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 

Spaghetti and Meatballs 

I love my meatballs to be succulent and not tough and dry. This is my trusted go to recipe for meatballs. I could wake up in the middle of the night to make this.

I’m off carbs for a while so I could only relish the plate you see below with my eyes.

This is one of those posts where I just want to go straight to it and share the recipe.Its quite easy peasy.
Recipe.

Spaghetti 

• 400grams Packet of Spaghetti 
Meat balls

(Makes 16 )

•     350grams ground beef
•     2 or 3 slices of stale bread (for crumbs)
•     1 Egg
•     1/4 cup milk 
•     1 small onion
•     2 Garlic 
•     1 tsp Cayenne Pepper (Ground pepper/Ata gigun )
•     1 tsp Dried parsley leaves 
•     1 tsp Dried Rosemary leaves
•     1/2 Mixed Herbs
•     1/4 tsp Salt
•     Seasoning to taste

Ingredients for meat balls

For Sauce 

•     1 cup tomato puree
•     3 tbsp Tomato paste
•     1 tsp Parsley
•     1 tsp Rosemary 
•     1 tsp Mixed Herbs 
•     * Cayenne Pepper (optional)
•     Salt to taste
•     Seasoning to taste.

Procedure 
–     In a blender or food processor , blitz the bread into crumbs. If using 3 slices , this would yield about  2 cups. Separate 1 cup.
–     Roughly chopped or blitz your onion and garlic.
–     Mix all the dried spices, seasoning and salt together, work it gently into the meat using your hands 

–     Add Egg and Milk mixing it in evenly
–     Add 1 cup of Breadcrumbs and mix till well incorporated 
–     Sprinkle some of the left over Breadcrumbs on a flat surface. Scoop some of the mixture into your palms and roll into balls, place them on your flat surface sprinkled with breadcrumbs. When you are done you can sprinkle some more bread crumbs on the meat balls.

Bread crumbs, roughly blended onions, ground beef mixed with all ingredients , rounded balls on breadcrumbs covered surface. 

–      You can grill or bake the balls at this point. I added 2 tbsp of vegetable oil into a pan, and placed the balls into it to cook on both sides for less than  5 minutes. Take the meatballs out of the pan and services aside. 

–      I used the pan I made the meatballs in for the tomato sauce. Add all your ingredients at once. Cook the Tomato sauce for at least 15 minutes before adding the meat balls. Then leave it to cook on low it till the tomato sauce is ready.

Meatballs in tomato sauce

For the Spaghetti 

–   I took out all the meat balls from the tomato sauce, added a little water and cooked  the Spaghetti in the sauce till it was done.You can taste for salt and additional seasoning if necessary.
It’s quite easy to make it can bet you, while cooking I had time to feed two kids lunch, wash dishes and bath them in between. Give it a try. 

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.

Banga Soup

Finger licking goodness, a delicacy of the Deltans of the South – South of Nigeria. Made from creamy palm nut extract and brought to life by mix of exotic spices, and fresh water fish banga  soup is one King of a soup.

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One of my aunts had a Nanny, Mama Onome who would make a big batch of banga  soup and store in the fridge for us to eat. The woman made it look so easy to make, my first time making it especially since I was make the palm nut extract myself I realised how much work it was. You don’t have to make the palm nut extract, buy the canned ones. The rest is a breeze. See how good it looks, It tastes great too

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Recipe

Ingredients

•   3 Cups Palm Nuts

•   1.5 kg  Fresh Fish e.g Tilapia or Croaker (I used frozen Cod fish).

•   1 Oburunbebe Stick

•    I tbsp Scotch Bonnet  (less or more depending on how much heat you can take)

•    1 tsp Banga Spice (this a mixture of the exotic spices that make banga soup what it is, I won’t even attempt to spell the spices cause I would get it wrong)

•    Smoked Prawns

•    1 Cup properly washed and cleaned periwinkle in shell

•    Smoked Catfish

•    *Fresh Prawns (optional)

•    Stock Fish

•    1 tbsp dried crushed Bitterleaf  or Obeletientien   Leaves.

•    Salt and Bouillon Cubes to taste

Procedure

To make Palm nut extract.

▪Boil Palm nuts till the skin is tender and pliable.

▪In a mortar pound till the skin falls off from the kernel.

▪Add about 3 cups of  warm water and rinse the pulp, using a mesh seive,  strain the liquid and collect in a pot.

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To make Soup

–    Place Palm nut extract on heat , add the oburunbebe stick and allow it to heat up.

–    Add Blended pepper, stock fish, smoked fish, smoked prawns, banga spice, salt and seasoning. Bring it to boil.

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–    Add  Fresh fish and let it cook till done. Don’t use a spoon to stir the pot just shake it. Turn the heat down. Add washed periwinkles, fresh prawns if you are using any. Then add the crushed dried leaves, I used Obeletientien

* I learnt a tip when Dunni was in my kitchen not to over cook Banga after all the spices have been added as it tends to taste over salted.

•   You know your soup is ready when some oil starts to float at the top.

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Delicious like kilode!

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Starch and Banga Soup. Totally delish!

 

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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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No Fuss Steamed Vegetable

This is probably the easiest vegetable dish you’d ever make. No oil, no pepper , and can be paired with any dish you like. I’ve over indulged in all the sweet and highly calorific stuffs, it’s time to come clean.

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Recipe

•   1 bowl (1 litre bowl) of washed and shredded vegetable  (Ugu in this instance)

•   1 Large Onion

•   2 Smoked Mackerel (deboned and shredded)

•   Salt to taste  

•   Bouillon Cubes

•   1 tbsp Powdered Crayfish

Procedure

–   In a pot or saucepan add about 1/8 cup of water, chop onions and set in medium heat.

–   After about 5 mins, add the vegetable, salt,  bouillon cubes,  and crayfish.

–   Stir well and add deboned and shredded mackerel.  Stir till all is well incorporated. Don’t cook the vegetable too long, let it retain its fresh green colour.

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I’ve been having a little too much fun with mine.  Portion Control! *winks

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