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 is a fried black eyed pea fritter. 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.
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 called Ceebu Jen) , there was a mini war for my food heart. This Thieboudienne: Senegalese Jollof Rice and Fish recipe is a mouth watering rice and fish dish that is like nothing I had before.
I struggled for a little while coming up with the title of this recipe. As some of you may know, this picture looks like your typical egusi soup, but it is not. I, like many people I know live in “abroad”, which means I don’t always have easy access to African ingredients. Luckily for me, I do have an African store close by, so I don’t always struggle to find my home ingredients. Truth be told, African stores don’t come close to providing as much variety as is found back home, but… it meets the needs here just fine. One day however, I was out of Egusi…
I love when my mom or my mother-in-law (aka my other mom) come over to my home to spend sometime with me. I always learn a ton from them, especially in the kitchen and in the market place. On a recent visit from my mother-in-law, I re-discovered my love for eggplant / garden egg stew. My mom and I went to an Asian market that had tons of produce, we were picking out vegetables when we spotted some Thai-eggplants or as we call them at home, garden eggs. We decided to pick them up and make a simple yet delicious eggplant/garden egg stew.
A while back, I shared my puff puff recipe and while I raved about my love for those drop donuts, I have a new fried love: Nigerian buns. It might be because there is no wait time for the mixture to rise, or that I prefer the texture in general, but I currently prefer Nigerian buns over puff puff any day. Now, this love is kind of complicated because I generally do not like the way buns is prepared sometimes. I like the simple and easy version of buns, no milk, no eggs. Eggs change the texture of buns to one I find undesirable, and milk gives it an odd flavor that I personally do not prefer. This recipe shows how to make Nigerian buns without dairy, eggs or any fuss and yet still get that fluffy texture and great taste!
When I had fish rolls as a kid they sucked! My mom never made fish rolls, and the ones that I bought from street vendors and fancy restaurants sucked! Then I grew up and made friends from Cameroon that made awesome fish rolls; nothing like what I had as a kid. A perfect combination of a crisp and light crust with a savory fish filling. Let me tell you the story of how I shifted from hating fish rolls and share the recipe that made me fall in love with them.
I’m sure most of us have already come up with (and hopefully not yet broken) some new year resolutions. If you’re like me, the majority of your new year resolutions tend to focus on a more healthy lifestyle. One specific resolution I made this year was to eat more vegetables in 2015, I even bought a squash the other day… (still not sure what I’ll be making with it, but more on that later). One of my favorite vegetables is spinach, and though that word sometimes triggers distasteful memories of its bland taste usually unmasked by boring recipes, or disguised in green smoothies, allow me to introduce you to a very common Nigerian recipe that will change the way you feel about this vegetable forever! This spinach stew locally known as “Efo Riro” is guaranteed to be one of the most savory and delicious spinach recipes you will ever taste.