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 Steam (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...!

Golden (Yellow) Ogi

Funke Koleosho's GoldOgi

I present to you GoldOgi... No, its not custard, and no colouring has been added. Its all natural ogi made from yellow maize!

Ogi is becoming one of my top choices when it comes to a breakfast meal. Combined with some good protein rich accompaniment such as moin moin, it can serve as a really easy to make and nutritionally balanced meal.

The Nigerian Fruit Bowl

The Nigerian Fruit Bowl

Fruits are nature's sweets...and they represent part of the human diet that provides vital micro nutrients required for the body to function efficiently. They come in all manner of exciting tastes, textures, flavours, shapes and sizes.  Its interesting to observe also how they vary from one continent, country to the next!

I love fruits and I aim to eat as many varieties as I can lay my hands on, as often as possible. I in fact seek out exotic ones, just so I can experience their tastes and textures and quite frankly admire the creator for His ingenuity and care for humans.

...Hello Beautiful Strangers...!

Hibiscus flower

Well! well!! well!!! It's been too long, so long. Let;s see, my last post was in February and we are here now..., April is running out!!!

I am so glad I can blog again.. after what has been a roller coaster ride for me in the past few weeks y'know, moving from here to there, family thingz, foodie thingz and such... It has been hectic but I am here now, and promise not to stay away this long again....

Food Ideas - Yam Recipes

Funke Koleosho's Yam Recipes

Check out all of my exotic yam recipes here...

Yam & Egg Bake

Funke Koleosho's Yam & Egg Bake

The recipe in today's post is inspired by a popular fast food chain in Nigeria...a menu item called Fiesta; made from eggs and potatoes. I love the fact that the dish can be served hot or cold, at breakfast, lunch or light dinner. It's excellent also for snacking. Its overall versatility is attractive for me and also, its a mixture of everything, carbs, protein, vegetables, essential fat... Its nutritionally complete...!

Many years ago I decided to experiment with the recipe, putting my spin on things. Then my Yam & Egg Bake recipe was born! It was a success and ever since, I have made the dish now and again especially when I am entertaining.

Yamarita - A Fun Yam Dish

Yamarita served with Nigerian bean hummus, avocado dip and ata dindin

Yams are like potatoes in Nigeria (and they are definitely not sweet potatoes as wrongly portrayed in some places.) They are a staple source of carbohydrates for Nigerians, nutritious and come in many varieties. Read more about yam in one of my previous posts here.

Yams can be cooked in a lot of different ways and as dictated by the variety, some cooking methods suit specific varieties than others. Name it, yams can be boiled, roasted, dip fried, baked, pounded, added to soups, etc.

Peppered Mixed Vegetables

Peppered Mixed Vegetables

I love my spices (chillies to be exact!) I do feel from time to time the need to add some to my food. Chillies are really versatile and may be added to virtually everything even chocolate...! The quantity added, of course, is the most crucial thing. Chillies are actually addictive...?! I would think. My recipe today is really simple and is a re-take on a previous one from last year.

Valentine's Love Bites II

Funke Koleosho's cucumber, spicy chicken & avocado "Love Bites"

This is a second recipe for  Valentine's day nibbles...serve with some chilled red wine and enjoy. Read my earlier post on Valentine's Love Bites 1 here.

Wishing you love...!

Valentine's Love Bites I

Funke Koleosho's Spicy Chicken, Avocado & Tomato "Love Bites"

Actually, I celebrate love everyday, but February the 14th serves as the "cherry on the cake" for all that I celebrate about the one(s) I love...!

This year I WILL/MUST be wined and dined..... no cooking for me...! I would just be enjoying the day and focusing on love; reflecting on life and making new plans for the future....hhmmhhmm.

Green Rice...

Funke Koleosho's Green Rice

There is white rice, and brown rice, even black rice...Now I present Green Rice!

I love colours in my food...! I can't get enough of cooking and eating colourful food. There is actually a benefit to eating colourful foods, I mean naturally colourful foods, not foods with added artificial colouring.

Coloured food contain a lot of nutritional benefits especially minerals, vitamins and anti-ageing compounds. For me personally, the mere mention that an ingredient contains high levels of anti-oxidants is enough to make me hunt it down and cook it..... I want to delay this ageing process as long as practicable... (hehehe)

Agbalumo + Ice-Cream; Excitingly Delish...!

Funke Koleosho's Agbalumo + Ice-cream

Two of my previous posts on agbalumo, from last year, have consistently remained in the 10 most popular posts from January this year and I began to wonder.....hhhmmm agbalumo is in season...that's why...!

Agbalumo, udara, udala (also known as African Star Apple) is so much loved in Nigeria and the reason is simple. The taste of this really exotic tropical fruit has to be experienced than described. It's a combination of tartness, with an exciting sweetness. And then there is the firm, some what chewy texture of the fleshy dark red pulp of the inner parts of the fruit that makes the experience of eating this fruit linger on and on...