The other day I shared my recipe for Moi moi, and if you recall, I said that Moi moi was one of my favorites, but that I had other dishes that were also on my favorite list. Akara is another favorite of mine and is quite easy to make. Nigerian Akara is similar to Moi moi, but unlike Moi moi that is steamed, Akara are fried black eyed pea fritters. The texture and taste of Akara and Moi moi are worlds apart, but they use very similar ingredients.
Not too long ago, if you asked me what my favorite food was, I would have said Moi moi, hands down. Nowadays, I have a handful of favorite foods, but Moi moi remains close to the top of the list. Moi moi (also called moin moin) is a delicious, savory steamed bean pudding made commonly in Nigeria from a mixture of blended black eyed peas or beans, peppers, onions, and spices. This moi moi recipe uses smoked trout in the Moi moi, but you can switch it out for any other cooked fish, corned beef, boiled eggs, or omit the animal protein altogether and make it vegan.
Groundnut soup is what peanut stew is commonly called in Nigeria. It is a nutty, savory, spicy and totally delicious peanut stew usually eaten with a starch like rice or eba. Peanut stews differ considerably by region, so I look forward to sharing with everyone my discoveries of its different variations. I tasted my first groundnut soup as a child in Lagos, Nigeria and… it was terrible! It was really bad guys, I can’t lie. After that first time, it was years till I found my love for groundnut soup or peanut stew again. Let me tell you the story…
Some people have asked me for my jollof rice recipe; to those I say, “hold please”. I, just like most other west Africans love jollof rice, but sometimes, I want a quick and easy jollof flavor that does not require me making jollof rice. In came my jollof couscous that takes only 20 minutes to prepare. I then became low-key addicted to quick and easy jollof recipes. I have also always loved pasta, so the no-brainer next step was to make a jollof spaghetti. My goal in making this recipe was to make sure it tasted like jollof, not spaghetti and sauce, and if I have to say so myself: I nailed it.
I am trying not to start my recipe posts with the usual “I love…”, so here goes my attempt. Once upon a time, I was introduced to a Senegalese restaurant in downtown Baltimore by one of my dear Cameroonian friends. This trip created a soft spot in my food heart (aka my belly) for Senegalese cuisine. As a Nigerian myself, I thought that nothing could rival Nigerian food in this spot, but after I tasted the National dish of Senegal, Thieboudienne (also known as Ceebu Jen, riz au poisson, thiébou dieune, tíe biou dienne and thieb-ou-djien) , there was a mini war for my food heart. This Thieboudienne recipe is a mouth watering rice and fish dish that is like nothing I had before.