Monday, September 17, 2007

Name: Yam Delicacy

I find that I admire LYDIA .E. EKE lot when it comes to food. She goes out of her way to get these recipes that are so precise, you would think they were Chocolate pudding recipes from Scotland. Here is another one from her and she calls it Yam Delicacy, stating that it tastes best if you use the new yam.

African Yam - 0.5kg (for a serving of 3 adults)
Palm oil - about 2ml, which is one tablespoonful
Smoked Fish - 20g, which could be either one big one, or 2 small ones
Cray fish - grinded (on ground?), 3/4 cups
Dried cod fish - (or, as we call it here, stockfish), 400g
One Onion bulb
Fresh/dry hot peppers, Jamaican/African, 2g
2 teaspoonfuls of Black pepper
Five fresh leaves of Uziza leaves
4g of ginger or 2 teaspoonfuls of ginger powder
Salt to taste

Step 1 - Slice the yam tuber, and peel the slices. Make sure the slices are not more than two inces thick. Wash the peeled slices. Peel and slice the onion as well. Set both aside.

Step 2 - Pound the crayfish and the hot peppers in a mortar, or blend them together, until pasty.

Step 3 - Cut the dry cod fish into several pieces (usually done by the seller as it is hard and a saw is needed). Split the smoked fish into large chunks and wah in hot water to remove sand and dirt.

Step 4 - Cook the chunks of dry cod in a large pot with two cups of water and half a teaspoonful of salt, two teaspoonfuls of black pepper. Cook until the dry cod is soft (It is usually very hard and might take a few minutes).

Step 5 - Add the crayfish paste, and two cups of water. Stir. Add the onion slices and the smoked fish chunks, then the ginger, and the uziza leaves. Stir.

Step 6 - Add the yam slices, the palm oil, and two more cups of water. Cook until the yam is done (as in cooked).

Step 7 - Use a ladle or seive to remove the cooked yam slices and the cod fish.

Serving: Serve the yam slice (3 per person) and cod fish (2 per person) seperately from the soup.


Friday, September 14, 2007

Name: Pan cakes

I remember when I was young, about six or seven, and we had just moved to Lagos. My Mum
would make pan cakes for us to take to school in our little covered plates, and by the time I was dressed in my little white socks (all stretched out), and school uniform, I would have missed out on the whole preparation process.
Well, Mum stopped making them when my little brother complained that his teacher ate out of
everyone's food except his and it made him unhappy. You can imagine the teacher - she actually made him feel bad because he always brought pan cakes to school!
Anyway, some days ago, I was going through some magazines and I came across the recipe for making them. You can imagine how happy I was - I have tried everything I can think of to 'help' my Mum remember how to make pancakes, cos she said she has forgotten, but nothing has worked. I even bought her suya (her favourite)several times to help her but to no avail.
Well, this recipe, culled from Life magazine, a free magazine from The Guardian, and written by ADU OLUBUNMI MORENIKE, should be it!

250g of Flour
50g of Sugar (add more to your taste if need be)
One satchet of milk (optional)
One Egg
Ground pepper (optional as well)
One and a half of a bottle of groundnut oil
Nutmeg (little quantity, grated)
A slice of Onions (for added flavour)

Step 1 - Sieve the flour into a bowl. Add the measured sugar and a little quantity of grounded pepper, and the nutmeg.

Step 2 - Beat the egg and milk together. our the egg and milk mixture into the dry ingredients in Step 1 and Mix together.

Step 3 - Add a little water. Keep adding in little quantities until the flowing consistency of the mixture is achieved.

Step 4 - Put the groundnut oil in the frying pan, add the onion slice to it after the oil has heated for a few minutes.

Step 5 - Scoop the mixture into the hot oil, using a ladle or stew spoon (as many as the frying pan can take in terms of the circumference)

Step 6 - Fry until golden brown

Step 7 - Remove from the burner when done.

Serving: Serve with any drink of your choice.

Name: Egusi Balls

Well, My Yoruba family out there will recall (if faintly for some) that, to make Egusi soup with Egusi balls, all we had to do instead of pouring the Egusi powder straight, was add small spoonfuls of blended pepper (raw omatoes and ata rodo, sometimes with Tatase)to the powder in a small flat plate, and begin mixing until the whole thing was sticky and gumming together (not an apt description but it will have to do!). Imagine my surprise when I was going through old editions of Life ( a free publication from the Guardian, August 26 - September 1, 2007
edition), when I saw that there was more to it according to our sisters from the South Eastern Nigeria!

According to Lydia E. Eke, in South Eastern Nigeria, the Egusi is prepared thus:

3 cups of Egusi (ground)
Meat and Ponmo
5 small blls of usu (ground) [we'll get to this later, don't worry]
Maggi and Salt.

Step 1: Blend the Egusi dry until very smooth.Transfer it to a mortar and pound it with the usu [the usu is a whitish stone - like thickener - that's what she said anyway, so be sure its edible].

Step 2: Now put the pounded Egusi into a plate/tray, and start to mould it into small balls. To make the balls tasty, add salt, dry ground pepper and water.

Step 3: Either cook the balls directly in the pot of soup, or dry it in the heating sun (not to be tried in Europe, UK or the US so you don't get arrested it your neighbor's cat decides to taste it from your windowsill and chokes on the pepper)

Step 4: Cook the soup as you would the normal Egusi soup (Check older posts for this recipe). Add the balls when the soup is ready, and let the balls in turn, cook for a while in the soup.

Step 5: The Egusi soup is ready!

Note that the sun - dried ones can be eaten as snacks later (that is a new one!), so you might consider it if you live in Sunny Carlifornia and your fence is high.

Serving: Can be eaten with Eba/Garri, Amala, Fufu, Pounded yam, Semo, Lafun.

Thursday, September 13, 2007

Asaro (Yam Porridge)

Name: Asaro (Yam Porridge)
1. Red or Groundnut Oil
2. Salt
3. Peppermint leaves (shredded to tiny bits)
4. Two tubers of Yam (for a serving of four)
5. Ponmo (Softened cowhide, abi?), diced into small chunks
6. A jug of hot water
7. A medium-sized onion bulb, chopped
8. Seasoning - (preferably Knou Chicken cubes), and other spices like thyme, curry
9. Blended pepper (Rodo, tomatoes blended together)

Step 1 - Slice the yam in uneven chunks. Peel the pieces and cut the peeled pieces into smaller bits, small enough to enter e

three year old's mouth without looking greedy (lol). Rinse the pieces twice and drain.

Step 2 - Put the pot on the burner. Wait until its dry, before adding two spoonfuls of oil. When that is hot (test by

sprinkling salt, if it sizzles, its hot enough), add the chopped onions.

Step 3 - Stir for a few seconds, before adding the blended pepper. Cover for about 30 minutes, enough time for the pepper to

simmer and cook. Check it continually.

Step 4 - When the oil appears above the pepper, add the seasoning, and salt and other spices you might want to add, and stir.

Step 5 - By now the soup should be bubbling and thick. Taste it. Add salt to taste (if its not enough).

Step 6 - When you are sure the soup is cooked, add the jug of hot water, making it extremely watery. Add the yam pieces, and

cover. Wait another 30 minutes, checking continually to ascertain that the yam is cooked soft (extremely soft).

Step 7 - When the yam pieces are extremely soft get your omorogun (amala stirrer, or what can I call it now?). In its

absence, you can use a flat pancake flipper (Abeg no crucify me for my choice of words o!). Begin to mash up pieces of yam in the pot.

Step 8 - Mash up the yam pieces until the porridge is thick and bubbly. Add the shredded peppermint leaves and the ponmo pieces. Taste it. Add

seasoning or salt to taste.

That's it!
Food is ready!
Serving: For a table of four.

Local food: Yam

Yam is a root tuber eaten in Africa and some parts of Asia. There are several types of Yam (Yellow yam, Water Yam, Small Yam etc) and each one is consumable.
There are various ways that this tuber can be eaten, pounded, boiled, roasted, Fried, Mashed, just name it. Every tribe in Nigeria has access to Yam and cooks it in various ways.
Got a better recipe for Yam? Know more than two ways to cook this tuber? BRING IT ON! Post it here!
We are all waiting!