Aganyin Sauce (Ewa Aganyin Sauce)

  • 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

On the streets the is the really breakfast of champions! Ewa Aganyin with Agege Bread

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.

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.

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. 

Garden Egg Sauce

My sister came into the kitchen this morning as I was preparing to make garden egg sauce and  she said, “Sis, isn’t this that sauce we hated as kids”. I told her, “Believe me, I now eat many of the things I hated as a child, so why not this one too”. 

Today probably is the first time I would eat Garden Egg sauce in probably 16 years. My husband on the other hand likes Garden Egg Sauce and for the 6 years we have been married, he has asked me several times to make it. My memories of garden egg sauce kept me from making it, well today I did and I loved it, so going forward I’d make new delicious memories of my own and share with my children.  


Recipe 
●    10 Garden Eggs

●   9 Tomatoes 

●   5 Jalapeño peppers ( Bawa / Sombo / long tatashe ) 

●   3 Scotch Bonnet ( Ata rodo ) 

●    1 large Onion 

●    De-boned , shredded mackerel fish

●    1/2 Cup Vegetable Oil

●    2 Bouillon Cubes 

●   Salt (to taste)

Core ingredients

Procedure 
–    Wash and take off the stalks on the garden eggs. Then boil till the garden eggs are tender, and the  skin can peel easily. Peeling the skin is optional 


Douse the boiled garden egg in cold water so it is easier to peep the skin off.

–    Mash up the  softened garden egg

Mashed garden eggs with skin on

–    While boiling the garden eggs, blend your tomatoes and pepper. Chop onions 

–     Heat up vegetable oil in a pan, and add the onions.  Fry the onions lightly and add blended tomatoes and pepper.
–     Add your seasonings,  if you have stock, add a cup.
–     When the pepper is cooked and the water has reduced completely,  add the garden egg and the fish. Cook for an additional 7 – 10 minutes with the lid on. 


Garden Egg Sauce is most popularly served with boiled yam,  you can pair  it with anything you want. Serve warm.

*the grilled garden eggs tastes good too.

Prawn Dodo 


A few days ago, my Gizdodo  was featured on a blog and it really cheered me up. Thing was I had been ill, drifting in and out of sleep from being heavily medicated with flu pills and antibiotics,  I had initially thought it was malaria and so I self medicated (don’t be like me). 

That blog post reminded me a lot of a part of my life that I had not paid attention to at all this year. Cooking! 

Not just cooking, because of course I have cooked food this year, but being a mad scientist in my kitchen.  Using my cooking as a therapeutic outlet and chronicling it.

Not quite sure how I would fit this back into my life right now, but I’m sure I won’t let myself go too much to the extent that I’d neglect the things I love.
I love seafood as some people would know and this here is Prawn Dodo made using Gizdodo recipe.  You should try it out.


Recipe

•    500g Fresh Prawns 

•    3 Ripe Plantains

•    1 Large Onion

•    4 Tomatoes

•    Jalapeño peppers ( Bawa / Sombo / long tatashe ) As many as you want depending on how much heat you can handle. I used more than 10 pieces

•    3 medium sweet bell peppers  (i used yellow, red, green)

•    Scotch Bonnet  (Ata rodo) as many as you want

•    1 cup beef Stock

•    2 Bouillon Cubes (knorr beef cubes in this instance)

•    Salt to taste

•    Vegetable oil ( to fry )/ Or Air fry

•    1/4 Coconut oil 

Procedure

–    Dice up your plantains and fry till golden brown and set aside. 

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Fried plantains

–     Coarsely blend your tomatoes, onion and peppers. You can use as little or as much of any of these ingredients. What we want to get is at least 1 1/2 cups of the coarsely blended pepper. 

–  Chop you bell peppers. 

Basic ingredients

–    In a pot or wok add coconut oil, blended pepper, add 1 cup of beef Stock,  taste for seasoning, if necessary season a little more. Cook with lid off till the water is reduced completely, turn the heat down a notch and allow the pepper simmer, then add chopped bell peppers and prawns.

–     Turn the heat down completely and  cover the pot/wok  for 2 minutes to allow the prawns cook, take off the lid and cook for an additional  5 minutes, then stir it in well and add the fried plantain and stir in using a wooden or plastic spoon/ladle  so as not to mash up the plantain.

–     Stir in well and turn off the heat. Serve warm.

Ofe Onugbu

In recent times I’ve done very little “cooking”, most meals have consisted of quick fixes, take outs or otherwise cooked by someone else. I had a rough start this year. Thankfully it’s been rough for the right reasons, Growth in my  business Fontaine De Vie. Shortage of man power,  break down of some machinery welcomed the growth, it was a gruelling time because we just had to meet up. I went from a production staff strength of 5  to 1 coupled with no domestic staff to help with the home front, I found myself borrowing more hours  from the next day  only to fall short. It’s amazing how my health didn’t fail in all of this. I made it through and  I’m grateful  for the lessons I learnt during the phase.  Challenges are made to strengthen  you, it won’t break you if you don’t let it. 
Ofe Onugbu recipe is the same as that of Oha, only difference is the leaves, Oha and Onugbu (Bitter Leaf). I’m a yoruba girl who loves to cook eastern and south eastern soups, a little more pepper than the traditional requirement and I’m good!

Ingredients

•     Onugbu leaves (Bitter Leaf) a handful

    Thickeners 

•    Cocoyam – 8 small corms

Or

•    Achi (2 Tablespoons *powdered)

Or

•    Ofor  ( 2 Tablespoons *powdered)

•    Red Palm Oil – 2 cooking spoons

•    Assorted Beef meats

•    Assorted dry  Fish

•    Fresh peppers (scotch bonnet / habenero /ata rodo)

•    Salt to taste

•    Crayfish (powdered)

•   Bouillon Cubes

•    1 teaspoon Ogiri Igbo (for the traditional taste but optional)

Procedure

–    Grind pepper and set aside.

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Blended Pepper

Achi on the left, Ofor the right, ground mixture of both in front

*If using Cocoyam

–    Wash and boil the cocoyam corms till soft.
Remove the peels and  in a blender , blend to a smooth paste you can also use a mortar and pestle , that is the more traditional approach.

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Mashed Cocoyam using a blender

–   Personally I buy, bitter leaves that have been washed in the market. However when I get home I pour boiling hot water over the bitter leaves and leave it steep for about a minute and strain, a friend advised I use salt to just wash it a little more instead of using hot water,  to get rid of more of the bitterness. Now you may prefer to buy your own Bitter Leaf fresh , and wash from the scratch, I think it is tedious, but hey whatever rocks your boat. Set it aside.

–   Season and  boil the meats, when then are tender add stock fish and dry fish.

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–    Add the pepper, ogiri Igbo and ground crayfish and cook for 10 minutes. Now add either Achi/Ofor powder mix or the cocoyam paste in small lumps then the palm oil

See Pictures below.

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Ogiri

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–    Cover the pot and leave to cook on high heat till all the cocoyam lumps have dissolved. You can add more water if you feel that the soup is too thick. 

* Remove smoked catfish if you are using any at this point to prevent disintegration

–    Add the washed Onugbu (bitter) leaves and leave to cook for about 5 minutes.

* Ever since the Igbo woman who sells  me spices adviced I use a combination of Achi and Ofor instead of Cocoyam, I have come to fall in love with it. The smoothness, the consistency, the taste, is so different from what I get with cocoyam.  I love it.

Serve with your favourite starchy side dish. E.g Eba, Amala, Pounded Yam,  even Rice.

Isi Ewu

Busy as Lagos is, it has an interesting night life. After the stress of the hustle and bustle of the day, people seem to find a way to unwind after. Hence you’d find a lot of out door cool spots and night bars scattered across the metropolis of Lagos. The city is a sort of melting pot for people of different ethnicities and culture across Nigeria, thus you’d find the influence of different  cultures in the cuisine.
Popular amongst them is Isi Ewu, Nkwobi, Point and Kill Pepper, Asun, Suya which feature prominently on the menus of most outdoor (indoor too) night bars and cool spots. There seems to be a sort of marriage with alcohol and spicy food, which might be responsible for there popularity.

I’d be sharing the recipe for Nkwobi and Isi Ewu in this post. The recipe for both is the same but for the meats used.
Nkwobi  – Cow Leg

Isi Ewu –  Goat head (i have often used just smoked goats meat instead of the head.)

I have often used the recipe I found on allnigerianrecipes.com, but I have a few tips. There is an on going argument as to how safe it is to consume Kaun ( potash) or the local potash. I figured that the idea behind adding Kaun is to get the palm oil to alter in colour,  cuddle and thicken, pretty much like palm nut cream. Right? So I went for palm nut cream instead and it worked, turned out really great.

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Isi Ewu made with Palm oil

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Isi Ewu made with Palm Nut Cream

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  Recipe

Ingredients 

•      Goat head/ Goat head /  Cow foot (cut into sizeable pieces, I used 12)

•     50 grams Stock Fish

•      20cl (200ml) Palm Oil or Palm nut Cream.

•       *1 tablespoon powdered edible potash (Akanwu/Kaun/Keun)

•1 teaspoon ground Ehu seeds (Calabash Nutmeg)

•      2 tablespoons ground crayfish

•      Yellow Scotch Bonnet / Habanero peppers (to your taste)

•     1 medium onion

•      2 big stock cubes

•      Salt (to taste)

•      Ugba

To garnish

•      1 medium onion

•      10 Utazi leaves

Procedure

–       Wash and season your meat along with stock fish, and cook.

–        Add the bouillon  cubes (crushed) and the chunks of onion.

–       Add a small quantity of water and start cooking at medium heat till well cooked. Add just enough water to prevent burning as you cook. There should not be any stock (water) in the pot when the meat is done. If the meat is tough, I’d recommend you cook with a pressure pot or just cook for longer.

–       While the meat is cooking, pour the palm oil or crean into a clean dry pot.

*      If you are using palm nut cream, skip the next 3 steps.

–       Mix Potash with some water to dissolve and seive.  Pour in the potash mixture (sieved) into the oil.

–      Stir with a wooden spatula as you pour the potash. You’ll notice the palm oil begin to curdle and turn yellow.

–      Keep stiring till all the oil has turned yellow.

–      If you are using Palm nut cream ensure there is no water contained in the cream.  To achieve this you can  either use the canned ones or, after extracting your cream from the palm nuts, set it aside for the cream to collect at the top or put in the fridge for at least 30 minutes for the cream to set.

–      Heat up the cream for about 5 minutes and proceed to the next step.

–      Add the ground crayfish, pepper and ehu seeds. Stir very well till they are all incorporated.

–      Add the well done meat and Ugba to the palm oil paste and stir very well with the wooden spatula.

–       Leave it on heat till the Soup is piping hot, stirring all the time to make sure it does not burn.

–       To prepare the garnish, cut the onions into rings and cut the utazi into long thin slices.

I served it traditional style  in a wooden mortar
Add the thin slices of utazi and onion rings on top for the full effects.

Normally Nkwobi or Isi Ewu is served alone accompanied with alcohol or soft drinks but for some reason I enjoy pairing it with white rice.

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Isi Ewu made with Palm oil

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Peppered Meats.

Hello blogsville, it has been a while since I put up a new post. Please blame on the vacation months and the back to school scurry. I also took a bit of time to get by my kitchen mojo, life as a wife/mom/entrepreneur/ foodie.

For some reason I’ve been reliving some memories of secondary school.  I think it started when Le hubs called, that he was craving fried turkey. He was only less than 10 minutes  from home and I’m not one to stock frozen turkey at home. So I sent an assistant to dash to a store nearby and get me a kilo.

I attended “The International School, University of Ibadan, Ibadan. ” (Set of 2002) It’s called ISI for short.
You see in ISI , break time was a bit of a funfair. We had the stalls, close to the basketball court and we would all troop out of our classes to observe the rituals of break time. The girls would sashay in groups pretending not to see the guys stealing glances at them. At each stall it was sometimes a bit of an “unconscious” show of spending prowess. My favorite stall was Iyawo’s stall, she was the wife to the school Tanker driver, the woman seemed to pop an new baby every year. She was pleasant and had most of the sweet treats I used to buy. Now there was the Meat Pie Stall, all they sold I think was meat pies and doughnuts, and there was the Fan Ice Vendor under the Almond tree by the Basketball court who sold all the Fan Ice products; yoghurt,  fan orange, ice cream. … now there was this woman who was there only through my early JSS days who used to sell peppered bite – sized  meats. That meat was to die for , deep fried, with the right amount if hot habernero pepper and onions. 
Below is my attempt to react her peppered meats. (See Recipe below the turkey pictures)

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Then they was Mrs Alabi,  who was the biology teacher’s wife,  she didn’t have a stand at the stalls but she ran business from their apartment which was above the boys dormitory. Her husband was the House Master for the boys dormitory. Mrs Alabi sold fried turkey and Zobo drink. Her fried turkey was quite high end, so if your parents were not rich or your break money was not above 100 naira a day, you can’t afford to buy Mrs Alabi’s turkey.
There was something that gave Mrs Alabi’s peppered turkey a different taste . I tried severally then to re – create it back at home then using only a mixture of salt and Cayenne Pepper. It just didn’t taste right.

So you can imagine how lucky I felt two days ago when I struck the proverbial gold. A little bit of Yaji and I had my own version of Mrs Alabi’s turkey.

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Below is the recipe for the two.

Mrs Alabi’s Turkey

Recipe.

•      1 Kg of Turkey

•      2 wraps of double Knorr Chicken Cubes  (or any chicken bouillon cubes you prefer)

•      1 tsp of Cayenne pepper (ground dried pepper/ata gigun)

•      1/2 tsp Salt

•      1 medium sized onion.

•      *optional curry powder and dried thyme

•      Vegetable oil for frying

•      1 tbsp Yaji  (aka Suya Spice) for sprinkling

Procedure

–      Marinate the turkey in salt, pepper, onions and all the other spices for at least 30 minutes.

–      Parboil the turkey in the marinate for a few minutes ensuring not to over cook the turkey as turkey tends to cook very quickly.

–      Once the turkey is cooked , fry the turkey till golden brown.

–      Take out of the oil and strain on a paper towel .

–       Healthier option would be to grill the turkey after marinating.

–      Then sprinkle the Yaji all over the turkey.

Enjoy with a chilled drink.

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Recipe for Peppered Meats.

•      250 grams bite sized beef bits

•      1 cup blitzed pepper mix (tomatoes, red bell pepper, red habernero ) depending on your heat tolerance,  you can decide to either use more or less habernero)

•      1 medium onion. (Chopped )

•      2 (beef)Bouillon Cubes

•      Salt  to taste.

•      * Cayenne pepper.

•      *optional , Curry powder, dried thyme less than a teaspoon of each.

•      Vegetable oil to fry

Procedure

–      Cook your meat with chopped onions, salt, bouillon cubes, a bit of Cayenne pepper, curry and thyme of you choose.

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–      When the meat is cooked and tender, strain it from the meat stock and fry.

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–      In the meat stock, add the pepper mix and taste if it requires additional seasoning.

–      Set your fried meat aside until the  pepper is properly cooked, add a tsp of the oil used in frying the meat, add the fried beef and stir it in completely.
Garnish with chopped onions and pepper.

–      Enjoy with a chilled drink.

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Peanut Butter Soup; A cheat code for traditional (Omisagwe)groundnut soup

For our readers in the diaspora who sometimes wonder how to  cheat with some of the Nigerian recipes, this is for you. Traditionally groundnut soup is made with raw groundnut, ground to a fine powder. Anyway I found myself with a very dear friend who’s blender didn’t have a dry mill and she didn’t have a coffee blender either, and I had promised to make her groundnut soup. So we decided to experiment with peanut butter. We reached for a jar of Skippy  Peanut butter from her panty and went to work hoping it would come out great. I can tell you it did.

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Recipe

Ingredients

•     1 1/2 cups Peanut butter

•     3 dried Cameroon pepper

•     2 tbsp Ground pepper (Ata rodo /Scotch Bonnet /Habenero)

•     1 Tsp Uziza seeds

•     1/4 cup Palm oil

•     Cooked Assorted Meats and Fish

•     3 cups beef Stock

•     1/8 cup crushed dried Efirin leaves.

•     Salt and bouillon cubes  (Maggi or knorr … etc ) to taste.

Procedure

–      Blend the Cameroon pepper and uziza seeds together to powder, if you have a dry mill blender. If you have a regular blender, blend the uziza and Cameroon pepper with the other pepper and some water.

–     In a pot , add the meat stock and the peanut butter,  stir the peanut butter in the meat stock till it dissolves completely. Put your cooker on medium heat.

–     Add, palm oil, Uziza, and ground peppers now. Allow to cook for about 3 mins the  add the meats and fish . Taste for seasoning and add additional seasoning if necessary. Leave the pot covered and cook for about 10mins,  add about 2 cups water if the consistency is too thick. Cook on medium heat.

–      Because peanut butter is very oily you’d notice the oil start to float at the top, that is why you need very minimal palm oil.  Add the efirin leaves and stir it in, turn the heat down to low and turn it off about 3 minutes after.

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See how much oil the peanut butter gave off

Enjoy your peanut butter soup with any starchy accompaniment as you would your native soup.

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Igbindodo ; A dish of Snails and Plantain

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In my earlier post about Gizdodo,  I had described Gizdodo as the marriage between Gizzard and dodo made in plantain heaven!  If you love snails half as much as I do, then you’d love this Igbindodo.
Igbin being the Yoruba word for snails. Dodo is fried plantain in Yoruba too

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Recipe

•    1 Kg well cleaned Snails

•    6 Ripe Plantains

•    2 Large Onions

•    4 Tomatoes

•    Jalapeño peppers ( Bawa / Sombo / long tatashe ) As many as you want depending on how much heat you can handle. I used more than 10 pieces

•    2  large sweet bell peppers (i used Green and Red)

•    1 1/2 cups chopped Carrots

 

•    Scotch Bonnet  (Ata rodo) as many as you want

•   * 1 cup meat stock (optional)

•    2 Bouillon Cubes (knorr beef cubes in this instance)

•    Salt to taste

•    Vegetable oil ( to fry )

Procedure

–    Dice, marinate Snails with cayenne pepper  (ground dried pepper ), salt and bouillon cubes for at least 30 mins, and fry till done.

–     While your snails are marinating, prep you other ingredients. Coarsely blended your tomatoes, onion and peppers. You can use as little or as much of any of these ingredients. What we want to get is at least 2 1/2 cups of the coarsely blended pepper. Chop you bell peppers.

–     Dice up your plantains and fry till golden brown and set aside. (I like to fry my plantain first and use the same oil to fry the snails )

–     Using some the oil you fried the snail in, in a pot or wok add the pepper blend, add 1 cup of *meat Stock,  taste for seasoning, if necessary season a little more. Cook with lid off, till the water is reduced, add the fried snail allow to cook till the water is completely reduced and the pepper starts to fry in the oil, turn the heat down a notch, then carrots, giving it a 5 minute head start before adding chopped bell peppers.

–     Turn the heat down stir the fried plantain and stir in using a wooden or plastic spoon/ladle  so as not to mash up the plantain.

–     Stir in well and turn off the heat. Serve warm.

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