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!!!!

Ube Hummus 

I’ve been quite obsessed with Ube the last couple of days. After making a Corn on Cob rubbed with Ube a few days back, I realised Ube can be a great Dip, pretty much like Hummus. Hummus is originally made with chickpeas, it’s of middle eastern origin.

Since Ube already pairs well with Corn, I tried it with some of my favourite things and it paired really well.

Cooked Ube’s is like mashed Sweet+Irish  potatoes with a tang.

RECIPE 

Makes about 2 250ml Mason  jars.

  • 50 medium sized Ube
  • 1/2 Cup Olive Oil

* Optional Ingredients (didn’t use any)

Chill pepper

Garlic paste.
Procedure

  • Wash Ube gently but thoroughly to get rid of sand.
  • Bring about 1.5 litres of water to a boil.
  • Once boiled, dunk the Ube in it for not longer than 3 minutes and strain. (You can salt the water if you like but it’s unnecessary.
  • Allow it to cool a bit so you don’t burn your fingers before using a small knife to open the skin and peel the flesh off the seed of the Ube.
  • Blend in the Ube with Olive oil  two batches a blender.
PhotoGrid_1497983723483
Procedure in pictures. Wash, Blanche, Peel
  • Store in an air tight container and refrigerate. (I haven’t tested the shelf life inside the fridge yet, with do, I’d update this post)


Isn’t this platter gorgeous? (Carrots, Cucumber, Celery sticks, Corn, Potato chips, plantain chips)

20170620_183547_1497980236031_wm
Cucumber Stick with Ube

20170620_184502_wm
Ube Hummus with Carrots sticks, Cucumber sticks, Celery sticks, Corn, Potato chips, plantain chips

Corn on Cob with mashed Ube


This is just a simple twist to the Corn and Ube you love. CORN on COB in a Skewer rubbed with mashed Ube

It’s Corn season and with corn comes Ube. Ube is an oval shaped, purple berry with a large seed in the centre. It’s in season at about the same time as corn. As a street food, corn is either boiled or roasted and usually paired with Coconut or Ube. 

Top-Bottom; Corn , Ube.   Picture credit: Google.

Recipe

  • Corn
  • Ube
  • *Salted Butter (or Herb and Garlic butter)
  • *Pepper flakes 

*optional items are marked with asterisk 
Procedure 

  • Dehusk the corn of it comes in a husk and cook the corn till done. Cook it in a pot with lid on
  • Ube is very easy to cook, just steam till the pod is soft and it would peel off easily. You can cook it by placing the Ube on the lid of the pot while the corn cooks.  
  • Mash the Ube with salted butter ( Salted Butter is optional, I used garlic butter). Add some pepper flakes if you want some kick of heat. 
  • Spread it on your cooked corn. 

This is so comfort food!

Plantain Veggie Sauce

This was inspired by a post I saw last night on “So You Think You Can Cook”. The poster didn’t have enough time to share her recipe but I created this from visual inspiration .

Trust me when I say this is so delicious. You can eat it alone or pair with Rice 

Recipe 

  • 3 Large Ripe Plantain
  • 2 cups of meat stock 
  • 300g  sliced Vegetables (I used Ugu+Efirin+Efo tete/green)
  • 3 cups of blended pepper mix (tomatoes/scotch bonnet/ habanero (rodo)/tatashe(capsicum)/ onion)
  • 1/4 cup Vegetable oil (for the sauce, you’d need more for trying the plantain. 
  • 3 cups chopped lighty fried meats (I used goat meat)
  • Shredded Fish (Smoked cod fish, dried sardines (bonga fish), about 1cup or more)
  • Bouillon cubes (2 or more depending on your tatse
  • Salt to taste 

Procedure 

  • Chop up your plantains and deep fry till it’s almost turning brown and set aside.
  • You should have pre-fried your meats.
  • Pour 1/4 cup of oil in a pot, allow it to heat up, once hot pour the pepper mix , fry slightly and pour in the stock. If you are using bonga fish, rinse well and add to the pepper from the start. Cook for 5 mins and add the fried meats. On medium heat, cook the stew till the water has completely reduced add your bouillon cubes and salt. Cook with lid on.
  • Once the water has completely reduced, add smoked fish, and vegetable. Cook for about 5 minutes with the lid off.
  • Stir in the fried plantains and let it simmer for about 2 mins and turn the heat off.  

Moinmoin 

Happy International Women’s Day. 

 I have a five year old son and I am raising him by God’s grace to be the best version of the man God has destined him to be. He loves to cook with me in the kitchen and I encourage him. We made this meal together and even made a video tutorial on How to wrap moinmoin in leaves.

I found a very inspiring post on Facebook that underscores the reason why I’m raising my son this way.

Read Excerpt below

“I’m Worried About Our Sons” By Funke Egbemode.


Today, I am worried about our sons, today’s young men. I am truly worried and every mother should pause, take a closer look at her sons and daughters and answer this question: are you empowering your son for the journey ahead of him? Answer truthfully, after all you are alone and you don’t have to let anybody hear you…


I think Nigerian mothers have not done well raising future husbands and fathers. Let’s admit it, we have not scored above average, that is if we achieved average at all…

Take a closer look at your beautiful daughter and your handsome six-footer son. Who is better prepared for the task ahead? I know some of us had realised this and have done better than others but most Nigerian mothers need to buckle up. Our sons are not what they should be and we cannot have the society, the country we desire when we put unprepared men and overgrown boys in positions of authority….

It does not matter if women produce the next president and Central Bank Governor and 20 state governors, the achievement of Nigerian women and indeed women world over will continue to be marred if all we do is churn out half-baked and ill-equipped fathers and husbands. We cannot have a great society with just great women and less than good fathers and husbands…

 We’ve got to pay more attention to the quality of sons we are raising. Are we teaching them the right values? Have you sat your boys down and told them only impotent men beat their wives? Have you told your sons a man is not man if he cannot provide for his wife and children, that the ‘dangling modifier’ in between his legs is not really what proves his manhood in his home? …

Since this year’s theme for International Women’s Day is ‘Inspiring Change’, let us change the way we have brought up our boys. Let us teach them the skills that will protect their manhood beyond using the right condoms. (First published in 2015)


Culled from Facebook

Recipe

(Serves 8 – 10 persons)

  • 3 Cups peeled   Beans (Honey Beans/ Oloyin)
  • 1 cup Vegetable oil
  • 1/2 Cup Crayfish
  • 1 or 1 1/2 cup Stock  (Fish/Beef/Chicken stock)
  • 4 Hard Boiled Eggs (chopped)
  • 500g Mackerel; boiled and Flaked
  • 1 onion
  • 8 (or more) Jalapeño  (Bawa) Pepper or Tatashe
  • 2 Bouillon Cubes  (Any season cubes of your choice e.g knorr) *or to taste
  • Salt (to taste)
Some of the ingredients used
Peeled Beans

Procedure

  • Blend Beans with pepper and onions to a smooth paste
  • Blended paste

(Ensure not make the paste too runny by adding too much water while blending about 500ml – 750 ml of water should be sufficient for blending this quantity of beans)

 

 

*Tip* don’t ever add tomatoes to your beans paste, the acidity in the tomatoes will not allow you paste to set when it is cooked

 

  • In mixing bowl, stir the paste well for at least one minute, then add your oil and stir thoroughly until the oil is properly incorporated. Then add your salt, crushed bouillon cubes and mix thoroughly till well incorporated.
  • Then add in the flaked fish and chopped eggs and mix.
  • Scoop into your leaves. * I have a preference for wrapping moinmoin in leaves as it is not only tastier in leaves, it is healthier. Cooking your food in polythene bags allows harmful chemicals to seep into your food*.                                                             I have a made a video tutorial on HOW TO WRAP MOINMOIN IN LEAVES  click the hyperlink to watch.

https://facebook.com/story.php?story_fbid=1235014743280473&id=613368625445091

 

  • *You can cook your moinmoin in ramekins
  • Add about a cup or two of water  to a pot, (preferably a steaming pot) if you don’t have a steaming pot, you can place the stalks you cut off from your leaves at the base of the pot as a barrier between the water and the wrapped moinmoin . Place the wrapped moinmoin on the barrier, cover the pot, you can cover it with more leaves to trap steam , cook on medium heat for at least 20 – 25 mins.
  • Your moinmoin is cooked when the paste sets  and it’s cooked all the way though.
Cooked Moinmoin.
Moinmoin is also called Olele in Yoruba

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. 

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.