Ebiripo 


I made Ebiripo today and I shared pictures on my Facebook wall, I had even written that I was channeling my imaginary Ijebu side, little did I know I did indeed have Ijebu Remo roots, royal roots as a matter of fact, LOL! My dad saw my post and sent me this message on WhatsApp.

Dad: “​Labake you made Ebiripo. You don’t know what you’re reminding the Bolumoles of. It used to be brought for the family from Sagamu, the native home of my father’s mother.” 

“Baskets of Ebiripo wrapped in banana leaves. You brought back my childhood  memory”.

“That food is  native to Remo people of Ogun State. Not very popular amongst the Yorubas”.

“I’m surprised that you’re eating. Who taught you to eat it?”

Me: The things I have learnt to eat in my quest for food, they are plenty

Dad: “You know my father’s mum was from the Royal family of Sagamu and her only son my Dad were treated with great respect.”

And that is how I found out I have an Ijebu side!

I’ve been meaning to try my hands on making Ebiripo, so I reach out to a friend Funmilayo Ademoye and she showed me how incredibly easy it was to make.  It’s so easy. 

Typically Ebiripo is eaten with Egusi soup, or pepper sauce, but it is acceptable to eat it with any soup of your choice. 
I made mine with Smoked Fish Pepper Sauce  and it was legit delicious!
How to make Ebiripo

  • Cocoyam
  • Salt (to taste)
  • Moinmoin leaves (to wrap the Cocoyam paste)
Cocoyam , Moinmoin leaves

*I didn’t include the measurements as you can make work with whatever quantity works for you. 

Procedure 

  • Peel and cut the Cocoyam 
  • Grate or blend into a paste. 
  • Peeled and cut Cocoyam, Cocoyam paste

    Add salt to taste and mix well. 
  • Place a pot on medium heat, if you have a steaming pot you can use it or place a barrier at the base of the pot, locally the stalks on the moinmoin leaves is placed inside the pot at the base before adding a little way.
  • Scoop the paste into the leaves and wrap. Place the wrapped leaves in a pot and steam till it is cooked

Serve with your soup of choice.

Ebiripo

To make the pepper sauce, I used the recipe I use for making sauce for Ekuru.I only added Smoked Cod fish (panla), Smoked Tilapia (Bonga fish), powdered crayfish. 

You can learn how to make the sauce here: Sauce 

Ikokore / Ifokore

An Ijebu pottage delicacy made with grated Wateryam. Typically it is eaten with Eba (cold eba preferrably)


I’ve been craving Ikokore for weeks but I’ve been unable to cook because I’ve been convalescent. Now that I’m back on my feet, I cooked the first thing I’ve been craving. Ikokore Ijebu. I have a staff who is Ijebu, she ate it with left over Eba from the previous day. I’m  yet to try that though. 

This Ikokore is “Ikokore elemi meje” (Ikokore with Seven Lives). A joke we crack when there is a lot of protein going on in a dish. I only cook small portions of Ikokore because neither my husband nor my son eat it, I cook just enough to share with my Ijebu staff, my help, and any other person. I eat very small portions.
Recipe 

(Serves 3)

Ingredients 

  • 5 slices Wateryam 
  • 1/2 cup Palm oil 
  • 1 cup blended pepper mix  (tatashe/bawa/jalepeno pepper + Atarodo/Scotch bonnet + Onions, Ratio 4:1:1)
  • 2 cups rich stock 
  • Assorted Meats (about 100g or 1.5cups) (beef, offals, ponmo, cow foot)
  • 2 Medium sized smoked tilapia  (shredded)
  • 1/2 Cup Shredded Stock fish 
  • 1 small smoked catfish  (shredded)
  • 1/4 cup powdered crayfish
  • Salt to taste
  • 2 Bouillon Cubes  (eg Knorr)


Procedure 

  • Using the small grit of your grater, grate your slices of yam. If you have a food processor you can use the similar attachment on your processor to grate the yam.

A tuber of water yam, slices of water yam, the grater used to grate the yams, grated yam.

Shredded Bonga Fish (smoked tilapia), shredded stock fish, powdered crayfish, blended pepper mix, smoked catfish, assorted meats

  • If you don’t have your stock ready, boil your meats, season with salt, seasoning cubes and one onion. Cook till done. 
  • Then add your pepper blend, and palm oil, allow it cook for ten minutes then add the all the fish and  crayfish. If you had your stock ready, cook pepper first with palm oil, then add the stock, fish and meat. Taste for seasoning. 
  • When all these are well incorporated, spoon the grated Wateryam in small portions into the broth. If the fluid is too little add some more water and allow it to cook till the yam is well cooked. Stir with a wooden spoon or ladle. 

  • Your Ikokore should be ready within 10 minutes of adding the grated Wateryam and cooking on medium heat. 

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


Fried Yam and Fish Rolls

I just played a “guess the dish” game, on two facebook groups. The only clue was that it is not made with flour. I laughed and nearly peed my pants when two of my Facebook buds answered Fried Eba and Okra! Jeez I must have a reputation for far fetched food experiments.
People this is just yam and fish served with pepper sauce by the side.

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Recipe

Ingredients

•    Yam

•    Fish

•    Salt

•    Bouillon Cubes

•    Pepper

•    Flour for dusting the board

•    Oil for frying.

Procedure

–    Cut yam and boil till well cooked and tender.

–    Season fish with salt, bouillon cubes and pepper, cook, debone and flake the fish and set aside.

–    When yam is done, mash till smooth in a bowl or in the pot.

–    Lightly flour a board, roll out the yam mold, trim out the edges. Spread some fish flakes along the edges and roll it over. Apply some water to the edges to seal it.
Sorry I don’t have a pictorial yet but you can see the procedure used here in making sausages

–   Heat up some oil. Not extremely hot and fry the yam till slighly crisp and a warm golden brown. Don’t let it burn as the yam would start to taste bitter.

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–    Serve with pepper sauce, it tastes great together

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Yam Pottage

Growing up i was not a huge yam pottage fan , most people call it yam porridge  . My dad cooks the best yam pottage, he made me like it. Well maybe because the man would nearly finish all the ingredients in the pantry that was meant for four pots of soup into one pot of pottage.   Before I cook yam pottage,  the yam has to be right, and by right I mean it has to be the variety that crumbles when you pierce it with a fork when it’s cooked, sweet and  preferably white Yam. I like my yam pottage to have some broth and chunky pieces of yam so I eat it with a spoon -squishy and chewy-. I really love to have vegetable in my pottage, le hubs doesn’t really  care for vegetable so I add mine separately.

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Recipe

Ingredients

•    Yam

•    Blended peppers and onion

•    Meat stock

•    Powdered Crayfish

•    Bouillon Cubes

•    Palm Oil

•    * bits of meats,  fish

Procedure

–    Peel, wash and cut yam into chunks. Add some water, salt, bouillon cubes and if you have meat stock, add the meat stock. I’ve found that yam cooked in meat stock yields great tasting yam pottage.

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–   When the yam is cooked  (you can pass a fork through )add palm oil,  blended pepper,  powdered crayfish. If you need to, you can add more water but be careful not to add too much.

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–   Add your bits of precooked meats, fish, egg or fresh prawns .

–    Stir all together and Cook on medium heat still all the ingredients are well incorporated and the broth has a slightly thick consistency.

–   *If adding vegetable,  add just before you turn off the heat. This is so as not to over cook, the heat would cook it through even after the heat has been turned off.

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Fresh Yam Fufu; Update on my experiments

Some nights ago, I wanted to know if I would get something like pounded yam by blending yam into a purée and stirring till it set on fire. The idea came after i uploaded a post on Plantain Fufu, I used a variety of yam that turns red when it is cut and exposed to air. I was surprised when I got black yam Fufu! I thought I had accidentally stumbled on the shortcut to Amala (Yam Flour Fufu).

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I excitedly shared the post on several food groups on Facebook.  On my favourite group “So you think you can cook “, a fellow foodie, Remmy Tee jumped on it excitedly  and asked that we experiment with it further.  She suggested that we freeze the yam first to reduce the starchy content.

She conducted her experiment first and her own yam came out white! We then figured that the black Fufu I got earlier was really as a result of the variety of yam I had used. Another foodie and food blogger Dooney suggested adding plantain to see how that would affect the taste.

So i conducted 3 experiments using a variety of yam that stays white even after it has been cut and exposed to air. Yeah I ate all 3 experiments at 3 am,  God help me

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Experiment 1. 

Peel and freeze yams before chopping, blending, purée  and cooking

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The yam came out with a bit of an off white colour and it was less starchy than the yam I pureed without freezing.

Experiment 2.

Peel and freeze yams before chopping, then purée  with ripe plantains and cook

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This one came out with a grayish hue of cream. Of the three experiments, it was the least starchy. Would I say it improved the taste? I think it is neither here now there, but the plantain taste definitely overpowered the yam though the yam to plantain ratio was 4:1.

Experiment 3.

Peel, chop ,puree and cook. 

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This one came out really white, and it was the most starchy of all the 3. I liked it, though it feels like you are eating starch, it is a light meal.

Texture

For all three, it might taste mildly grainy and I’d liken the grainy texture to that of cooked semolina.

Is this something I would try more often? Most definitely. You should try it.

At the moment I don’t have the red variety of yam anymore,  but I’d conduct this experiment again with it and see what colours we would get.

Yam Fufu (Fresh Yam Amala)

I’m excited about this, if you don’t have Elubo (Yam Flour) and you are craving Amala, you can make some with yam.  Late last night,  – I’m a bit of an insomniac,- I was updating the blog with some posts that i had previously shared on my Facebook page, while I was putting up the post about Unripe Plantain Fufu, I thought, what if this can be done with yam too. Off I went to the Kitchen at 2 am to give it a try. I have a few pictures of my experiment. It turned a little darker than regular Amala made with yam flour, tastes close to Amala just a little more starchy. If I must say so myself, it tastes good. image Recipe and Procedure

•   1 slice of Yam  (Peeled) –   Chop yam into small bits

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–   In a blender, add a little bit of water and blend till smooth image

–   Place a clean pot on fire and pour in the blended yam and stir continously using a ladle till it thickens. image

It would change colour as it starts to thicken. As it starts to thicken mix in quick motions. You may or may not need more water while cooking    image

Here it is, your Amala without Elubo. And that is how I found myself eating Amala at 3 am. image

I’m guessing if used white Yam, the colour would be lighter. I would be doing this again today just to find out.

Stuffed Yam Balls with Sweet n Sour Chilli Sauce

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My first post on the blog features the picture of Stuffed Yam Balls,  I almost forgot to share the recipe. Most people know now that Le hubs loves his Yam almost as much as he love plantain/beans and sweet potatoes. So here is me being a dutiful wife, yam must never get boring

Recipe
Yam
Mixed Vegetables (carrots, peas, spring onions, sweet corn e.t.c)
Minced Meat
Breadcrumbs
Cayenne pepper (ground dried pepper)
1 Egg
*coconut flour (just because I felt like)
Salt
Exotic Thai Spice  (I’m in love with Thai spices)
Vegetable oil (to fry)

Cut and boil yam, while yam is cooking, cook minced meat and season with cayenne pepper and salt, I added some rosemary. Once cooked add your mixed vegetables and cook till vegetables are tender and no water is left in the pan.
Mash your yam using a masher when it is cooked. You can mash with your fingers if you allow it to cool first.

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*I’d advise you don’t use a food processor or blender to do this, so it is not too soggy.
Break eggs and beat and set aside.

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Mix bread crumbs with *coconut flour,
Cayenne pepper, exotic Thai Spice (you can skip this or use what you have ), salt.

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Scoop some mashed yam into you palms, make a well in the center and scoop some of the mince mix into it.

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Pull the edges together to close the ball and roll gently in your palm.

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Dip in egg and cover with bread crumbs.

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Deep fry with vegetable oil until golden brown.

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Sweet n Sour Chilli 
15 Scotch Bonnet
*1 litre Pineapple Juice (you can use orange juice)
Sugar
1/4 tsp Salt
Vinegar (about 1/4 tsp)
1/4 tbsp Cornstarch

Blend fresh scotch bonnet to a smooth paste. Boil in a pot with juice, sugar, salt , vinegar. Boil till it reduces down and it is cooked. Mix about a 1/4 tbsp of corn starch with a little water and add to the sauce to thicken slightly.

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Yamarita for breakfast.

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Yamarita is a yam fries variation made popular by an eatery in Lagos called TFC (Tasty Fried Chicken). Yamarita can be eaten at any time of the day. It is very delicious. Think yam and egg all in one. Here is how I make my yamarita.

Recipe
Ingredients
Yam
Egg
Flour
Salt
Cayenne Pepper
Onion
Bouillon Cubes
Oil for frying

Procedure
1. Peel yams and cut into semi thick rectangular slices

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2. In a pot boil the yams with enough water until nearly cooked. Take off the heat and discard the water. Leave to cool.

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3. While yam is cooking blend onion to a very smooth paste -i blended mine with one egg instead of water-.
4. Break egg(s)into a bowl and mix with salt, bouillon cubes, onion puree and pepper.

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5. Seive some flour and mix with some pepper.

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6. Roll yam slices in the flour and dip in egg mix.

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7. Heat oil, when hot turn the heat down completely and put in the yams, then turn the heat to medium.

8. Fry the yam till golden brown and scoop into oil absorbent paper towels to strain the oil.

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And serve with pepper sauce.  Today I added bacon to my pepper sauce, everything tastes better with Bacon

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Recipe for Pepper Sauce
Coarsely blended mix of Tomatoes, Scotch Bonnet ( Ata rodo). Depending on how much heat you can take, the pepper should be more.
Chopped Onions.
Oil to fry
Salt
*Bacon or Minced meat or fish (optional)
Bouillon Cubes

Heat up oil almost to smoke point, turn the heat down to medium, pour in chopped Onions,  allow to fry till the edges crisp a bit,  pour in blend of tomatoes and pepper, add seasoning of salt and bouillon cubes.  Fry till the water had completely reduced, then add your bacon or whatever it is you are adding.

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