco I Recipe | Authentic Ivory Coast Plantain Banana Dish
Region / culture: Ivory Coast | Preparation time: 10 minutes | Cooking time: 20 minutes | Servings: 4


Aloco I
Aloco I

Aloco is a popular dish in West Africa, particularly in the Ivory Coast. It consists of fried plantains that are often served as a side dish with grilled fish or meat. The simplicity of its ingredients, combined with the rich, caramelized flavor of the fried plantains, makes Aloco a beloved comfort food for many. This recipe offers a straightforward approach to creating this delicious dish at home, using just bananas and oil for frying.


The origins of Aloco can be traced back to the Ivory Coast, where it is a staple in the local cuisine. The dish has roots in African culinary traditions, where plantains are a common ingredient in many meals. Over time, Aloco has spread across West Africa and has become popular in other parts of the world, thanks to the African diaspora. Its ease of preparation and satisfying taste have made it a favorite among many cultures.


How to prepare

  1. Cut the bananas lengthwise, then into small pieces.
  2. Pour approximately 5 inches of oil into a saucepan and heat until it reaches boiling point.
  3. Place half of the sliced bananas into the hot oil.
  4. Fry until they turn reddish-brown. Remove from the oil.
  5. Fry the remaining half of the bananas. Remove from the oil.
  6. Serve immediately.
  7. Ideal when served with grilled fish.


  • While the basic recipe for Aloco is simple, there are several variations that can add flavor and nutrition. Some people like to sprinkle a little salt or chili powder on the fried plantains for extra seasoning. Others might add a squeeze of lime juice for a tangy twist. For a sweeter version, a drizzle of honey or a sprinkle of brown sugar over the hot plantains can be delightful.

Cooking Tips & Tricks

For the best results, use ripe but firm plantains. They should have a yellow skin with black spots. This ensures that the plantains are sweet but still hold their shape when fried. Make sure the oil is hot enough before adding the plantains; this helps to achieve a crispy exterior while keeping the inside soft and tender. Do not overcrowd the pan, as this can lower the oil's temperature and result in soggy plantains.

Serving Suggestions

Aloco is traditionally served as a side dish with grilled fish or meat. It can also be enjoyed on its own as a snack or light meal. For a complete meal, pair Aloco with a serving of protein and a fresh salad or steamed vegetables.

Cooking Techniques

Frying is the traditional method for preparing Aloco, but for a healthier version, the plantains can be baked or air-fried. To bake, place the sliced plantains on a baking sheet lined with parchment paper and bake at 400°F (200°C) until golden and tender. For air-frying, cook the plantains at 375°F (190°C) for about 10-15 minutes, shaking the basket halfway through cooking.

Ingredient Substitutions

If plantains are not available, firm bananas can be used as a substitute, although the flavor and texture will be slightly different. For a lower-fat version, a light spray of oil can be used instead of deep-frying.

Make Ahead Tips

Aloco is best enjoyed fresh, but the plantains can be sliced ahead of time and stored in the refrigerator for up to a day before frying. Make sure to cover them tightly to prevent them from browning.

Presentation Ideas

Serve Aloco on a platter garnished with fresh herbs like cilantro or parsley for a pop of color. For a more elegant presentation, arrange the fried plantains in a circular pattern around the plate.

Pairing Recommendations

Aloco pairs well with grilled fish, chicken, or meat. It also goes well with spicy dishes, as the sweetness of the plantains can help balance the heat. For a drink pairing, consider a crisp, refreshing lager or a fruity cocktail.

Storage and Reheating Instructions

Leftover Aloco can be stored in an airtight container in the refrigerator for up to two days. Reheat in a skillet over medium heat until warmed through, or in an air fryer for a few minutes to restore crispiness.

Nutrition Information

Calories per serving

A single serving of Aloco can range from 200 to 300 calories, depending on the amount of oil absorbed during frying. The majority of these calories come from carbohydrates and fats.


A serving of Aloco is rich in carbohydrates, primarily from the plantains. Plantains are a good source of complex carbohydrates, which provide energy and are an essential part of a balanced diet. A single serving of Aloco can contain approximately 40-50 grams of carbohydrates.


The fat content in Aloco primarily comes from the oil used for frying. The amount of fat can vary depending on the type of oil used and how well the plantains are drained after frying. On average, a serving of Aloco can contain about 15-20 grams of fat, most of which are unsaturated fats if a healthier oil like canola or vegetable oil is used.


Aloco is not a significant source of protein since its main ingredients are plantains and oil. However, when served with grilled fish or meat, as is traditional, the overall protein content of the meal increases significantly. The plantains alone contribute a minimal amount of protein, typically less than 2 grams per serving.

Vitamins and minerals

Plantains are a good source of several vitamins and minerals, including vitamin C, vitamin A, and potassium. These nutrients contribute to the overall nutritional value of Aloco, supporting immune function, vision health, and heart health. Additionally, plantains provide a modest amount of magnesium and iron.


Aloco is naturally free from most common allergens, including gluten, dairy, nuts, and soy. However, individuals with allergies to bananas should avoid this dish.


Overall, Aloco is a carbohydrate-rich dish with moderate amounts of fats and minimal protein. It provides essential vitamins and minerals, making it a nutritious option when consumed in moderation and as part of a balanced diet.


Aloco is a simple yet delicious dish that showcases the rich flavors of fried plantains. With its roots in West African cuisine, it has become a favorite side dish and snack for many around the world. Whether enjoyed on its own or as part of a larger meal, Aloco is a versatile dish that can be adapted to suit various tastes and dietary needs.

How did I get this recipe?

I remember the excitement that washed over me when I first saw this recipe for Aloco. It was a warm summer day, and I was visiting my friend Marie in her small village in West Africa. As we sat in her kitchen, surrounded by the fragrant smells of spices and herbs, she pulled out a tattered old cookbook and began flipping through the pages.

"This is a recipe that has been passed down in my family for generations," Marie explained, her eyes shining with pride. "It's a traditional dish that we make for special occasions, and I think you'll love it."

I watched as she gathered the ingredients - ripe plantains, palm oil, onions, garlic, and chili peppers - and began to chop and slice with practiced ease. As the dish cooked on the stove, filling the kitchen with a tantalizing aroma, Marie shared stories of her childhood and the memories she associated with this dish.

I couldn't wait to taste it. When the Aloco was finally ready, we sat down at the table and dug in. The plantains were sweet and tender, with a hint of spiciness from the chili peppers. The palm oil added a rich, earthy flavor that tied everything together beautifully.

I knew right then and there that I had to learn how to make this dish myself. Marie graciously agreed to teach me, and over the next few days, we spent hours in the kitchen together, perfecting the recipe. She showed me how to choose the best plantains, how to fry them to perfection, and how to season them just right.

As I cooked, I couldn't help but think about all the other recipes I had learned over the years - from my own grandmother, from friends, from cookbooks and cooking shows. Each one had a story behind it, a memory that made it special.

And as I sat down to enjoy the fruits of my labor - a steaming plate of Aloco, just like Marie had made it - I felt a deep sense of gratitude for all the people who had shared their recipes with me. Each dish was a piece of their culture, their history, their identity. And by learning to make them, I was not only preserving those traditions but also creating new memories of my own.

So now, whenever I cook Aloco, I think of Marie and her village, of the warm summer day when I first tasted this dish. I think of all the hands that have passed down this recipe through the generations, all the love and care that goes into making it just right.

And as I take that first delicious bite, I am reminded once again of the power of food to connect us, to nourish not just our bodies but our souls. And I am grateful for the gift of cooking, of learning, of sharing these recipes with others. It is a gift that keeps on giving, a testament to the richness and diversity of our world. And for that, I am truly thankful.


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