Pick & Dip Platter

Funke Koleosho's Pick & Dip Platter

The festive season in upon us, and its time for wining and dining...! As expected, I get to host lots of friends and family during this season and sometimes, truthfully, I run out of ideas of what to serve. This situation worsens by the fact that I always want to serve something different, something new to excite my guests. So you can see, its a real brain storm session in the kitchen over what to serve.

Stewed Spinach Omelette

Funke Koleosho's Stewed Spinach Omelette

Still on finding lighter ways to serve my stewed spinach... This recipe may sound unusual, but you've got to trust me.... it is delicious, simple to make and full of goodness. I am serving with some boiled yam, to make the dish nutritionally balanced.

Stewed Spinach Sandwich

Spinach gives you strength, so says Popeye!

Funke Koleosho's Stewed Spinach Sandwich

West Africans love their greens (even though its much preferred cooked/stewed than eaten raw.) Different types of green leafy vegetables are collectively referred to as spinach, and they can be cooked alone, with added fish, meat or combined with other vegetables, seeds (e.g. melon seeds) or nuts (groundnuts).

Eko Tutu

Funke Koleosho's Eko tutu served with Egusi Soup

What do grits, polenta and eko tutu have in common...? They are all made from maize/corn, even though they undergo somewhat different types of processing. It's actually quite fascinating how same ingredients are processed and utilised in different ways in different regions!

Beans & Plantain

Funke Koleosho's Beans & Plantain

Beans and plantains are a match made in foodie heaven...! They go so well together, with the beans providing your dose of protein and the plantain providing carbs, good carbs that is, the one which releases energy slowly. (Read more about Nigerian brown beans and plantain here)

Plantain Recipes


Do you love plantains? Have you tried plantains? Are you looking for some inspiration on how to cook plantains?.... Check out all my delicious, creative plantain recipes here.

The Jollof Rice Saga (#JollofGate)

jollofgate
Jollof Rice served with mixed Vegetables

Two days ago, Twitter was on fire with tweets and comments, mostly protesting Jamie Oliver's twist on the much loved West African rice dish - Jollof Rice!

First, I would like to state that I am all for creative and innovative cooking....from my recipes, it is clear that I do not shy away from experimenting with ingredients with the aim to discover/achieve new tastes and flavours.....but even I, can only go so far.... while making my creations, I always bear in mind and show respect for the originality and passion that people hold, for which the dish is known and loved.

Understanding Nigerian Spices - Uda

Uda - Nigerian Spice

Another interesting spice indigenous to West Africa is the guinea or negro pepper locally known as uda. This spice is used for its aromatic crisp flavour. Not quite sure why it is described as a pepper cause it does not impart any peppery heat?...

Understanding Nigerian Spices - Aridan

Aridan - Nigerian Spice
pic courtesy - chefaporter.com.br

The tetrapleura tetraptera tree is common to West Africa and it produces a rare and unusual spice with exceptional fragrant, sweet and aromatic properties. This spice is called Aridan (Yoruba dialect) or prekese by the Ghanaians.

Understanding Nigerian Spices - Kanafuru

Kanafuru - Nigerian Spice

Yes, cloves grow in Nigeria where they are locally referred to as kanafuru. They are a traditional spice but are more commonly used in traditional medicine such as agbo or aseje, this is more common in Yoruba speaking areas.

Understanding Nigerian Spices - Ehuru

Shelled Ehuru - African Nutmeg

Ehuru, also known as African nutmeg, Calabash nutmeg or Jamaican nutmeg, is a seed used as a spice for its fragrant / aromatic properties. In traditional Nigerian cooking (particularly with the Yoruba and Igbo people of Nigeria), it is added to soups or stews and also used in traditional medicine concoctions.

Yellow Pawpaw

Yellow Pawpaw with bits of Coconut and Cantaloupe melon

In Nigeria. the term "Yellow Pawpaw" is jokingly used to refer to someone who is light skinned, (especially women)....but actually it is a term that describes over-ripe papaya. Such would have an all round yellow colouration on the skin and the fruit flesh/meat will be soft and sometimes mushy.

Back To Basics - Seafood Medley with Soaked Ijebu Gari

Back to Basics - Seafood Medley with Soaked Ijebu Gari

As I absolutely love experimenting with food and creating wonderful fusions, there are days that I just want the simplicity of Nigerian local delicacies, served the way they are meant to be served, though with a little "caveat", they still need to tally with my healthy eating agenda...! From now on, I will differentiate such recipes with the tag BToB - meaning Back To Basics.

Steamed Sea Bass with Locust Beans & Mixed Peppers Sauté

Funke Koleosho's
Steamed Sea Bass with Locust Beans & Mixed Peppers Sauté

Fish is best enjoyed at its freshest state. From sea straight onto the cooking pan! Getting fresh fish is not always possible, because, believe me, most fish sold as fresh are actually a couple days old. Most have been caught and chilled over some days before they are sold. To get fresh fish, your best bet is at a fish market...

Smoked Mackerel Salad

Funke Koleosho's Smoked Mackerel Salad

Smoked mackerel is typically added to soups and stews or fried and eaten with other dishes. But this very nutritious fish can also be enjoyed in other ways. (Read more about the nutritional value of smoked mackerel here.)

Smoked Mackerel Sandwich

Funke Koleosho's Smoked Mackerel Sandwich

Another simple recipe using smoked mackerel... quick, easy and satisfying especially when served with a hot or cold drink of choice. (Read more about smoked mackerel here)

Smoked Mackerel

Smoked Mackerel

"Eja Yiyan, Ofooro"....that's the Yoruba name for smoked mackerel!

Sandwich Platter... (With A Spicy Twist)

Funke Koleosho's Sandwiches...with a kick.

Sandwiches are foreign to Nigerians, and though the average Nigerian would not request a sandwich for lunch, sandwiches are quite popular with a class of Nigerians especially those who work with expatriates. Speaking with my good friend back home recently, apparently, sandwiches are becoming common to serve especially at corporate lunch events.

"Plantaintouille"

Provence Ratatouille + West African Plantain yields..... "Plantaintouille" .....!!!!!

Funke Koleosho's "Plantaintouille"

I first encountered this dish from watching a children's animation film of the same name. The movie was really fun to watch with my daughter who also quite enjoys cooking!

"Peppery" Egg Pita Pocket

Funke Koleosho's "Peppery" Egg Pita Pocket

For some background details, read my previous post on "Peppery" Chicken Pita Pocket, a very simple sandwich recipe which offers a somewhat different alternative to regular chicken sandwich.

"Peppery" Chicken Pita Pocket

Funke Koleosho's "Peppery" Chicken Pita Pocket

For my fellow country men who do not know what pita (or pitta) is, it is a type of flat, slightly leavened, oval shaped bread (origin: Middle Eastern countries). It can be opened to form a pocket which can be filled to make excellent sandwiches. Any thing ranging from fish, meat or vegetable fillings can be packed into the pockets to make some of the most satisfying and filling brunches, lunches or light dinner. Pita bread can also be used for dipping if served with some sauce.

Dodo-Veggies

Funke Koleosho's Dodo Veggies

Following through in a "series" of fried plantain (dodo) et al.... combinations, I present Dodo-Veggies. Dead simple to make using the same methods as Gizzardo, Doro Dodo-Prawns & Dodo Prawns. Delicious to eat and particularly good for vegetarians! Try it out...

Gizzardo

Funke Koleosho's Gizzardo

Gizdodo, gizzard-dodo, dodo-gizzard all refer to a very popular, fried plantain and peppered chicken gizzard combo.

Doro Dodo-Prawns

Funke Koleosho's Doro Dodo-Prawns

There is a music craze sweeping through Nigeria, current (well almost), and its called DoroBucci (by Marvin Record Co)....

Prawns-Dodo

Funke Koleosho's Prawns Dodo

Gizdodo, gizzardo, dodo-gizzard all refer to a very popular, recent food creation, among Nigerian caterers...

Chicken Gizzard & Yam Broth

Funke Koleosho's Chicken Gizzard & Yam Broth

I came up with today's recipe when I was looking for a real comfort food....something I could have in the early evening, that's also capable of filling me up, without feeling stuffed, and no further need to have dinner...... I came up with Chicken Gizzard & Yam Broth...!

Booli and Peanut Butter

Funke Koleosho's Booli with Peanut Butter

Booli is roasted plantain and this, according to popular saying in Nigeria, is the "common man's food! How true that is! The stuff is abundant and readily sold on major street corners around lunch time, catering to every day worker....served with roasted groundnuts.

Pépè Rose

Funke Koleosho's Pépè Rose
Served as a Topping/Garnish

I remember from many years back, the Ghanaian wife (Rose) of a family member used to make a salsa style dip/sauce which she served with fried yam. I remember her telling us then, that back in her native Ghana, this sauce was made and served raw, no cooking required, just grinding in a mortar and drizzled with oil....but because her husband had not taken a liking to eating the sauce raw, she had applied a little modification to it, she put it through a bit of heat processing.

Grilled Grapefruit

Funke Koleosho's Grilled Grapefruit

This very simple recipe is culled from my cooking App; Cook!Nigerian (available for instant download on iTunes App Store.

Yam with Garden Egg Sauce

Funke Koleosho's Yam with Garden Egg Sauce
Culled from Funke Koleosho's Cook!Nigerian App

What we refer to as garden eggs in Nigeria are vegetables, in the same botanical family as aubergines but are a lot smaller, with incredible shiny and waxy skin. Garden eggs (unlike egg plants - aubergines which are purple in colour) come in two main colours: white or green. Some come as a variegated combination of both colours.