Fried Plantains

Fried plantains also know as dodo is the perfect go to meal or side for almost any dish. Eaten a lot in Nigeria and the rest of Africa, it is nutritious and tastes great by itself or seasoned.

Ingredients
Ripe Plantains
Cooking oil (Canola or Olive oil)
*Salt (optional)

Steps
1. Wash the plantains

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2. Peel the back of the plantain & in a clean bowl or plate, slice the plantains diagonally. Add a little salt if desired. Be careful with the salt so plantains don’t end up salty. (It can be very discomforting )

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3. In a clean dry frying pan, pour cooking oil in the pan and heat under medium heat. You don’t have to use too much. Actually, the less the better for healthy cooking. Just add enough to allow the whole length of the plantain sit comfortably in the oil

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4. When oil is hot (not smoking hot) place plantain into oil and allow to fry till edges turn golden brown to light brown. (I like mine brown)

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5. Repeat till all is fried. Place in paper towel to blot out any excess oil.

Plantain is ready to serve!
Serve with Rice / Beans / Stew / Fried Eggs / Pap / Custard / Acheke

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Yam Porridge

Ingredients
• 1 Tuber of yam (mid size)                                          • 2 Onions
• 3-4 fresh tomatoes                                                   • 2 fresh pepper
• Salt                                                                           • Maggi, Curry, *Thyme(optional)
• *Smoked Tilapia Fish  or Fish fillets (optional)           • Blended Crayfish
• *Ginger & Garlic (Optional)                                        • Palm Oil
• Water

Steps

• Cut and peel yams: Place the yam tuber on a flat and comfortable surface. Using a sharp knife, cut the yam vertically across to form individual circles. Cut the yam about 2-3 inches thick and peel the back of the yam using the knife. Wash peeled yams and cut each individual circles into 4 pieces.

Yam in a market

Yam in a market (Photo credit: Wikipedia)

• Place yams into clean, dry pot & add water to the level of the yam. Allow to boil till the yam is semi hard.

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• Add diced onions, blended tomatoes, 1 onion & pepper

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Blended tomatoes, pepper and onions

• Stir and add fish fillets  or smoked tilapia fish, blended ginger, garlic, curry & thyme and stir

• Add salt and maggi to taste.
• Add blended crayfish & stir.
• Cook for 7mins
• Add 1 – 1.5 cooking spoons of palm oil

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• Stir and cook till yam is soft. To have more porridge, mash some of the yam and stir.
• Yam porridge is ready

Fried Rice

Ingredients.

  • Rice
  • 2 Red Bell Pepper
  • 2 Yellow Bell Pepper
  • 2 Green Pepper
  • Green Peas, Chopped Carrots, Sweet Corn (or a pack of frozen mixed veggies)
  • Spring Onions
  • Liver or Ground Beef
  • Vegetable Oil
  • Onions
  • Salt, Seasoning Salt, Dried Pepper, Maggi
  • Curry, Thyme

Steps:

    • Wash the different bell peppers, remove the seeds and chop into nice bits.
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Chopped green, red and yellow pepper

    • If using fresh veggies (spring onions inclusive), also chop them nicely.
    • At this point, you can begin cooking the rice. Remember to salt it 😉
    • Now, we cook the liver or ground beef. If using ground beef, season and stir fry in chopped onions until it turns brown and is fully cooked inside. If using liver, season and steam like regular beef.
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Stir fried ground beef

  • Pour in the chopped bell peppers into the ground beef/liver and stir fry till it is half cooked. Then pour in the mixed veggies and cook till soft. (If using frozen mixed veggies, cook for about 7-10mins)
  • Add curry, thyme, dried pepper, maggi and cook for another 15mins on low heat. (Note: The curry gives the rice the golden-yellow color. So more of it = means more color)

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  • In a clean wide bowl or pot, mix completely the cooked rice and cooked veggies in portions.
  • Fried Rice is ready to serve!

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Serve with grilled chicken/fish, fried plantain & moi moi

Ogbono Soup

Ingredients

  • Grounded Ogbono
  • Blended Crayfish
  • Shrimps (optional)
  • Meat / Chicken / Fish
  • Palm oil
  • Water
  • Okro
  • Ugwu (Spinach)
  • Stock fish
  • Smoked Fish
  • Bitter leaf
  • Dried Pepper
  • Maggi
  • Salt

Steps:

    • First we carefully clean the smoked fish because they tend to be sandy. To clean, wash each fish under running water while rubbing with a little salt. Remove the stick running through the fish and clean the inside.
      Alternatively, if you want just the fish and not the skin, you can break up the fish, remove the inside and wash with salt.

Smoked Fish

    • Wash the stock fish also but without salt.
    • Put the fish into a clean pot and pour water until it covers the fish.
    • Add dried pepper (I prefer dried pepper because it is more convenient) and salt to taste.
    • Allow to cook till the fish become soft.
    • In the meantime, clean and steam the beef /chicken/ fish
    • When the smoked & stock fish is cooked, pour in the cooked beef/chicken/fish with the stock. Stir and lower the heat.
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Smoked fish with beef

    • In a clean dry bowl, pour in 1.5 (standard cooking) spoons of raw ogbono. The more ogbono the more the final soup.

Grounded Ogbono

    • Pour in palm oil a little at a time and stir into ogbono. This is to ensure you don’t use too much oil. Add oil till it stirs in completely with the ogbono.
      Some people pour in the oil directly into the pot but I find this to be a better way to measure the amount of oil to use.

Grounded Ogbono mixed with palm oil

    • Pour in the mixed ogbono and oil into the cooking fish & beef and stir completely.
    • At this point, the mixture maybe too thick so add water till the soup stirs easily. Increase the heat back to medium level and allow to cook for 10mins. NOTE: you have to regularly stir the soup because the ogbono tends to stick to the pot quite easily.
    • Add maggi, shrimps, cleaned ugwu (or spinach), grated or chopped okro (okra), stir and cook for another 20mins.
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Raw Okro

    • At this point, you can taste the soup and add more salt or seasoning to your taste.
    • If using bitter leaf, wash gently to prevent the vitamins from washing out then add to soup. Stir gently to prevent the soup from becoming bitter. Cook for 8mins
    • Soup is ready!

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Serve with eba or pounded yam.

Kekefia (Plantain Porridge)

A delicasy from Southern Nigeria, Kekefia is very nutritious and is a meal for celebration.

Ingredients

  • Plantains [4 fingers] (Preferably unripe but slightly ripe acceptable too)
  • Palm Oil
  • Fish
  • Onions
  • Dried / Fresh pepper (4)
  • Tomatoes (4 whole)
  • 2TBs Crayfish (Blended)
  • Maggi
  • Salt

Steps

  1. Wash and peel plantains.
  2. Dice plantains and put in a clean dry pot. Pour water over plantain till it is on the same level as the plantain. Then boil over mid heat for about 15mins. Don’t allow the plantain to fully cook.
  3. Steam the fish in the meantime.
    1. To steam fish, wash and clean the fish
    2. Put into a clean dry pot and add 1 cup of water. Add salt, maggi, 1/4 sliced onion and thyme.
    3. Cook till inside of white is white and flaky.
  4. Blend tomatoes, pepper and onions.
  5. In the boiled plantains, add blended tomatoes, pepper and onions. Stir properly.
  6. Add 2 maggi cubes, salt to taste, 2Tbs of blended crayfish and stir. Allow to cook for 10mins.
  7. Pour in 1/4 of palm oil, stir and cook for another 7-10mins.
  8. Add steamed fish and some fish stock if the plantain appears dry. Cook for 5mins.
  9. Kekefia is ready to serve 🙂

Note: if using ripe plantains, cooking time is shorter in step 2 to prevent plantain from getting fully cooked therefore making it too soft before the finished meal is ready.

Kekefia can be eaten on its own or with starch another Southern Nigeria meal.

 

Jollof Rice

Ingredients

  • Rice
  • Tomato sauce
  • Tomato paste
  • Dried Pepper
  • Oil
  • Onion
  • Salt, Maggi, Curry, Thyme

Steps

  • In a clean dry pot, pour a bit of oil into the pot and heat under medium heat. In the meantime, slice half a bulb of onion
  • When oil is hot, pour in sliced onions and stir fry for about 3-4 mins.
  • Pour in a scoop of tomato paste and fry for about 5-6mins.

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  • Pour in 1 can of tomato sauce (14 oz.), stir and allow to fry for 7mins. Add 1/4 spoon of curry, thyme and 1 Tsp of dried pepper and stir.
  • Slowly pour raw rice into the sauce, mixing in the sauce and rice. Keep adding more rice till it is proportional to the amount of sauce
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Dried pepper added to sauce

Raw rice mixed well with sauce

  • Pour in water to about 1.5 inches above the level of the rice. Gently stir the rice, breaking the lumps. Cook till water dries and turn rice over.
  • Taste the rice, checking for softness. If rice is not fully cooked, (if using meat, pour in the meat stock) pour in some more water to the level of the rice and reduce the heat. Cook till water is completely dried and stir rice over from bottom of pot to ensure it’s not sticky and allow for air to reach the bottom.

20120722-135606.jpgRice is ready to serve

Instant Pounded Yam

Pounded yam is meal from the Western part of Nigeria. It is known as the meal of the Yorubas but eaten across tribes in Nigeria and Africa. It is made from pounding cooked yam tubers but due to the tedious process, a quicker way was invented to speed preparation time and take out majority of the stress involved.

The using poundo yam, time to make is about 25 – 30mins.

Ingredients

  • 1.5 Cups of water
  • Poundo Yam

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Serves 1

Steps:

  • Pour 1.5 cups of water into a clean pot and bring to boil

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  • When boiled, take out half of the boiled water and set aside. This will be used if the yam dough becomes to hard.
  • With the rest of the water still on the fire, begin to slowly pour in the poundo flour while stirring at the same time till it is no longer watery.20120720-204417.jpg
  • Lower the heat and begin the knead the poundo flour into a dough. Continue to knead ensuring there are no lumps. If the dough is too hard, pour in some of the hot water set aside previously.
  • When dough is nicely formed, cover the pot and allow to cook for about 7 mins, kneading every 3 mins.

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  • Mould pounded yam into a neat ball and serve.


Serve pounded yam with favorite soup or even Ghanaian Light Soup

Acheke

Acheke is another West African meal most popular in Ivory Coast & Senegal but has found its way to other West African countries such as Ghana. Acheke (pronounced ah-cher-ker) is made from shredded cassava and is a very tasty meal. It is usually served with gravy and grilled fish which is garnished with all sorts of things like lime, parsley leaves, tomatoes, etc. If you live outside West Africa, you can visit any African store preferably run by someone from Ivory Coast, Guinea or Senegal (as it would be easier for them to help you identify Acheke) and ask for Acheke. It is usually sold frozen.

For this post, I decided to to try something different by frying the fish instead of grilling.

Serves 1.

Ingredients

  • Acheke
  • 1 Whole Fish (Grilled or Fried)
  • Tomatoes (2)
  • Dried / Fresh Pepper
  • Onions
  • Salt
  • Single Knorr Cube
  • 1/4 Tsp Curry Powder
  • 1/4 Tsp Thyme
  • Parsley Leaves (optional)
  • Vegetable Oil

Note: Extra acheke should be stored in the freezer.  It is also better to prepare this last so it hot when ready to serve.

Steps

Acheke after defrosting in microwave.

  • Microwave frozen acheke for about 3 – 4mins.
  • Set aside desired amount to cook in another microwave-able plate putting back the rest of the acheke in the freezer
  • Using your fingers, separate lumps till it becomes grainy (like raw garri or couscous). If it feels dried out sprinkle water over it and rub in with your finger tips once again separating into grains.
  • Place back into microwave for about 1min.
  • Acheke should be a bit moist so if dry after microwaving , sprinkle water as needed
  • Season with 1/4 of knorr, 1/4 Tsp of vegetable oil. Mix to together.
  • Acheke is ready.

To prepare the sauce,

  • Nicely chop washed tomatoes, fresh pepper (for this post, I used 1 small fresh pepper as I don’t eat a lot of pepper), 2 slices of onions.

  • In a clean dry pot, pour a little bit of vegetable/olive oil and heat under mid-low flame. (Need to keep that heart healthy ;))

Vegetable/Olive Oil to be used

  • Stir fry the onions for about 1min and pour in the chopped tomatoes and pepper. Stir fry for another 3 mins.
  • Add salt to taste, rest of the knorr cube, 1/4 Tsp of curry powder and 1/4 Tsp thyme. Mix and allow to fry till the tomatoes and pepper are cooked.
  • Under very low heat to prevent the sauce from over cooking, if using fried fish, put in the fish and stir to allow the sauce to mix well with the fish.

Serve with Kelewele or regular fried plantains and a glass of cool drinking water.

Fufu & Light Soup

Serves 1

Ingredients

Fufu

  • Neat fufu
  • Water

Light Soup

  • Whole tomatoes (4)
  • Fresh red pepper (2-3)
  • Onions (1 small sized)
  • Meat (beef / goat / chicken)
  • Maggi & salt

Steps

Fufu

    • Pour 2 handfull of fufu powder into a clean dry pot and mix properly with water into a thick paste. Ensure to stir properly to prevent lumps in fufu

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    • Put on medium heat and stir. As it gets thicker, begin to knead into a dough.

    • When fufu formed a neat dough, and doesn’t taste floury, fufu is ready. If it still taste raw of floury cover and allow to cook for another 15mins kneading every 5mins to prevent the bottom from burning. When done, remove from heat. Tip: Notice that fufu doesn’t stick to pot anymore while kneading.

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Light Soup

  • Wash tomatoes, pepper and onions. Remove stem of pepper and remove head of onions.
  • Put whole tomatoes, pepper and onions into a clean pot and add 1 cup of water and bring to boil. In the meantime, steam meat.

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  • Remove whole tomatoes, pepper and onions and blend. Don’t discard the boiled water
  • Pour back blended tomatoes into the boiled water, cook for 15 mins then pour the meat stock, add maggi, salt and bring to boil for about 5 mins. Add meat and boil for another 10 mins.
  • Optional step: Sieve the soup to get the clear light look of the soup
  • Light soup is ready.

To serve Ghanaian style, mould fufu into a ball and place in the center of a deep wide bowl. Pour soup with lots of meat over the fufu.

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Zobo Drink

Zobo as it is called in Nigeria, is a very popular drink across Africa. It is also known as Bisap in Ghana and is a very tasty and healthy drink. It is very high in vitamins and has a lot of antioxidants. Great for a hot afternoon.

Makes 1 liter.

Ingredients

  • Dry zobo leaves (dried hibiscus flowers)
  • Pineapple chunks
  • Water
  • Sugar
  • Ginger
  • Garlic

Steps

  • Put 3 hand full of zobo leaves in a clean bowl

Dry Zobo leaves

  • Wash zobo leaves briefly in water as they are usually dusty. Don’t worry about the bleeding, there is more color where that came from. Pick out any sticks or dirt that may be in it. Place in a clean pot

  • Put in 6-8 pineapple chunks, pour in 1 liter of water and cook for 5 mins

  • Add 1/2 Tsp of garlic & thinly sliced garlic (more ginger = more zesty flavor)
  • Cook for 30 mins to allow the leaves & pineapples to soften. Add more water and stir.

  • Remove from heat & allow to cool completely
  • Now take scoops of leaves & pineapples and squeeze out the juice from it, putting aside squeezed batches.
  • Seive the rest to remove all leaves.
  • Using a tight seive or a cloth, sieve again to remove fine particules
  • Add sugar or desired sweetener to taste, stir & turn into bottles or water jug then chill in fridge
  • Zobo is ready to serve

Can be served with a slice of lemon & ice cubes.

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