Chapman

In 2010 while i was job hunting, i took a short cocktail course and the first thing i learnt to make was Chapman.

I started my business Fontaine De Vie as a virgin cocktail business till it evolved to a healthy beverage option company.

Chapman is arguably indigenous to naija. At the time an internet search for “Chapman” would on lead you to names of individuals. Meanwhile it was so popular as a Cocktail at Nigerian parties.

First time i had Chapman was in 1993 or 94, at the restaurant of D’Rovans hotel. Chapman started out as a hotel and bar fixture then made it’s way to the party scenes.

In fact the Coca-Cola bottling co., sampled a variant of Fanta in the 90’s, they called it “Fanta Chapman”. It was my favourite next to “Fanta Ginger Ale”.

Chapman has a signature Sunset Orange colour which comes from mixing Fanta with Grenaldine. It’s Sweet, slighty tangy with a very subtle undernote of bitter. Best served with ice.

Recipe

Serves 5

1 Fanta/Mirinda (50cl)

1 Sprite/7up (35cl)

1 Schwepps/Teem or Limca (35cl)

80ml of Tasty Time Blackcurrant (or any blackcurrant cordial drink)

100ml of red Grenadine syrup

5ml of Angostura Bitters

* 20ml Campari (if you want to make it alcoholic, skip the angostura)

5 slices of a medium sized Lemon A couple of slices of Cucumber for garnish

Procedure

Mix all drinks in a tall glass pitcher adding the angostura bitters last, add 3 slices of lemon, 3 slice of cucumber and allow the flavours to infuse for at least 30mins.

Serve with ice.

Chapman bottled on a client’s request. See the Lemon and Cucumber infusing in there.

Money saver tips for Vegetable Fried Rice ingredients

Buying in bulk and storing can save you a ton of money. Every home manager loves to shave off an extra penny here and there from home keeping expenses and this is one of them.

I was at the frozen foods section of a large supermarket chain recently and i saw the price on a bag of chopped vegetables, good lordy. There is no way i was going to parting with that amount of money on imported packaged food, that lord knows what sorts of preservatives is in it.

Fried Rice is a regular meal in my home and i have learnt to save a lot of money by buying my vegetables in bulk and storing in the freezer.

The vegetables in the picture below cost me the following from Mile 12 Market , Ketu Lagos Nigeria.

Carrots 300 naira
Green Pepper 300 naira

Red Pepper 200 naira

Runner Beans 200 naira

Green Peas 300 naira

Spring Onions 200 naira
Total cost 1500 naira.

Green Pepper 300 naira

Red Pepper 200 naira

Runner Beans 200 naira

Green Peas 300 naira

Spring Onions 200 naira
Total cost 1500 naira.

From this amount of vegetables, i will get a total of 6 -600g- bags of vegetables enough to make fried rice for my family of 5 (sometimes more) at least 6 times.

So on the average each pot of fried rice will cost just about 250 naira or less for vegetables.

Procedure.

  • Wash your vegetables properly under running water to get rid of dirt. Peel the carrots, de-seed the peppers, and chop them up separately.

  • Combine all the ingredients in the bowl, toss properly to ensure that the vegetables combine evenly.

* If you want, at this point you can bag it up and store in a freezer at this point.

  • I prefer to season the vegetables so they are ready to use when i want to cook. I season with salt, bouillon cubes,curry, thyme.

  • Toss it well to ensure that the seasoning is well incorporated. Let it sit for 30mins before bagging.

Pack into air tight, freezer bags or polythene bags and freeze till you are ready to use. I’ve stored mine for as long as 2 months in a freezer.

This also saves you a lot of cooking time.

Ofe Oha

Oha soup is native to the South Eastern Nigeria. Oha (also spelt and pronounced as Ora) is a delicate vegetable and has a very unique flavour.

The first time I tasted Oha (Ora) soup was in 2009 in the restaurant of the High Court of the FCT. I had gone to court early that day and by lunch time I was famished, especially after sitting through all the proceedings, I was in the mood for something more exciting. Food is exciting, that is why I don’t miss practice.

So back to my story, they had Oha on the menu, I had no idea what it was but I was willing to try. I was hooked!
I remember when I had my son in 2011, I came down with a bad flu, adjusting to my new life as a mum was stressful. My husband’s aunt made me a bowl of spicy Oha Soup. That was the only food I could ingest, it worked like a charm and my appetite came back. I love Oha Soup.

Recipe
Credit; Allnigerianrecipes.com

Ingredients

• Oha leaves a handful

• Cocoyam – 8 small corms or Alternatively 1 1/2 tablespoon of ground Achi

• Red Palm Oil – 2 cooking spoons

• Assorted Beef meats

• Assorted dry Fish

• Fresh peppers (scotch bonnet / habenero /ata rodo) – i like the flavour of fresh Cameroon/Nsukka pepper so i use it. It’s yellow scotch bonnet-.

• Salt to taste

• Crayfish (powdered)

• Bouillon Cubes

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

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Procedure

  • Grind pepper and set aside.

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  • 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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Blended cocoyam.

  • Wash oha leaves. Using your fingers, cut the Ora (Oha) leaves into tiny pieces. It is said that this technique is to prevent the vegetable from becoming darker in colour which happens when you cut the ora leaves with a knife. I’ve tried cutting oha with a knife and it didn’t turn dark, but then i cut and used immediately. I’d say whatever rocks your boat. Set it aside.
  • Season and boil the meats, when then are tender add stock fish and dry fish.
  • Add the pepper, ogiri Igbo and ground crayfish and cook for 10 minutes. Add the cocoyam paste in small lumps and then the palm oil. If using achi, just stir it in, starting with 1 tbsp first. Achi is a thicken and it sometimes has a slightly slippery consistency.

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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 Ifyou are using any at this point to prevent disintegration
  • Add the oha (ora) leaves and leave to cook for about 3 – 5 minutes with the lid off.

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Serve with your favourite starchy side dish.

Imoyo Alatasuesue (Spicy Imoyo Stew)

Imoyo is a light watery fish stew. I’m hoping it did the stew enough justice while taking the pictures and editing it, i know i had to work on optics. So I’m wondering if it looks light and fluid enough in the pictures.

Well Imoyo is light and more runny than your regular rice stew, or beef stew.

I like my Imoyo stew to be a little spicy because i find that pepper helps to improve the flavour of fresh fish. I also like to cook my Imoyo with a combination of vegetable oil and palm oil, just because i like that.

Recipe

  • 1 litre blended pepper mix [Tomatoes/Tatashe (Red capsicum)/Ata rodo (red Scotch Bonnet)/Onion] {I use a ratio of 8:2:4 for the pepper mix and you can tweak the pepper quantity depending on how spicy you like it}
  • 1 small Onion
  • 1 cup Vegetable oil
  • 1/4 cup Palm oil
  • 2kg Fresh Obokun (Blue Catfish) – you can use your own fish of choice.
  • Salt
  • Bouillon cubes
  • Stock (optional)

Procedure

  • Clean and salt your raw fish and set it aside while prepping for your stew. Doing this will allow the fish to be seasoned through before adding to your stew. Just salt is okay, no over the top marinate so as not to lose the flavour of the fish and even the flavour of the stew
  • Chop the small onion and set aside.
  • Set a clean dry pot on medium heat and heat up palm oil. As it heats up add the onions and allow it to fry till it sizzles, (you may take it out if you leave it till it crisps) . Add the vegetable oil and let it get hot.
  • Pour in the blended pepper mix. Season with salt and bouillon cubes (i will use 2 cubes)
  • Bring the stew to a boil, the oil and the stew will mix. If you have stock, add it now.
  • Cook on medium heat for about 20 mins with the lid of the pot on. If you cook with lid off, you’d lose steam and water will vaporize from the stew. Remember its a runny stew.
  • Now add your fresh fish, turn the heat down and let it cook for 10 mins with the lid on. Please taste your stew before you add the fish because, when you add raw fish (especially if it isn’t frozen) it can easily disintegrate in the pot.
  • Don’t stir, just shake the pot using it’s handles.
  • *It’s okay to add a little water if you find that your soup is starting to thicken.

Once cooked, turn the heat off. Imoyo gives definition to “Omi Obe “. It pairs well with Ewedu soup, okra soup, and can be eaten as a broth too.

Nkwobi

Nkwobi is a happy hour meal.

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/happy hour 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. Personally I’ve found spicy food to be my alcohol antidote, once i start to feel light headed i hit it with something extra spicy.

Recipe

Ingredients

• 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) – you won’t need this if you are using palm nut cream-

•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 cow foot 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. I prefer to use a pressure cooker to cook the cow foot as it can be tough.

– 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 is served alone accompanied with alcohol or soft drinks but for some reason I also enjoy pairing it with white rice.

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Happy Independence Day Nigeria

To commemorate this celebration I made a simply smoothie with

Avocado, Rice Cereal, Milk and 1 tsp of lemon juice. Sweetened with Truvia.

Both the Green and Creamy coloured part are Avocados.

I used only the fleshy yellow part the avocado for the middle and for the Green I peeled it with the vibrant green layer

Blend, separately and layer.

Ofe Assorted! (An Exotic Soup)

Filing this under food therapies. I’ve called this soup Ofe Assorted because that is what it is, I’ve used the basic principle for cooking soups like Oha, Onugbu, Ofe owerri to make this soup, using 3 of my favourite vegetables together. I have also resisted the temptation of calling this soup Ofe Owerri as I have no intention of offering the “Guardians of ancient recipes”, as that is tantamount to offending the gods of the land.

I have stayed a safe distance from entering right smack into the controversy of what vegetable goes into Ofe Owerri. I understand the importance of preserving ancient recipes, if you must tweak it, by all means mention that you put a spin on it but don’t say that is gospel.

I’m a Yoruba girl raised in Ibadan and I know that something as simple as a Ewedu soup has to be made as simple as it is yo stay true to it. Just Ewedu, iru water, salt ,seasoning and if you want to add potash to soften it. Addition of Egusi , fish and all what else is a spin on it, don’t sell it as the original recipe.

Recipe

  • 1 1/2 cup shredded Oha leaves
  • 1 cup shredded Uziza leaves
  • 1/2 cup shredded Utazi leaves
  • 1 litre Stock
  • 3 tbsp fresh pepper blend
  • 1/2 Cup Palm oil
  • Assorted Meats (cooked)
  • 3 tbsp ground crayfish
  • 1/2 cup mini snails
  • 1/2 cup periwinkle in shell
  • 1/2 cup shredded Stockfish
  • 1/2 cup shredded Bonga fish
  • 1/2 cup shredded smoked Eja Osan
  • 2 Bouillon cubes (I used knorr)
  • 1 tsp Ogiri (optional)
  • 1 tbsp dried Achi
  • Salt (to taste)

Procedure

  • Cook your assorted meats till they are tender and you have about 1 litre of rich stock. To improve the flavour of your stock for this soup add some Stockfish or smoked fish head while cooking your meats.
  • Add your fresh pepper blend and palm oil, ground crayfish and cook for about 10mins.
  • Next add your smoked fish, stockfish, snails and periwinkle , cook for about 5 – 7 mins.
  • Add your achi , stirring it in carefully . Cook on medium heat for about 3 mins.
  • Add your vegetables, giving the Utazi and Uziza a 2 minutes head start before the Oha.
  • Turn the heat off after cooking it for about 5 mins.

  • Enjoy!!!!

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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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.

Afang Soup

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Anytime I see Afang Soup, it brings back fond memories of my first year in University. Brief story. I was allocated to Obafemi Awolowo Hall at the University of Ibadan, how I got there is a story for another. My roommates in F49 made my year really memorable. Unfortunately I have lost touch completely with all the ladies whom I know sadly by only their first names, I can’t recall the last names. Chinasa, Olatunde and the hardly ever around Motunrayo.

Anyway, Chinasa was engaged to  wonderful Calabar man called Victor. He loved to cook and his soups were the truth. Each time he came to school to visit his woman , he never came empty handed, he also came with a pot or two. My first ever encounter with Afang soup was from Victor. He brought his lady a pot of Afang one time she fell ill and the rest of us also descended on it like locust and devoured it. That was the day I fell in love with Afang!

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Ingredients

 •    1 kg Water leaf  (chopped)

•    200g  Okazi  (shredded)

•    Assorted Meats ( tripe, cow foot, ponmo, Beef, etc)

•    Assorted Dried and smoked Fish (Cod fish/Panla/Oporoko, Smoked Catfish)

•    *1 cup Periwinkle  (removed from shell) optional

•    2 tbsp Fresh Blended pepper  (preferably scotch bonnet i.e Ata Rodo, I used Cameroon Pepper)

•   1 tbsp Blended Crayfish

•    Bouillon Cubes

•    Salt

•    1/2  Cup Palm Oil

Procedure

–    Boil your meats with bouillon cubes and salt to taste. As the meat gets tender, add the smoked catfish, and  stock fish.

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–   While the meat cooks, pound or use a blender to blitz the shredded Okazi.

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–    Add the  roughly blended pepper

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–   Now add the crayfish and then palm oil image image

–    Allow to cook for about 5 mins and add chopped water leaves.

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–     Leave the pot uncovered  and allow to cook for 5 mins  then add the blitzed Okazi

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–    Stir in the Okazi. Once the Okazi goes in the water in the vegetable thickens a bit.

–    To avoid having watery soup, boil your meats with little or no water, because waterleaf already has high water content.

Enjoy with a starchy accompaniment. In this case 2 tone Eba.

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