Beans & Garri

Funke Koleosho's Beans & Garri

When it comes to the most staple of Nigerian dishes, it does not get any better than Beans and Garri. It is easy and straight forward to make, made from the most frugal ingredients accessible to every single Nigerian, and above all its nutritionally balanced...!

Fruits! Fruits!! Fruits!!!

Funke Koleosho's Nigerian Fruits Platter

"Fruits are nature's sweets"....Marge Simpson.

Check out some fruits found in Nigeria...

Egusi, Plantain & Prawns Platter

Egusi, Plantain & Prawns Platter

Next to yams, plantains come second as the main staple source of food for Nigerians. I have written a couple of detailed posts on these two food ingredients, highlighting some of their nutritional benefits.

I love both ingredients and tend to continuously experiment with ways of cooking and serving them in a nutritionally balanced manner.

Spicy Eggy Toast

Funke Koleosho's Spicy Eggy Toast

I am revisiting a rather old breakfast recipe today. This actually takes me back many many years ago when I first had a taste of an eggy bread (a variation of toad in a hole). It was soggy and greasy, and even though I ate it with delight because it was something different to what I had ever had and relatively tasty, I rarely made it for myself. I only had it in other peoples' homes!

Zobo Jelly Apple Cups

Funke Koleosho's Zobo Jelly Apple Cups

My daughter is fun loving and quite creative too. She loves to try new things especially snacky snacks or desserts/sweet recipes. The other day she cored out an apple and when I saw it, I exclaimed, you can fill that up with some exciting stuff...! to which she nodded in agreement.

Boiled Yam With Spicy Scrambled Eggs

Funke Koleosho's Boiled Yam with Scrambled Eggs

Yam is a delicious, energy rich staple eaten across West Africa as potatoes are eaten in Europe. (Read a little more about yams in one of my previous posts here).

Zobo & Grape Juice Drink

Funke Koleosho's Zobo & Grapes

The hibiscus flower (also known as sorrel, roselle or zobo in Nigeria) produces a really healthy drink which is delicious served either hot or cold. (Read more about zobo/sorrel, roselle here).

In fact, I consider this drink a tonic because it has all the characteristics required to categorize it as such. From its intense deep pink colour to its very sharp taste, this drink is most suitable to make a really seductive and refreshing drink that you can have any time of the day; a hot tea in the morning or a refreshingly chilled drink on a sunny summer day.

Grilled Garden Eggs

Funke Koleosho's Grilled Garden Eggs

Garden eggs are mostly eaten raw, often times with some peanut butter. But they can also be stewed with tomatoes and onions and served with boiled or pounded yam.

My memories of eating garden eggs when I was growing up are quite pleasant. I have had some experience hand picking the fruits from a nearby farm belonging to my father's friend (baba yaya) many many years ago. I remember how excited I was to find large fully matured ones and how I enjoyed digging my teeth into them.

Steamed Garden Eggs with Yam Thins & Smoked Salmon

Funke Koleosho's Steamed Garden Eggs

You can make a really quick meal from steamed garden eggs, some smoked salmon and yam. Serve as breakfast light lunch or dinner. Here is how:

Garden Egg & Yam Salad

Funke Koleosho's Garden Egg & Yam Salad

Here is another of my exciting Garden Eggs recipes. (Read a little more about Garden Eggs here...)

Its nothing more than a modern twist of the traditional boiled yam and garden egg sauce recipe.  Quite simple to make with really simple ingredients. The result is delicious and filling. This recipe makes an ideal light meal and can be served with warm or cold. I'd say its really well suited for those who are on a weight loss you may know, garden eggs are believed to support weight loss. So get cooking.

Food Profile - Garden Eggs

Garden Egg / African Eggplant
pic courtesy

The world knows about the large oval shaped deep purple vegetables called aubergines...well the equivalent in West Africa is Garden Eggs, also known as African Eggplants.

In Nigeria, the garden egg is seasonal and although technically a fruit, it is harvested and utilised as a vegetable. Garden eggs are well known across the country and commonly sold in open markets, but they are more prevalent in southern Nigeria.

Cashew Tropical Juice Drink

Cashew Tropical Juice

Processing cashew apples for their juice is not that common in Nigeria. I have not heard of any of my friends and family or colleagues in the culinary art for that matter, that makes juice from cashew apples or even use cashew juice in any of their recipes.

I know this cannot be because the fruit is not in abundance in Nigeria because it is. In fact, Nigeria is the 4th largest producer/exporter of cashew in Africa and 7th in the world...! I think it might be because we have not been that adventurous enough. Or quite simply, we don't know what to do with the fruit other than eat the fibrous apples while fresh and make nuts from its seeds! (Read more about Cashew Apples here)

Food Profile - Cashew Apples

Cashew Fruit
(pic courtesy: google images)

After so many years of seeing and eating cashew apples, I was so excited to see them being displayed on trays in Epe market, the other day. I begged my husband to stop the car...!!! I have to buy some.

It was such an exciting sight for me. I haven't seen this fruit physically for over 15 years.... It was a special moment for me to actually touch the cashew apples and eat them again. It was also quite special to tell my daughter about them and help her experience the unique taste of cashew apples!

Bean Blinis with Smoked Prawns & Mixed Veggies

Bean Blinis with Smoked Prawns & Mixed Veggies

A natural progression from my previous Bean Pancakes are Bean Blinis...! Blinis are a type of pancakes made in miniature sizes and more commonly used to make party canapes in combination with a wide variety of other ingredients including meat, fish vegetables etc.

Isu Epo (Yam with Peppers + Prawns Sauteed in Red Palm Oil )

Boiled Yam and Peppers + Prawns sauteed in Red Palm Oil

Unashamedly, I am a Yoruba girl through and through, so little wonder that I get my share of food moments when I just want to eat something really traditional, in the traditional way.

My grandmother on my mother's side often told me about the sorts of food they snacked on....cause in her time the main course usually had to be pounded yam. All other sorts of foods were snacks, something to "hold the tummy" until dinner time.

Vegetable Egg Roll

Funke Koleosho's Vegetable Egg Roll

I have always wanted to post an egg roll recipe on my blog, so when the other day, I watched a video of a Chinese chef make an Asian version, I was inspired.

Eggs are wonderful and they are just an amazing ingredient to use to create delicious and nutritious meals in minutes. They are versatile and universal. There is no nation on earth, that I know of that do not eat eggs.

Bean Pancake with Smoked Prawns & Mixed Veggies

Bean Pancake with Smoked Prawns & Mixed Veggies

Pancakes are one of the most popular things to eat for breakfast across the world especially in western countries. There are different variations of this dish and because the principal ingredient is flour, different substitutes are used to create a somewhat healthier version.

My Bean Pancakes  recipe demonstrates a totally radical approach to create something which looks like and feels like the real thing. But to die hard regular pancake lovers, I have to say that the taste is different...however, bean pancakes are equally delicious, have their own peculiar flavours and taste and are more importantly a healthier alternative to regular pancakes...!

Cococnut Rice

Funke Koleosho's Coconut Rice

Today's recipe post is based on another way Nigerians love to eat cooking it with some coconut milk. Its really quite straightforward. I remember watching in one of the popular Nollywood movies, in which a lady wanted to create a good impression on her in-laws but had very little food stuff in her pantry. She had a backyard full of coconut trees and she thought she might serve that but she was told that the in-laws do not eat coconuts because it makes them cough. Then she said, if they don't love coconut, they would love coconut rice.....

Food Ideas - Velvet Tamarind Recipes

Funke Koleosho's Food Ideas - Velvet Tamarind Recipes

Discover some exciting tastes and flavours. Check out all of my Velvet Tamarind (Awin. Icheku) Recipes here

Food Ideas - Velvet Tamarind Recipes

Velvet Tamarind (Awin) Tea Cakes

Funke Koleosho's Velvet Tamarind (Awin) Tea Cakes

If you are not familiar with Velvet Tamarind, then check out my previous post on this exciting, exotic fruit here. You will find everything (almost) that you need to know about this fruit including its nutritional data... Black Velvet Tamarind !

Velvet tamarind (awin or icheku as its called in local some Nigerian dialects) is such a special fruit. Most other fruits come with a lot of juice in them but the velvet tamarind comes as a powdery and dry pulp encased in a velvet like shell, hence its name... velvet tamarind. Its taste I can only describe as sweet, sour and fragrant.

Creamy Coconut Yam Mash

Funke Koleosho's Creamy Coconut Yam Mash

My recipe today is an adaptation of the very popular Nigerian Yam dish called Asaro or Ebe in the Yoruba language. Asaro is basically made of yam, a combination of peppers tomatoes and onions and a generous helping of red palm oil. The dish created is best described as a pottage due to its dense and thick consistency.

Sometime ago, I had a chat with a friend of mine who caters for events, especially inter racial weddings. Her clients are typically western or westernised so she has done a lot in the area of modernising Nigerian cuisine to suit the western palette without loosing the Nigerian food identity.

Spicy Steamed (White & Red) Cabbage

Funke Koleosho's Spicy Steamed (White & Red) Cabbage

I am not a vegetarian but sometimes I just tire of eating meat or fish and crave something with just vegetables that still tastes like a normal meal to me....normal being something spicy served with my beloved spicy red pepper sauce, or what Nigerians generally call stew. (Get a recipe for making Nigerian Stew here)

I am so used to eating full flavoured, excitingly spicy, tasting meaty or fishy soups and stews, my taste buds sort of crave it now and again.

Food Ideas - Rice Recipes

Funke Koleosho's Food Blog - Rice Recipes

Check out all of my Rice Recipes here...

My Best Ever (Nigerian Style) Fried Rice

Funke Koleosho's Nigerian Style Fried Rice

My daughter loves fried rice...the Nigerian style one that is. She will choose fried rice over Jollof rice any day. So I tend to cook this dish quite often just for her sake. Over the years I have perfected my recipe for making fried rice and I believe this recipe has a sensational explosion of tastes and flavours, not to talk of the depths and textures contributed by the individual ingredients...!

Jollof Rice - Simplified

Funke Koleosho's Jollof Rice

I last posted a recipe on Jollof rice about two years ago and ever since, its been one of the most searched most popular posts on my blog! (Check out post here).

Jollof rice is popular and its popularity is forever growing. Jamie Oliver even has his own albeit controversial version of the traditional west African dish. (Read about Jollofgate here).

As you may expect, there are different variation of the dish and I usually am up for twists and turns added to the dish provided these would not take away from its true identity, the way West Africans eat and enjoy the dish...! (Read a little about the origin of Jollof Rice here)

Ugwu (Pumpkin Leaves) Scrambled Eggs

Funke Koleosho's Ugwu Scrambled Eggs

Still on the use of pumpkin leaves in non traditional soup recipes.

After successfully making Ugwu and Yam Omelette, I also tried making some scrambled eggs with some added shredded pumpkin leaves. It too, turned out quite nice. I could barely taste the ugwu leaves in the eggs, but it was savoury and delicious and I had a general sense of eating healthy...!

Ugwu (Pumpkin Leaves) & Yam Omelette

Funke Koleosho's Ugwu & Yam Omelette

Every corner I turn in the open markets of Lagos, I find abundant bunches of freshly picked Ugwu; pumpkin leaves. This is such a contrast to what we get in the UK where you only get fresh ones just once a week!

Everyone seems to be eating them and rightly so. This vegetable is so rich in minerals and vitamins its really a "sin" not to eat them. And if you already eat them, you should be eating them at least 5 times a week...! Yes they are that good for you. Today's post is about sharing ideas on how to eat Ugwu other than in your soup.

Some Golden Yellow Eko for Dessert...!?

Funke Koleosho's Golden Eko Dessert with sliced Water Apples

As a natural progression from Golden Morn Eko, I decided to create a little treat that can be served for dessert. I can hear many exclaim, Eko for dessert...!? but why not...

Custard has been successfully used to create a variety of dessert recipes, and since it too is made from corn/maize just like Eko, I figured that I can achieve a really good outcome.

Golden Morn Eko

Funke Koleosho's Golden Morn Eko

Still on my Golden Yellow Eko...(get recipe here).

Most breakfast meals are made from cereal grains and in particular maize/corn...Fact! I guess this is why the recipe in today's post works well. Preceding this post, I have shared my recipes on making Ogi and Eko from a paste made from fermented yellow maize. Traditionally, Ogi (akamu or koko) is eaten hot while the Eko (agidi) is a cooled down version of ogi and is eaten cold.

Golden (Yellow) Eko

Sequel to my post on Golden Yellow Ogi, I did not just stop there, I made an equally delightful looking Golden Yellow Eko aka Agidi. Has same taste and texture as its white counterpart. Check out my earlier post on Eko Tutu here.

It's really simple. Same method used to prepare regular Eko/Agidi is used to prepare this one too. The resultant dish, except this one has a brilliant golden yellow colour...!