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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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