What is Palm Butter?
Palm butter is a thick sauce that Liberians typically serve for lunch, the largest meal of the day. The dish is a specialty of the Kru tribe, although it’s widespread throughout the country. The palm butter is made by boiling and grinding the nuts that grow on palm trees. Liberians grind the roasted peanuts with a mortar and pestle.
If you wanted to make a basic palm butter sauce, you would need approximately one hundred fresh, ripe, palm nuts. You would place the palm nuts into three cups of boiling water in a saucepan and cover and cook the palm nuts for a few minutes, until the skins began to come off. After draining the water from the pan, you would need to use a mortar and pestle (or a potato masher) to crush the palm nuts into a pulp. Next, you would combine the palm nut pulp with one to two quarts of cold water and stir. Afterwards, you would press the pulp through a strainer into the saucepan and discard the nut skins and kernels that remained. Lastly, you would cook the pulp on a low boil, for about an hour, until the sauce thickened.
Palm butter may be made in large quantities and may be frozen for use later. If you cannot obtain fresh palm nuts, canned palm soup base or palm nut pulp can be used.