Fried Chicken in Vegetable Gravy 

Christmas Eve lunch. 

The initial plan was to make a simple gravvy using the stock I had from cooking all the chickens my husband brought from the farm yesterday. Then I remembered I had some vegetables that would waste if I don’t cook them today. I’d be spending Christmas with my parents and they would be no good by the time I return.

So here I have Fried Chicken in Vegetable gravy which we had with Basmati Rice. 

This is one of those recipes I practically eye balled , so I’d try to give a close enough recipe. 

Recipe

  • 2 cups Chicken Stock
  • 1/2 Cup flour
  • 1 tbsp dark soy sauce
  • 2 tbsp Tomato ketchup (*absolutely optional, i just wanted my broth to be darker) 
  • 1 tbsp Cayenne Pepper 
  • 10 pieces of fried chicken 
  • 1/2 cup water 
  • 2 cups of mixed chopped vegetables (use your vegetables of choice)

Procedure.

  • Mix half cup of flour with half cup of water.
  • Place a pot on medium heat, add stock, warm it up and slowly pour in flour mixture. Stir while you pour.
  • Add the pepper, soy sauce, and *ketchup and let it simmer. 
  • Add your chicken to the broth, and cook on medium heat with lid on for 5 minutes. Cook with the chunky vegetables e.g Carrots and Potatoes 
  • Add the rest of the  vegetables, don’t  cook longer than a minute. Turn off the heat. 

Tapioca Pudding

Tapioca pearls is derived from the starch of tubers of cassava. In Lagos , Nigeria, you’d usually find them in sold in very dried dehydrated clusters. It’s usually an off white colour. 

Tapioca Pearls.

It consists of almost pure carbs and contains very little proteins, fibre or nutrients.

Tapioca is gluten free.

When it is cooked it becomes translucent gelatinous. It makes for a great breakfast meal. 

Recently I learnt that Tapioca is a staple for people of the Brazilian quarters of Lagos (Read about the origins of Lagos here), the indigenous people. While preparing for the Wake keep of a dear friend’s mum, she mentioned that since her mum was from Lagos and Lagos Island to be precise, her funeral rites wouldn’t be complete without serving Tapioca to guests at some point. So they made coolers of Tapioca and guests lined up to get some at the Wake Service. 

Tapioca Parfait (Tapioca, Chia Seeds, Pawpaw cubes, Avocado, Coconut Flakes)
Tapioca topped with coconut milk and Watermelon slices
Tapioca Parfait for a friend and I. That was our lunch



Tapioca topped with whipped cream





Recipe(Serves 3 or 4)

  •  1 full cup of dried tapioca
  •  1 small coconut (You can use 2 or 3 tbsp dessicated coconut and 1/2 cup canned coconut milk instead)
  •  Sugar (or Honey, Date syrup , sweetener )

Procedure 

  •  Rinse and soak Tapioca in 5parts water to 2 part tapioca overnight. You’ll be surprised at how much it would soak up all the water and double.

  • The next day strain your tapioca being careful not to get the sands in it too.
  • Break the coconut and for added coconut flavour save the water.
  •  Grate the coconut with the large holes in your grater. 
  • Divide into 2 parts. Extract the milk from one part using some warm water and sieve. 
  •  Put the extracted milk in a pot and warm on medium heat. 
  • Add the other half of the grated coconut, add sugar and bring almost to boil, then add tapioca.
  • Keep stirring till it thickens like ogi or custard, you’ll notice, the tapioca become more translucent. 
Pictorial. l-r Soaked Tapioca Pearls, Coconut milk, dessicated coconut, cooked tapioca
  • Then turn off the heat,

Serving idea.

You can top it with evaportaed milk or coconut  milk or cream, and serve with whatever you like e.g Akara, Pound Cake, fruits or serve as a parfait.

Tapioca Parfait. One of the jars has crushed cornflakes in it, can you tell which it is? (Tapioca, Chia Seeds,chopped Pawpaw,chopped Avocado, dehydrated coconut flakes, *crushed cornflakes)

Tapioca topped with whipped cream

This bowl looks really pretty.

Akara: A collection of 4 types of the ultimate Street food. 

Sometime back I shared tips on making great Akara balls  (You can look up the tips in this LINK). Akara is a simple delicious meal to make. However, you know how simple tasks can throw huge curve balls at you. Akara has shamed many a cook several times. This is my no fail recipe for great Akara balls. Check it out. 

Akara down in the South Western part of Nigeria is a street food you’d most likely find at breakfast hour. Vendors would likely be found hawking it with Ogi  (corn or guinea corn or millet pap or a combination of these grains) or with Bread or both. 

In this post I have made a collection of four methods of making Akara. All can be made in the comfort of your Home.

Enjoy my celebration of the Ultimate Street food.

  1. Homemade Akara  (Method 1)
  2. Homemade Akara (Method 2)
  3. Akara Osu (Method 3)
  4. Akara Elepo -Akara Oyo- (Method 4)


Homemade Akara ( Method 1)

HOMEMADE AKARA METHOD 1 

Recipe

(Serves 6)

(*all measurements refer to standard measuring cups and spoons )

  • 2 cups Beans (i used honey Beans)

Ewa Oloyin (Honey Beans)

    • 2 tbsp roughly blended pepper mix (i used 2 scotch bonnet -atarodo- and 3 small jalapeños -bawa/sombo/long tatashe- and 1 small onion)
    • Salt (to taste )
    • *Seasoning (optional, if using, just add to taste)
    • 1 cup of water (a little more if your beans isn’t blending well but not more than 1/4 cup but it could be less)
    • 1 litre vegetable oil for frying (You could use palm oil if making akara elepo)

    Procedure 

    • Soak beans and peel the skins off the beans till your beans is white to reveal the white inside.
    • In a blender, blend the beans till smooth. *Don’t blend with too much water, 1 cup of water should be enough, blend the beans in small parts. If you are taking it out to a public mill, take a separate bowl  to collect the water*
    •  Now mix the paste till it is very fluffy. You can use a ladle, an egg whisk or a mixer to mix the paste.  Mixing is to incorporate as much air as possible into the paste. The paste should double or nearly double.

    Kitchen Items you can use to mix your paste if you don’t have a mixer.

    Steps 1 to 4 in Pictures

      • Once the paste is light and fluffy (the size would have doubled, if you are using a mixer, you’d achieve stiff peaks), fold in your blended pepper. *Add your seasonings and salt into the pepper mix before folding it into the paste* 


      Step 4

      •  Using a deep pan, heat the oil up and deep fry the akara, scooping several tablespoons in at a time. Cook each side for not less than 2 mins and flip the sides. 

      Pictures of Step 5

      • Once your akara is done, use a slotted spoon to scoop out the akara into a dish lined with paper towel or a sieve. 

      I have an earlier post where I extensively discussed   Tips for making great Akara balls  please check it out for more than I shared here.

      Breakfast combo Akara and Custard

      HOMEMADE AKARA METHOD 2


      Recipe 

      * Use the same recipe as in Method 1
      Procedure 

      • Blend Beans/Peppers/Onions together to a smooth paste.

        • Mix the blended paste till air is well incorporated and the paste has doubled (or nearly doubled) in size. 
        • Add salt and seasoning to taste while mixing when the paste has risen, stop mixing after adding the salt and seasoning. 
        • Deep fry in hot vegetable oil, on medium heat, allowing each side to cook for equal amount of time.
        • Scoop into sieve or a bowl lined with paper towel . 

        Serve hot or warm.

         AKARA OSU (Method 3)


        Akara Osu

        If you have ever traveled through the Ibadan/Ife Expressway, you’d be familiar with this akara popularly sold at the old toll gate entering into Ile Ife. It’s unique for its pale colour as compared to regular akara. It’s quite fluffy and dainty and you can be sure to have bread sellers shoving their wares into your face, so you can pair your bread with the Akara (Risky Burger it is called). 

        A bit of History Lesson.

        After I shared this post on Facebook, two of the readers gave me a bit of history lesson on AKARA OSU . 

        Yinka KuzyCosy Fagbohun said,

        “Akara Osu got its name from Osu. Osu is a small town immediately after Ile- Ife and they are known for akara to badt whether elepo or olororo.Even with ede/prawn(whole). I remember when I was much younger(not like I am too agbalagba na oo 😀 ) , we used to travel through that town on our way to the village in Ekiti. And I always looked forward to us making a stopover at Osu for some sizzling hot and yummy akara with bread.

        O dun baje.

        The spot they are now on old Ile-Ife isn’t where they have always been. They moved because of the Ile- Ife / Ilesa expressway that had totally cut Osu off ,which meant less travellers on that Osu route .So the need to go meet the mountain. “

        Ife Watson said

        “I kind of still disagree with this notion that they are the ones who moved. Because I know most of the people selling Akara there now are from Modakeke in Ife. And the original Akara osu wasn’t even this pale. Also,  there’s still a spot on the Ilesha/Akure express where Akara Osu is still being sold. I grew up in Ife that’s why I’m insisting on my explanation 😊.”

        Recipe

        • 2 cups White Beans 


          • 1 tbsp  blended pepper mix (i used 1 scotch bonnet -atarodo- and 2 small jalapeños -bawa/sombo/long tatashe- and 1/2 a small onion)
          • Salt (to taste )
          • *Seasoning (optional, if using, just add to taste)
          • 1 cup of water
          • 1 litre vegetable oil for frying 


          Procedure.

          • Follow the steps in Method 1 
          • Heat up the oil and fry multiple of the balls on heat that is between low and medium, fry each side for not longer than 30secs turning it constantly till it down. You don’t want the balls to take on a dark brown colour. 

          Scoop with a slotted spoon into a dish lined with paper towel or a sieve. 

          Akara Osu is peculiar for its pale colour with faint specs of pepper.

          Risky Burger (Agege Bread and Akara Osu)


          AKARA ELEPO (Method 4)

          Akara Elepo

          Akara Elepo sometimes referred to as Akara Kengbe. It’s characteristic feature is the roughness of the surface and jagged edges. 


          Recipe

          • 2 cups Beans (i used honey Beans)


          •  2 scotch bonnet -atarodo- 


          • 3 small jalapeños -bawa/sombo/long tatashe- 


          • 1 small onion)


          • Salt (to taste )


          • *Seasoning (optional, if using, just add to taste)


          • 1 cup of water


          • 750ml Palm oil (Red oil) for frying 



          Procedure

          • Peel Beans and blend to a slightly coarse paste. You should feel and see little granules of beans when you run it through your fingers.

          This is the texture the beans would have

          • Use the next steps in either method 1 or two. You can blend the beans with or without the pepper. 


          • Mix well to incorporate air, add salt and seasoning and use a tablespoon to scoop into the heated oil and fry till well cooked.  

           Serve hot or warm. 


          Scrambled Eggs with vegetables

          If you are an 80’s child and you grew up in Nigeria then it is very likely fried eggs  featured in your weekend breakfast, Omelette, stewed eggs, scrambled eggs… or you packed it as lunch to school. You either had it with bread or yam. Fried eggs is a staple for breakfast any day of the week. I used to love plain flat omelette or Egg stew, Mr M likes his eggs scrambled with sliced tomatoes and peppers, so marriage found me cooking more scrambled eggs. So I want to share one of my scrambled eggs recipe with you. 

          As a child even right up until my late teenage years, I won’t touch this type of eggs with a 10ft pole, if I was ever forced, I would pick out all the onions, tomatoes and vegetables. As if karma decided to repay me, my 5yr old won’t touch this type of eggs, he generally doesn’t want to see anything sticking out prominently out of his food, it is either plain or blended in. 

          Recipe  

          (Serves 2 or 3)

          • 4 Eggs
          • 3 small plum tomatoes 
          • 1 small onion 
          • 2 or 3 vegetable leaves (Lettuce,Spinach,Kale,Ugwu,… any vegetable of your choice)
          •  1/8 Cup Vegetable oil (please embrace heart friendly oils and low cholesterol oils, I used coconut oil )
          • 1/8 tsp Cayenne Pepper alternatively you can chop peppers, bell peppers/scotch bonnet /jalapeños 
          • Salt to taste 
          • *Seasoning  (very optional though I sprinkled a bit of my Adobo Seasoning . 

          Procedure 

          –  Chop your onions , slice tomatoes , slice vegetables. I found some Kale in my local grocery and that is what I used in some of the pictures here, I used Lettuce in some others. Break eggs , add pepper , salt *optional seasoning –  I think it is better to season the vegetables instead though- whisk together thoroughly.


          Cross section of ingredients


          –    In a pan heat up your oil and add the onions, once the onions are tender add your tomatoes , cook under low heat till tomatoes softened , the tomatoes will wilt in the pan, add the chopped vegetables , cook for about a minute or two and add the egg mix. 

          *If you are using chopped  peppers, add them after the onions before adding the tomatoes. 

          Pictorial of the procedure

          –    Stir the eggs properly into the vegetables  till it is cooked through (eggs are not runny)  

          Typically with Naija breakfast, scrambled eggs can be served with Yam, Bread or Plantain, I’ve had friends pair their’s with noodles.

          Yam and Scrambled Eggs with vegetables. I used Lettuce in this picture


          Spaghetti and Meatballs 

          I love my meatballs to be succulent and not tough and dry. This is my trusted go to recipe for meatballs. I could wake up in the middle of the night to make this.

          I’m off carbs for a while so I could only relish the plate you see below with my eyes.

          This is one of those posts where I just want to go straight to it and share the recipe.Its quite easy peasy.
          Recipe.

          Spaghetti 

          • 400grams Packet of Spaghetti 
          Meat balls

          (Makes 16 )

          •     350grams ground beef
          •     2 or 3 slices of stale bread (for crumbs)
          •     1 Egg
          •     1/4 cup milk 
          •     1 small onion
          •     2 Garlic 
          •     1 tsp Cayenne Pepper (Ground pepper/Ata gigun )
          •     1 tsp Dried parsley leaves 
          •     1 tsp Dried Rosemary leaves
          •     1/2 Mixed Herbs
          •     1/4 tsp Salt
          •     Seasoning to taste

          Ingredients for meat balls

          For Sauce 

          •     1 cup tomato puree
          •     3 tbsp Tomato paste
          •     1 tsp Parsley
          •     1 tsp Rosemary 
          •     1 tsp Mixed Herbs 
          •     * Cayenne Pepper (optional)
          •     Salt to taste
          •     Seasoning to taste.

          Procedure 
          –     In a blender or food processor , blitz the bread into crumbs. If using 3 slices , this would yield about  2 cups. Separate 1 cup.
          –     Roughly chopped or blitz your onion and garlic.
          –     Mix all the dried spices, seasoning and salt together, work it gently into the meat using your hands 

          –     Add Egg and Milk mixing it in evenly
          –     Add 1 cup of Breadcrumbs and mix till well incorporated 
          –     Sprinkle some of the left over Breadcrumbs on a flat surface. Scoop some of the mixture into your palms and roll into balls, place them on your flat surface sprinkled with breadcrumbs. When you are done you can sprinkle some more bread crumbs on the meat balls.

          Bread crumbs, roughly blended onions, ground beef mixed with all ingredients , rounded balls on breadcrumbs covered surface. 

          –      You can grill or bake the balls at this point. I added 2 tbsp of vegetable oil into a pan, and placed the balls into it to cook on both sides for less than  5 minutes. Take the meatballs out of the pan and services aside. 

          –      I used the pan I made the meatballs in for the tomato sauce. Add all your ingredients at once. Cook the Tomato sauce for at least 15 minutes before adding the meat balls. Then leave it to cook on low it till the tomato sauce is ready.

          Meatballs in tomato sauce

          For the Spaghetti 

          –   I took out all the meat balls from the tomato sauce, added a little water and cooked  the Spaghetti in the sauce till it was done.You can taste for salt and additional seasoning if necessary.
          It’s quite easy to make it can bet you, while cooking I had time to feed two kids lunch, wash dishes and bath them in between. Give it a try. 

          French Toast 


          On the world food calendar, today is French Toast Day. 
          So here is some bite sized French Toast with Banana&Avocado slices, dried currants, toasted coconut flakes  and drizzled with honey.

           French Toast is super easy to make.

          You need
          •    4 Slices of  Bread 
          •    1 Egg
          •    1/4 cup milk
          •    1/4 tsp cinnamon powder
          •    *1/4 tsp Vanilla Extract 
          •    * I used a pinch of powdered  cloves
          •     1 tbsp butter
          1 tbsp confectionery sugar 
          1 tbsp oil (coconut or sunflower oil)

          Procedure

          –    Combine all the ingredients but the Bread, Butter and oil.
          –    Dip the Bread in the mixture
          –    Place a pan on medium heat, glaze pan with butter and oil and place the bread in, let it cook till it browns on the side then flip and repeat with the other side.


          –    Serve as you like with your favourite syrup, honey, yogurt or fruits. 


          Lemon Grass Iced Tea

          The perfect  way to soothe my cravings for juice . I’m currently doing the LCHF diet aka Keto, and I had a serious craving for a sweet drink this afternoon. As fruit juices are not Keto Compliant I had to think up another fix. 

          See I’m on a one month challenge to lose the extra 7kg I gained recently. This is the heaviest I’ve been sans pregnancy. This my sweet tooth won’t let me be great, sweets and decadent stuff are my achilles heel. Now my sister’s wedding is coming up in a few weeks and I must look smoking hot and fit into the dress I’m going to wear. No sweet tooth can stop me.

          Recipe

          Ingredients 

          •     A bunch of fresh Lemon grass Leaves or stalks.

          •     A few slices of lemon (optional )

          •      Any natural sweetener of your choice. E.g. Stevie,  Honey, Date Syrup etc.   (No sugar, nothing that contains aspartame.)

          •     Ice Cubes

          Procedure

          –     Wash the Lemon grass to get rid of sand.

          –      In a pot or kettle,  add enough water to cover the lemon  grass and boil.

          –     Let it cook till it boils. Turn off the heat and add the slices of Lemon.

           
          –     Leave it to cool, strain and add your sweetener

          I used Stevia as sweetener

          –      Serve with Ice Cubes or Refrigerate before you serve. 
          *You can store the rest in an airtight bottle for up to 1 week in a fridge. 

          Lemon Grass Iced Tea

          Plantain Waffles

          I’ve been pushing the  #Plantain #Chocolate competition for the #ounjegiveaway. So I’ve been sharing easy ways to  incorporate plantain and chocolate. Plantain waffle is an old recipe I shared last year. This is a different take on the earlier  RECIPE 

          Plantain Waffle

          Plantain Waffle topped with Frozen Yogurt, Honey and Milk Chocolate shavings

          Recipe 

          (Serves 5)

          • 4 large ripe plantains
          • 20g Butter
          •  2 cups Yogurt 
          • 1 cup flour 
          • 1/8 tsp Baking powder
          •  1/8 tsp Baking soda
          • 1/8 cup Sugar
          • 1 cup Milk
          • 1 tbsp *Vanilla extract 
          • *Cooking spray or oil to coat your waffle iron.

          Procedure

          ▪     In a blender,  blend the plantain and all the other ingredients to a smooth  paste.

          ▪    Spray the waffle iron with some cooking spray or use a brush to apply oil on the iron to prevent the batter from sticking to the plates. (Use the waffle iron according to manufacturers instructions)

          ▪    Cook till waffle iron indicator says it’s done. 

          Plantain Waffle topped with frozen yogurt, chocolate syrup and milk chocolate shavings
          Plantain Waffle topped with Frozen Yogurt, Chocolate Syrup and Milk Chocolate shavings

          GIVEAWAY TIME! ! ! ! ! (#Plantain #Chocolate competition )

          Earlier in the year, I announced that I’d be having a give away.  I would be selecting FIVE (5) LUCKY WINNERS to gift BOXES of CUSTOMISED  CHOCOLATES BARS to, courtesy of The ChocBoy

          TO QUALIFY 

          CREATE A RECIPE THAT INCLUDES PLANTAIN AND CHOCOLATE!!!!!!

          The top FIVE PICTURES with the highest number of likes WIN. 

          The competition starts TODAY 29/07/2016 and ends on MONDAY 1/08/2016.
          ABOUT THE SPONSOR 

           ChocBoy (The Best Chocolatey Service in Nigeria)   has generously donated boxes of chocolates that would be personalised with the winner’s name. 

          The ChocBoy Chocolatey Brand produces, packages & sells chocolate bars,chocolatey treats,chocolatey products and customized chocolate bars.

          The company is an indigenous company here in Nigeria that delivers the best chocolates and chocolatey experience for you and in any event.

          With a vision to become the preferred premium, Nigerian made chocolate brand, the mission is to produce chocolates that will give a yummy, smooth and an unforgettable chocolatey experience that keeps our consumers wanting more.

          THE COMPETITION 

          Rules!!!!!

          Take a picture of your Plantain/Chocolate creation, and cc @ounjealadun 

          @thechocboy 

          @dodogang_ 

          Your post  must contain the following hash tags.

          #chocboy #ounjealadun 

          #chocolate #dodogang #ounjegiveaway #plantainchocolate 

          For our Facebook followers, you can still participate by sending us your entries through our inbox, we would share your pictures on Instagram and collate the votes!

          Shout out to @dodogang_ for the social media support. We love you!!!!!

          You can get inspirations for your entry from our plantain catalogue in the link below. 

          https://ounjealadun.com/category/plantain-goodness/

          TIPS

          Now you don’t have to break a leg or even rob a bank to be a part of the GIVEAWAY!!!!

          Your entry can be as simple as this, just incorporate Plantain and Chocolate into a dish. 

          Banana Ice cream sprinkled with #Plantain chips and #chocolate syrup.

          This right here is Banana Ice cream sprinkled with  #Plantain chips and #chocolate syrup.

          Spicy Plantain Chips dipped in Chocolate Syrup


          Plantain Waffles topped with frozen yogurt, chocolate syrup and shaved milk chocolate.


          Pictures of Chocolate bars that have been generously donated by The ChocBoy. Please follow them on Instagram and Facebook.  

          Visit www.chocboy.com for more information on the chocolatey treats they offer.

          Customized Box of chocolates for that special person.
          Personalised Chocolate Bars
          Milk Chocolate, White Chocolate, Dark Chocolate