Wednesday, 27 June 2012


I'm not a fan of beans, i won't even touch baked beans with someone else's spoon, fork, whatever but i would gladly eat akara (with pap for breakfast on a lazy day or dinner for a quick knockout) or moimoi any time of day especially with there's some nice ijebu garri to "drink" along with it. They are very similar in preparation, the major difference is in cooking; while the latter if fried, moimoi is steamed.

White beans
Salt and pepper
Cooked chopped liver (keep stock from the cooked liver)
Boiled Eggs
3 Raw eggs
Smoked fish (de-boned)
2 Tablespoons Vegetable oil
Ground dried crayfish
Leaves for wrapping moimoi or small plastic bowls

Picking beans is quite tiresome but something you absolutely have to do, in this case especially to get rid of stones. After separating beans from dirt, cover it with water to cover the beans and allow to sit for about 20 minutes to soften the skin. Wash beans the way you'd was a grimy pair of jeans you wore out on a muddy day, occasionally rubbing it between your palms. Rise and pour out skin and repeat till you have all the skin off. OR just go out and buy beans powder and re-hydrate it.

In a blender add tatashe and onions and a little water and blend, gradually add beans and blend till you have a smooth paste.

Add salt and pepper to taste and break in 2 eggs, eggs help to bind it all together. This is where you separate your beans paste into 2; half will be used for akara while the other for moimoi.

Add some oil for frying into a pan and allow to heat till its hot, if it isnt hot enough, your akara will soak up a lot of oil. Trust me, you don't wanna do this in a deep fryer, it will stick to the mesh of the sieve and just become a mess. Scoop akara into the pan with a pan and allow to fry for 2 minutes on both sides until brown, don't make your scoops too big so it cooks all the way through.

Serve with bread and pap.

For moioi, add your meat stock, 2 tablespoons of vegetable oil, fish, chopped liver, slices of cooked egg, 2 tablespoons of ground crayfish. taste for seasoning. If the paste is still too thick add a little more stock or water to loosen it up a bit so you moimoi doesn't come out hard.

Pour water into your steamer and start up or turn your pot into a steamer by putting a metal collander into your pot or put the cover of a smaller pot into your pot to cover with water just under the top of the smaller pot cover and cook covered.

Wash moimoi leaves and holding it by the stalk, roll it till you have a cone (kind of like the paper wrapper we used to buy groundnuts in some time ago. Bend the bottom stalk end backwards about a quarter way from the tip so it doesn't leak out of the bottom, scoop in your moimoi, bend the top together to get a sharp tip then bend it backwards in the same direction of the tip and lay it into your pot or steamer on the bent bits. Repeat till you've wrapped all your moi moi. OR

Scoop your moimoi into a plastic bowl 3/4 way full cos beans expands when it cooks so you don't want to fill it too much.

Remember to always check that there's still water in your pot or steamer. no steam, no cooking.
Cook for 45 minutes.

Allow to cool then unwrap and serve.

Enjoy! Food glorious food.

Thursday, 21 June 2012


Last night i tapped into my inner Garfield and made my very first and very successful lasagne. I was amazed at how really simple it was, cheap it isn't though, not with the amount of cheese that goes into it and how much cheese costs over here in Nigeria, but it was delicious and filling.

Lasagne pasta (preferably one that you don't need to cook before using for your lasagne)
1kg Minced beef (or chicken, or turkey, or pork)
450grm Jar White lasagne sauce
Chopped parsely
250grm Mozarella cheese
250grm White cheddar cheese
200grm Parmesan cheese
2 Tablespoons Worcestershire sauce
2 Tablespoons Tomato puree
Garlic and ginger
Salt and pepper
Chopped spring onions, green & yellow pepper, onions.
Sliced mushrooms and salami
Olive oil

Pour 2 - 3 tablespoons of olive oil and brown minced meat in a pot with salt, cracked black pepper, garlic, ginger, beef seasoning. When it has browned all over, add tomato puree and cover pot for 10 minutes, stirring from time to time to that it doesn't begin to burn and stick to the bottom of the pot. Add chopped onions, spring onions, peppers, parsley and worcerstershire sauce and allow to simmer for 5 minutes.

Allow minced meat to cool then add sliced mushroom and lasagne sauce to it and mix properly.

Grate your cheeses into separate bowls and set aside.

Wash basil and pick leaves off the stem - Basil is a very fragrant and flavourful herb found in a lot of Italian cooking. It is a very fragrant and flavourful herb, high in antioxidants and has been used traditionally to treat cough, diarrhea, warts, worms, constipation, headaches and kidney malfunction.

Lightly grease your casserole dish or baking tray with a little bit of olive oil then start with covering the surface with your minced meat/mushroom/lasagne sauce combo. Place some basil leaves and some salami.

Cover with a layer of cheddar and mozarella...

Add a little bit of salt and some more cracked black pepper then cover with lasagne pasta...

Continue layering, reserving some meat and lasagne sauce for the top. Completely cover your last layer, sprinkle some salt and black pepper, add whatever cheddar and mozarella you have left then blanket everything with your grated parmesan cheese.

The cheddar and mozarella in between the layers will melt and hold your lasagne together but the parmesan on top doesn't melt like the others, it has a sharp taste and browns th give a nice nutty flavour.

Pop in your pre heated oven and bake for 20 - 25 minutes.

Allow to cool for 10 minutes then slice up and serve.

And make someone moan...


Friday, 15 June 2012


Yeah yeah, we've all heard the saying that everybody's mother's soup is the sweetest but until very recently, the best pizza i'd ever had was made by my mum. Baking is something i dread because of the precise measurements needed but i decided to bite the bullet and just go for it. i have made the cracker and the toast variation of pizza before and i've made a pizza with store bought pizza dough but this time i decided i'd do it all by myself. How can i argue with my mum that i'm the new improved her if i'm taking shortcuts?...

For Pizza Dough
3 Cups of flour1/2 Teaspoon of yeast
2 Tablespoons of Olive oil
2 Tablespoons of Honey
1/4 cup Warm water
3/4 Cup cool water
2 Tablespoons melted butter

For Pizza Sauce and Topping
Can of diced Tomatoes
1 Tablespoon White wine vinegar
Teaspoon of Sugar
Teaspoon of Salt
Pureed Basil and parsley leaves - (fresh basil and parsley  leaves blended with a little water)
250grm Mozarella cheese
Green, red and yellow peppers
250grms Minced meat
Sliced mushrooms

In a small bowl, mix the salt, honey, olive oil and the cool water and set aside.
In another small bowl, mix yeast and warm water and set aside for ten minutes.
Combine both liquid mixtures and add flour 1 cup at a time. When u have it combined solid, transfer to a surface dusted with a little more four and knead gently until you have a smooth ball. Transfer dough into a bowl greased with your melted butter. Set aside for 30 minutes.

Now if you can't be bothered to make the pizza sauce you can buy a bottled one in the store but if you have some time on your hands, boil diced tomatoes, pureed basil and parsely, vinegar, teaspoon of salt and sugar  for 20minutes, break down any lumps with a potato masher or pass it through a sieve so you have a smooth paste. Set aside and allow to cool.

Lightly stir fry the minced meat with salt, pepper, meat seasoning and garlic. Slice up your salami and take the skin off, onions, peppers and mushrooms...

Get your dough out and roll out onto a slightly dusted surface, don't work it too much though. Transfer dough onto lightly greased pan and spread pizza sauce over dough. Cover with minced meat and in no particular order arrange salami, mushrooms, onions and peppers. 

Sprinkle salt, cracked black pepper and about 1 teaspoon of dried oregano.

Cover surface with mozarella cheese and pop into the oven for 25 minutes or until crust is cooked and browned. Wanna make your crust extra crunchy? Rub a little vodka on the edges with a basting brush. 

Allow to cool for a bit, slice up, serve and enjoy.


Friday, 1 June 2012


This was my 1st attempt at a fluffy pancake, and i confidently score myself a happy 80%. This will be a 2 recipe post; my regular flat pancakes and this fluffy creation.

1 Cup flour
3/4 Cup of milk
2 Table spoons white vinegar
2 Tablespoons white sugar
1 Egg
1 Teaspoon baking powder
1/2 Teaspoon baking soda
2 Tablespoons melted butter
Cooking spray or butter to fry the pancakes
You can add additional flavour to your pancakes by adding a few drops of vanilla essence or a teaspoon of cinnamon...

If you want to make the flat pancake, it couldn't be easier, i discovered a foolproof way of ensuring this. Throw all of your ingredients (except the baking powder and soda which you won't be needing) into your blender or food processor and blend away. You will get a lump free batter of the smoothest consistency. All you need do is fry, roll up and serve with whatever topping you choose.

The fluffy pancake however can't be mixed in a blender cos you need to incorporate air into the batter, the air makes it rise, making it light and fluffy. This can only be done with a hand mix and with the help of the 2 ingredients that are excluded in the flat one.

Mix your liquids in a bowl with sugar and egg until it's all properly combined then gradually add your flour. Keep whisking steadily till you have eliminated all lumps. Add your butter into a little bowl and melt in the microwave for just 5 seconds, pour into the mix with baking soda and baking powder.

As you keep mixing you will notice that it will start to get air pockets and rise a bit, at this point your batter is ready.

Grease your pan and fry your pancakes in batches. When you notice air pockets come up to the surface and pop, gently lift one side with a spatula to check if its cooked, this should happen in about 2 minutes, if it is then flip over, if not let it sit for another 30 seconds or so. Fret not if the 1st one doesn't come out right, they hardly ever do. 

Serve with chocolate spread, lemon juice, powdered sugar, jam and whipped cream... knock yourself out.