Fries (Dundu, Dodo, Odunkun) with Pepper Stewed Snails

I gave this a little oomph by sprinkling Basil salt on the fries. To make Basil salt, I grabbed some Basil (clove basil which we call patminger or curry leaf in Nigeria) from my garden. I threw it into the dry mill blender with my some Himalayan pink salt and blended together. Now you can use any salt you have at home. And I tossed the fries in the herby salt blend. My crew loved it.

Add fried Akara to this platter and you have the quintessential Lagos street fries combo. Dundu, (Fried Yam) Dodo( Fried Plantain) and Odunkun (Fried Sweet potatoes). 

Peppered Snail recipe is on the blog

This is my first blog post for 2020. I’ve tried to see if I can bring blogging back, but my hands are full. It’s Covid Season and the virus is ravaging the world. To do our part to flatten the curve and heal the world we are social distancing an staying at home.

And as a wife and mum with a little more time on my hands, having partially shut down business, I find I have more time in the kitchen. Scratch that, staying indoors that be nerve wracking so cooking and gardening have been my escape.

Wherever you are in the world. Please stay safe, wash your hands obsessively with soap and water. Use alcohol based hands sanitizer and wipes if you don’t have access to water. Don’t touch your face. Avoid unnecessary contact with wild animals. And if there is a stay home order in your country, please abide and stay indoors.

Eat, Pray and Love.

I would have invited, everybody come and eat, there is enough dundu, dodo, odunkun, pepper stewed snails, sprinkled with basil salt to go round.

But we are social distancing.
Here is something more rustic and street like! Fried Barracuda, Cocoyam,Sweet Potato, Dodo, Yam, Yaji Spice

Ojojo (Wateryam Fritters)

Ijebu omo alare e we so! Shout out to Ijebu people all over the world.

This is a tribute to Ijebu cuisine. When you think food native to the peoples of the vast Ijebu kingdom, you think, Ifokore, Ojojo , Ebiripo , Ijebu Garri etc.

Ojojo is wateryam fritters and its native to the Ijebu people of the south west of Nigeria. It can be eaten anytime of the day as a meal or a snack. As a meal it’s popularly either served with Eko/Agidi (roughly translated as white corn jello) or Garri Ijebu.


Recipe

(Serves 2 or 3)

Ingredients

  • 3 slices Wateryam (grated it comes to 1 cup and half)
  • 1 tbsp of roughly chopped pepper mix (1 Ata rodo (Scotch bonnet), 1 Bawa/long tatashe/Sombo , Onion (about a quarter of a medium onion)
  • 1/2 of a bouillon cube (i used Knorr
  • Salt to taste

Procedure

  • Slice and peel water yam.

  • Using a grater, choose the smallest perforation to grate the yam to a paste. To avoid nicking off your fingers while grating, you can use the grating disc of your food processor. The one with the smallest holes. This would give you about 1 cup and half of wateryam paste.

Food processor disc and Grater

Grated wateryam

  • Add your roughly chopped pepper mix, your salt and seasoning .
  • Mix till when incorporated.

  • Heat your oil up till very hot.

Hot oil Tip
Since we don’t use thermometers in cooking here, i learnt to know when oil is hot enough for frying from Sister Som, my friend’s sister. She taught me to put a drop of water in oil while bringing up the heat. As the oil heats up , it would start to make popping sounds to get rid of the water. When the sounds stops, you know your oil is hot enough.

  • Scoop the paste using a spoon or your hands into the oil.
  • Fry on medium heat till its golden ans crisp on both sides.

Traditionally, Ojojo is served with Eko or Garri Ijebu. I tried this with Ghanaian Shitto and its amazeballs.

Ojojo with Eko and shitto

Ekpang Nkukwo

Lord knows how much i enjoy eating Ekpang Nkukwo. You see there is something about food that is made with a lot of love and attention to detail.

As a foodie, the first time i learnt of Ekpang Nkukwo i was intent on trying it out. Growing up i couldn’t stand any meal made with water yam. I never even tried cocoyam.

Ekpang Nkukwo is a beautiful marriage of water yam and cocoyam. It’s a pottage meal native to the Efik and Ibibio people of Nigeria and some parts of Cameroon.

Its similar to Ifokore/Ikokore of the Ijebu people which is made with only wateryam and without vegetables.

Recipe

Ingredients

  • 3 slices of Wateryam (after this is grated it should come to 1 cup of paste)
  • 3 medium sized Cocoyam (after this is grated, it should come to 2 cups of paste)
  • 6 Cocoyam leaves (Ugu leaves can be used instead)
  • 4 Efinrin leaves shredded. (Uziza leaves can be used instead)
  • 1 cup properly washed unshelled periwinkles
  • Assorted Meats (beef, tripe, ponmo) – (about 200g)
  • Assorted Seafood (Smoked fish, stock fish, fresh prawns, crabs)
  • 1 cooking spoon of palm oil
  • 1 table spoon of ground cayenne pepper
  • 2 cups of rich beef stock
  • 2 cups water
  • 2 bouillon cubes
  • Salt to taste
  • 1 tbsp ground crayfish

I’m growing cocoyam in my garden just because of Ekpang Nkukwo. I have never been able to buy cocoyam leaves in the market, so i always have to end up bush diving. I stubbornly insist on cooking Ekpang with only cocoyam leaves.


Procedure

  • Wash the cocoyam leaves and cut them into segments.
  • Using the grater, choose the smallest perforation to grate the yams to a paste. To avoid nicking off your fingers while grating, you can use the grating disc of your food processor. The one with the smallest holes.
  • Mix the cocoyam and water yam paste together, add about 1/2 a cup of water to the mix to help loosen it up.
  • Using spoon, scoop the paste into the cut up leaves, and wrap
  • Line the bottom of the pot with some palm oil and periwinkle. I usually add my stock fish to the bottom of the pot too.
  • Place the rolled paste on top of the cocoyam on top of the periwinkle base you created.

  • Turn on the heat. You don’t want to cook Ekpang Nkukwo on high heat. So set the heat to between medium and low.
  • Add your crayfish , your cayenne pepper, beef stock, water, palm oil, salt and seasoning. You can also add the pre-cooked assorted meats, and smoked fish.
  • I usually check on my pot at 10 minutes intervals and shake the pot using it’s handles to lift it, so as prevent it from burning. I don’t use a ladle so as not upset the rolls.
  • I also leave adding my fresh seafood to the last 5 mins of cooking so as not over cook them.
  • Taste while cooking to know if you need to adjust the taste.
  • Add the shredded efinrin leaves or uziza leaves. Add fresh seafood, shake the pot.
  • Take it off the heat 5 mins after adding the fresh seafood. Let it rest. Stir and serve.