Ugba Salad 

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This recipe is courtesy of an amazing lady i met on facebook, Ngozi Ogwuegbu Nnopuechi. She made the “awesomest” Ugba Salad for a hangout some time back  and she was kind enough to share her recipe with me when i asked her. This is a shout out to her. I sent her a picture of my first attempt below.

This was my first try in 2015. Ngozi was quick to commend me.

 

 

 

It was so hard to photograph this, with all the lighting issues i had then

 

Recipe 
2 Cups Ugba,

3 Uziza  leaves sliced thinly ,

4 Utazi leaves sliced thinly,

1/2 tsp Powdered Crayfish ,

Ehuru (2 seeds ground finely),

1 tsp Potash,

1/4 cup Palm Oil,

Salt (to taste)

Pepper (to taste preferably cayenne pepper)

*Stockfish (optional)

*Garden Eggs optional

 

Procedure

  • Soak your stockfish in hot water until the fish is tender. Rinse your ugba thoroughly , some people prefer to wash it with warm water and salt.
  • To make the base, heat up your palm oil in a pot or wok. Dissolve the potash in 1 tbsp Water. Pour the dissolved potash into your heated oil. The oil will froth and cuddle, turn down the heat and stir well.
  • Once base is done add Ehuru it has a strong aroma and salt
  • Add the Stockfish, Ugba and then pepper crayfish seasoning
  • Add the thinly sliced Uziza leaf and utazi leaf and you’re done

You can serve with smoked fish or fried fish. I experimented with dodo (Fried Plantian) and it was absolutely delicious.

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Ugba Salad with Fried Plantains, an amazing discovery!!

 

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Happy Independence Day Nigeria

To commemorate this celebration I made a simply smoothie with

Avocado, Rice Cereal, Milk and 1 tsp of lemon juice. Sweetened with Truvia.

Both the Green and Creamy coloured part are Avocados.

I used only the fleshy yellow part the avocado for the middle and for the Green I peeled it with the vibrant green layer

Blend, separately and layer.

Garden to Table

This year I started my backyard garden after procrastinating for over two years.

As a little girl I really enjoyed gardening. My maternal grandmother had a small garden outside her house in Molete for sometime and the highlight of my visit was helping to weed the garden. My parents also had a small garden behind our kitchen in our first house.

They grew Patminger , Snake gourd (It’s a climbing plant that is shaped like a snake, when it ripen it turns bright orange or red. The inside is red and tastes better than tomatoes in stew), vegetables etc. Eventually the garden moved to the backyard beside the well where my dad planted Bananas, plantain and citruses.

I even joined the Decor Team in church as the youngest member because it was the team that was tasked with beautification and horticulture in the church. The senior members were very nice and kind to me. They gave me cuttings to plant at home too.

Since I got married and got my own place I’ve been paying lip service to starting a garden. I even started by collecting containers I never put anything in, until one morning in July. I was just recovering from malaria I was bored stiff from being indoors. On impulse I instructed my staff to get me soil. With no clear idea or direction I started my garden. First as a vegetable garden and then I added ornamental plants.

Like my friend Ugochi said, the gardening bug that bit me left its fangs. I say it left its jaws too.

The Efo Tete I harvested today was one of the first set of plants I planted in July. Today it made it to my table. Absolutely organic. No synthetic fertilizers , no pesticides

And it did have a beautiful natural sweetness.

RECIPE

I’m sorry I eyeballed all of the ingredients so I don’t have specific measurements

  • Fresh Vegetables (chopped and unblanced)
  • Blitzed Pepper mix (tomatoes/peppers)
  • Chopped onions
  • Blended crayfish
  • Smoked Mackerel
  • Stock Fish (pre soak)
  • Seasoning cubes
  • Salt
  • Meats of choice ( I used snails)
  • Palm oil

Procedure

  • Heat Palm oil to smoke point, add chopped onions. Fry till tender. Then add pepper mix and crayfish.
  • Cook for 10 mins and add all your fish and cooked meats
  • Season with salt and Bouillon cubes.
  • Let the sauce reduce completemy before adding your rinsed and chopped vegetables.
  • Stir in the vegetables. Leave it on heat for not more than 3 mins. Then turn of the heat and leave the lid on for the heat to finish off the cooking

Seafood Ogbono

SEAFOOD OGBONO

I’m in love with seafood and that is no secret. Making this was inspired by making Seafood Okra.

Recipe
1. Ogbono Seeds (a 170g milk tin size)

2. Uziza leaves (a handful of thinly sliced leaves)

3. Assorted Fresh Seafood (shrimps/crabs/prawns/fish)

4. Smoked catfish and stockfish

5. 1/8 cup dried crayfish

6. 1/2 tsp Uziza seeds

7. 5 dried Cameron Pepper

8. Cayenne pepper ( ground dried chilli pepper )

9. 1 tbsp palm oil

10. 1 tbsp ogiri

11. Salt

12. Seasoning cubes

Procedure

I used a slightly different method to cook this. I cooked the Ogbono separately before adding it to a lot of cooked seafood

To cook the Ogbono

  • Grind Ogbono Seeds with crayfish.
  • Blend Cameroon pepper and Uziza seeds together.
  • Rinse Uziza and Ugu leaves .
  • Put a clean dry pot on heat and add palm oil, next add the ground Ogbono and stir till all lumps are dissolved now add your meat stock, if you don’t have meat stock add water. The soup starts to thicken and get stretchy.
  • Now add ground Uziza seeds and Cameroon pepper, and a little cayenne pepper for extra heat -if you can take it-
  • Now add your dissolved -dissolve with water- ogiri, and allow to cook for about 5 minutes now add the Uziza leaves and turn off heat after 3 mins.

Preparing the seafood

  • In another larger pot, cook the seafood starting with the fish, cooked with water, onions, seasoning cubes, salt, shredded stockfish, bonga fish.
  • When the fish is almost done, add the Carbs and cook for 3 mins, then add the Prawns.

At this point pour cooked Ogbono into the pot of Seafood and shake it together to mix.

I stirred very carefully with a wooden ladle , cooked for 5 mins and lastly I added the periwinkle. Cooked for 1 1/2 mins and turned off the heat.

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Ofe Assorted! (An Exotic Soup)

Filing this under food therapies. I’ve called this soup Ofe Assorted because that is what it is, I’ve used the basic principle for cooking soups like Oha, Onugbu, Ofe owerri to make this soup, using 3 of my favourite vegetables together. I have also resisted the temptation of calling this soup Ofe Owerri as I have no intention of offering the “Guardians of ancient recipes”, as that is tantamount to offending the gods of the land.

I have stayed a safe distance from entering right smack into the controversy of what vegetable goes into Ofe Owerri. I understand the importance of preserving ancient recipes, if you must tweak it, by all means mention that you put a spin on it but don’t say that is gospel.

I’m a Yoruba girl raised in Ibadan and I know that something as simple as a Ewedu soup has to be made as simple as it is yo stay true to it. Just Ewedu, iru water, salt ,seasoning and if you want to add potash to soften it. Addition of Egusi , fish and all what else is a spin on it, don’t sell it as the original recipe.

Recipe

  • 1 1/2 cup shredded Oha leaves
  • 1 cup shredded Uziza leaves
  • 1/2 cup shredded Utazi leaves
  • 1 litre Stock
  • 3 tbsp fresh pepper blend
  • 1/2 Cup Palm oil
  • Assorted Meats (cooked)
  • 3 tbsp ground crayfish
  • 1/2 cup mini snails
  • 1/2 cup periwinkle in shell
  • 1/2 cup shredded Stockfish
  • 1/2 cup shredded Bonga fish
  • 1/2 cup shredded smoked Eja Osan
  • 2 Bouillon cubes (I used knorr)
  • 1 tsp Ogiri (optional)
  • 1 tbsp dried Achi
  • Salt (to taste)

Procedure

  • Cook your assorted meats till they are tender and you have about 1 litre of rich stock. To improve the flavour of your stock for this soup add some Stockfish or smoked fish head while cooking your meats.
  • Add your fresh pepper blend and palm oil, ground crayfish and cook for about 10mins.
  • Next add your smoked fish, stockfish, snails and periwinkle , cook for about 5 – 7 mins.
  • Add your achi , stirring it in carefully . Cook on medium heat for about 3 mins.
  • Add your vegetables, giving the Utazi and Uziza a 2 minutes head start before the Oha.
  • Turn the heat off after cooking it for about 5 mins.

  • Enjoy!!!!

Aganyin Sauce (Ewa Aganyin Sauce)

On the streets of Lagos, Ewa Aganyin and Agege bread is known as the breakfast of champions.

Ewa Aganyin has Beninoise/Togolese roots, it’s a beans pottage meal whose star really is the Aganyin Sauce!

The beans usually cooked to a very soft mush, sometimes mashed to a grainy paste. I prefer Honey beans (Ewa Oloyin) because it is naturally sweet, commercial hawkers have been known to add a bit of sugar for a little sweetness.

This post is about Aganyin Sauce! A real star

Aganyin Sauce

RECIPE

  • 1 1/2 cups sun dried Tatashe (Capsicum / Paprika)
  • 1 cup Sun dried red jalapeño/cayenne peppers (Bawa / Sombo)
  • 10 pieces of fresh bawa (red jalapeno/ cayenne peppers)
  • 2 or 3 medium sized onions
  • 2 tbsp Ground Crayfish (for added flavour you can blend your crayfish with some dried smoked bonga fish)
  • Salt to taste
  • 2 Seasoning cubes
  • 1 1/2 cups palm oil

Procedure

  • Soak your dried peppers in hot water for about 30 mins to rehydrate and get rid of dirt.
  • Chop one of the onions. Now blend the soaked peppers with fresh pepper.
  • Bleach palm oil -you do this by heating the palm oil past smoke point, please be sure to leave the lid on when you do this so as not to hurt yourself as well as trap most of the smoke in the pot- Turn off the heat and allow the palm oil to cool a bit.
  • Once it is slightly cooled, turn the heat back on and pour the chopped Onions.
  • Allow the onions to fry slightly before pouring in the blended pepper.
  • Now add ground crayfish, salt and seasoning cubes.
  • On medium heat fry till the pepper till the water has reduced completely and you hear a slight sizzle. Keep stirring so it doesn’t burn and the pepper cooks evenly.

Yum! Yum!!!

Holiday cooking with kids

It’s the long holidays and it’s the holiday most parents dread. The kids are in your face every minute, eating, talking and playing non stop!

Thankfully most schools have deviced a way to take them out of your hands for a few hours, Summer School they call it. But then they come back. As a parent you have to keep thinking of creative ways to keep them engaged and channel their energies positively.

So i have included in our fun list some cooking and baking in the schedule for them (my kid, my wards and a nephew).

Fun! Yaaay.

So far we have made Sponge Cake , Plantain Loaf , Rainbow Meringue Cookies. We would be baking some pastry soon.

Sponge Cake

For the Sponge Cake we used a recipe by Terry Adido of Grated Nutmeg

  • 120 Grams Cake Flour (1 Cup)
  • 6 Large Eggs (Separated)
  • 125 Grams Granulated White Sugar (1/2 Cup + 2 Tablespoons OR 10 Tablespoons)
  • 50 Grams Granulated White Sugar (1/4 Cup OR 4 Tablespoons)
  • 2 Teaspoons Baking Powder
  • 1/4 Teaspoon Salt
  • 85 Grams Unsalted Butter (6 Tablespoons) (Melted)
  • 2 Tablespoons Oil
  • 2 Tablespoons Water
  • 2 Teaspoons Pure Vanilla Extract
  • 1/2 Teaspoon Cream of Tartar (Optional)

Procedure can be found HERE

Plantain Loaf

We used a recipe we found on Allrecipes.com and altered it a bit.

  • 1/2 cup butter
  • 1 cup white sugar
  • 2 eggs
  • 2 over ripe plantains , mashed
  • 2 cups all-purpose flour
  • 1 teaspoon baking soda
  • 1 teaspoon baking powder
  • 1/2 teaspoon salt
  • 1/8 Cup Lemon Juice
  • 1/2 Cup unsweetened yogurt

Directions

  • Prep 10 m Cook 1 h Ready In 1 h 10 m Preheat oven to 350 degrees F (175 degrees C). Lightly grease a 9×5 inch loaf pan.
  • In a large bowl, cream together the butter and sugar until light and fluffy.
  • Stir in the eggs one at a time, beating well with each addition, add the lemon juice followed by the yogurt. Stir in the mashed bananas.
  • In a large bowl, sift together flour, baking powder, baking soda, salt.
  • Blend the banana mixture into the flour mixture; stirring just to combine.
  • Bake in preheated oven for 60 minutes, until a toothpick inserted into center of the loaf comes out clean.

The rainbow meringue never quite made it to pictures, thanks to sticky little fingers.

And they made their own Chapman too

Yaay!

Chapman

  • 1 Fanta/Mirinda
  • 1 Sprite/7up
  • 1 Schwepps/Teem or Limca
  • 120ml of Tasty Time
  • 80ml of Grenadine
  • 5ml of Angostura Bitters
  • 1 slice of a medium sized Lemon Cucumber for garnish

Procedure

Mix all drinks in a tall glass pitcher adding the angostura bitters last, place a slice of lemon and allow it sit for at least 30mins. Serve with ice.

Black Soup  

Bubbling hot Black Soup in an earthen pot

Black Soup is a rich herby soup with a delicate balance of aromatic flavours if well cooked. 

Recipe 

  • 1 1/2 cup blended Bitterleaf (before blending it must have been washed till it is no longer bitter, it would have a little bitter sweet taste 
  • Efinrin leaves 
  • Utazi Leaves 

*combine in this propositions 1 part Efinrin to 1/2 part Utazi Leaves and blend together. You would need 1 Cup of a mixture of this blend to cook with 

  • 2 cups Palmnut Cream (Banga)
  • 1/2 cup blended pepper /onion/crayfish mix (you can use more if you like)
  • Smoked and dried fish variety (obokun,stockfisk, bongafish)
  • Boiled meats (beef or goat meat, cowfoot, shaki, ponmo…)
  • Rich stock 
  • Salt to taste
  • Bouillon cubes. 

Basic Ingredients: (Back-Front, Left-Right) Smoked Eja Obokun (blue catfish), blended washed bitterleaf, blended Utazi and Efirin leaves, blended fresh pepper and dried crayfish, boiled meats of choice, palm nut cream.

Procedure

  • In a pot heat up your stock and add your cooked meats, bring it to a boil and add your palm nut cream and pepper mix.
  • Cook for about 10 – 15 mins.
  • Add the smoked fish and cook. If you pre-soaked the smoked fish you may not cook longer than 3- 5mins, if it is not pre soaked cooked the fish in the soup for about 10mins.
  • Add your blended vegetables to the broth on medium heat and cook. 
  • Taste and add your desired amount of salt and seasoning 
  • Cook with lid off and let the water reduce, be careful also not to over cook the vegetables. Personally I try not to cook vegetables longer than 5-7 minutes. 

Procedure in pictures

Serve with your side of choice. Enjoy

I find the earthen ware gives it a very local appeal.

Ube Hummus 

I’ve been quite obsessed with Ube the last couple of days. After making a Corn on Cob rubbed with Ube a few days back, I realised Ube can be a great Dip, pretty much like Hummus. Hummus is originally made with chickpeas, it’s of middle eastern origin.

Since Ube already pairs well with Corn, I tried it with some of my favourite things and it paired really well.

Cooked Ube’s is like mashed Sweet+Irish  potatoes with a tang.

RECIPE 

Makes about 2 250ml Mason  jars.

  • 50 medium sized Ube
  • 1/2 Cup Olive Oil

* Optional Ingredients (didn’t use any)

Chill pepper

Garlic paste.
Procedure

  • Wash Ube gently but thoroughly to get rid of sand.
  • Bring about 1.5 litres of water to a boil.
  • Once boiled, dunk the Ube in it for not longer than 3 minutes and strain. (You can salt the water if you like but it’s unnecessary.
  • Allow it to cool a bit so you don’t burn your fingers before using a small knife to open the skin and peel the flesh off the seed of the Ube.
  • Blend in the Ube with Olive oil  two batches a blender.
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Procedure in pictures. Wash, Blanche, Peel
  • Store in an air tight container and refrigerate. (I haven’t tested the shelf life inside the fridge yet, with do, I’d update this post)


Isn’t this platter gorgeous? (Carrots, Cucumber, Celery sticks, Corn, Potato chips, plantain chips)

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Cucumber Stick with Ube

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Ube Hummus with Carrots sticks, Cucumber sticks, Celery sticks, Corn, Potato chips, plantain chips

Corn on Cob with mashed Ube


This is just a simple twist to the Corn and Ube you love. CORN on COB in a Skewer rubbed with mashed Ube

It’s Corn season and with corn comes Ube. Ube is an oval shaped, purple berry with a large seed in the centre. It’s in season at about the same time as corn. As a street food, corn is either boiled or roasted and usually paired with Coconut or Ube. 

Top-Bottom; Corn , Ube.   Picture credit: Google.

Recipe

  • Corn
  • Ube
  • *Salted Butter (or Herb and Garlic butter)
  • *Pepper flakes 

*optional items are marked with asterisk 
Procedure 

  • Dehusk the corn of it comes in a husk and cook the corn till done. Cook it in a pot with lid on
  • Ube is very easy to cook, just steam till the pod is soft and it would peel off easily. You can cook it by placing the Ube on the lid of the pot while the corn cooks.  
  • Mash the Ube with salted butter ( Salted Butter is optional, I used garlic butter). Add some pepper flakes if you want some kick of heat. 
  • Spread it on your cooked corn. 

This is so comfort food!

Plantain Veggie Sauce

This was inspired by a post I saw last night on “So You Think You Can Cook”. The poster didn’t have enough time to share her recipe but I created this from visual inspiration .

Trust me when I say this is so delicious. You can eat it alone or pair with Rice 

Recipe 

  • 3 Large Ripe Plantain
  • 2 cups of meat stock 
  • 300g  sliced Vegetables (I used Ugu+Efirin+Efo tete/green)
  • 3 cups of blended pepper mix (tomatoes/scotch bonnet/ habanero (rodo)/tatashe(capsicum)/ onion)
  • 1/4 cup Vegetable oil (for the sauce, you’d need more for trying the plantain. 
  • 3 cups chopped lighty fried meats (I used goat meat)
  • Shredded Fish (Smoked cod fish, dried sardines (bonga fish), about 1cup or more)
  • Bouillon cubes (2 or more depending on your tatse
  • Salt to taste 

Procedure 

  • Chop up your plantains and deep fry till it’s almost turning brown and set aside.
  • You should have pre-fried your meats.
  • Pour 1/4 cup of oil in a pot, allow it to heat up, once hot pour the pepper mix , fry slightly and pour in the stock. If you are using bonga fish, rinse well and add to the pepper from the start. Cook for 5 mins and add the fried meats. On medium heat, cook the stew till the water has completely reduced add your bouillon cubes and salt. Cook with lid on.
  • Once the water has completely reduced, add smoked fish, and vegetable. Cook for about 5 minutes with the lid off.
  • Stir in the fried plantains and let it simmer for about 2 mins and turn the heat off.