Nigerian Flavours

How to make Plantain Flambé using Irish Whisky

A plantain flambé is not something you’ve most likely heard of. When you think of a flambé the first thing that comes to most people’s minds are steaks, Baked Alaska, and banana foster among other vegetables, fruits and desserts. So why has no one thought to flambé a plantain? Plantain which I consider the rich aunty to banana is the perfect vegetable to caramelise in hot flames. I present to you an indulgent recipe that turns classic simple ingredients into a decadent dessert. Ingredients needed for the Plantain Flambé Step 1 – Peel the skin off the ripe plantain, cut it in half then slice each half horizontally into quarters that can lay flat on a pan. Start with perfectly ripe plantain, that is yellow with black spots and soft to the touch. Ripe soft plantains are naturally sweet like bananas and are great for desserts. As I said in my articles on 4 Ways to Prepare Plantain Around the World, “Plantains are the bridge between a potato and a banana“. For this recipe, we are leaning more on the side of a sweet banana taste using plantains which in my opinion when cooked absorbs flavour better than bananas. Step 2 – Sizzle some butter on a hot pan and sear the chopped plantain in it. You can use whatever grease of your choice but I highly recommend full-fat butter for maximum decadence. Place a pan over medium-high heat and add the butter. Once the butter is melted and starts to bubble, place each piece of plantain on the pan with the flat side lying down. Sear on both sides until golden brown. Step 3 – Add the Cinnamon sticks and sugar. Cinnamon sticks are great for infusing a dish with flavour without influencing the texture. Thus, I recommend you avoid substituting it for cinnamon powder in this recipe. Toss the whole cinnamon sticks into the pan and evenly sprinkle the brown sugar all over the plantains. Let the plantains caramelise on one side then turn to the other side. Step 4 – Pour in the liquids and get ready for the flambé Pour in a dash of vanilla extract, although this is optional, it adds an extra depth of flavour. Follow with the whisky – I’m using ‘Shanky’s Whip’ whisky which already has a vibrant vanilla essence (Hence why the addition of vanilla extract is optional). Shake the pan a little to mix all the liquids and turn the plantain over to make sure each piece is coated with the whisky caramel. Step 5 – Make the plantain flambé by gliding a bit of the stovetop flames into the pan If you’re using a gas cooker (cooker/stove with flames), turn it up. Make sure you are standing as far from the pan and cooker as possible whilst still holding firmly to the handle of the pan. Carefully pull the pan at an angle where the side closest to you is lifted and the side farthest from you quickly comes in contact with the flames from the cooker. This will set the pan in flames, creating a nice flambe over the caramelised plantains. If you’re not using a cooker with flames, you can also use a kitchen lighter or preferably a butane torch lighter to put the flames in the pan. Immediately lay the pan back down on the stovetop and turn the cooker off. Leave the plantain flambe to sit until the flames gradually go out. Serve immediately with your choice of ice cream (I recommend a simple coconut or vanilla ice cream). Enjoy!

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4 Ways to Prepare Plantain Around the World (In honour of world plantain day).

So we all know what bananas are, but how about plantains? You know those green, sometimes yellow, or perhaps black/brownish banana-looking things you’ve seen maybe once or twice. Are you from an African country, some parts of Asia, Latin America, or the West Indies? Chances are that you are already quite familiar with plantains. If not, please allow me to take you on a journey with four ways to prepare plantain around the world in honour of world plantain day (June 5th). Plantains are of the same species as bananas but unlike the popular sweet fruit, the plantain is a vegetable. One that is typically cooked just like you would a potato. Yes, that’s it… plantains are the bridge between a potato and a banana. Although it is debatable that it is not best practice to eat them raw, allow me to let you in on a secret. Every kid that grew up eating plantain, like myself, has (out of impatience) munched on a slice of ripe plantain while waiting for the cooking. I don’t want to go into childhood tales here, but rather, let me give a few facts about plantains: Added Note: You can also find plantains as a source of alternative flour in gluten-free baking and cooking. Now that we’ve gone through the basics… Below are some of the most well-known plantain dishes from different parts of the world. Detailed recipes are included for you to try: Puerto Rican Mofongo: This traditional Puerto Rican dish is a hearty meal worth the effort. Mashed plantain can play the role of the main dish, as well as a great side dish. Enjoy this plantain recipe for a virtual trip to mouthwatering paradise. Nigerian Dodo / Jamaican Sweet plantain: Most Jamaicans know them as ‘Sweet Plantains’ but ‘Dodo’ is the Nigerian name for this delight. It is also the renowned accompaniment for the famous West-African jollof rice. This plantain recipe is most popular across West-African countries and the West Indies. Ghanian Kelewele: This is a spicier version of fried sweet plantains. This popular Ghanaian snack or side dish saves you from throwing away very ripe plantains. If they have dark spots and are nearly going bad, just chop them into bites size, toss them with spices, fry them, and enjoy. Typically serves as a snack with peanuts or as a side dish to many rice and/or bean-based meals. Nigerian Kpekere: This is another popular Nigerian plantain dish. It is a common street food across the country. Similar to the Puerto Rican Tostones, these deep-fried green plantains are great to snack on during work, studying, on the road, chilling, or when taking a break. Other popular plantain dishes:

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How to make Moi-Moi with Lentils and Tuna

How to make Moi-Moi with lentils – A Nigerian Savoury Pudding

As a Nigerian delicacy typically made with black eyed beans, making Moi-Moi with lentils is easier, quicker, vibrant and taste just as delicious. Moi-Moi is a traditional Nigerian dish typically made from black-eyed beans. It is a savoury pudding made from blending beans, peppers, onions, seasonings, oil and water into a smooth puree. The preparation usually involves whipping the puree vigorously and wrapping it in African serendipity berry leaves (commonly known as a soft cane in Nigeria). However, banana or plantain leaves are also commonly used to wrap Moi-Moi and other dishes in Nigeria. Moi-Moi is a very versatile dish. It can be eaten as a main course. As a side commonly served with rice dishes. Also a popular dish on a Nigerian party buffet. Makes a perfect accompaniment to Smoky Party-Style Jollof Rice. Also commonly eaten for breakfast/brunch with Nigerian pap (a fermented corn porridge). It is also a common street food that makes a great quick lunch on a busy day. Why Lentils? The classic Moi-Moi recipe with beans is a tedious one. Traditionally the beans must go through a process of soaking, using of hands to wash and removing their skin. Blending the beans in a puree also requires a heavy-duty blender or food processor. Additionally, the time for the beans based Moi-Moi to cook takes at least 1 hour. Lentils on the other hand is a more convenient option and tastes just as delicious. You can hardly tell the difference. For this Moi-Moi recipe I’m using red split lentils, here’s why: Cooking time: Takes less time to cook in comparison to regular beans. The cooking time is basically slashed in half. Soaking is optional: You can soak the lentils if you are not confident in the strenght of your food processor. However most food processor can break down lentils into a fine paste or powder (lentils flour) Vibrant colour: I do not recomment using green lentils or any other colours. Typically smoked vibrant red paprika peppers (tatashe) are added to traditional moi-moi to boost its colour. However, the red lentils already provides a vibrant base. Nutritional Benefits: Although lentils have similar nutritional structure to beans. Lentils are higher in protein and lower in carbs than beans. They are also a source of polyphenols and carry a lesser amount of phytates. View this post on Instagram A post shared by Immaculate Ruému (@immaculateruemu) The original recipe for moi-moi made with lentil and cooked in food pouches. I came up with this moi-moi recipe about 3 years ago. I received some cooking pouches that I wanted to try and I had a craving for Moi-Moi also. So I grabbed what was available in my pantry at that time (lentils) and whipped up my first ever lentil Moi-Moi puree. It was perfect. Soft, light, filling, easy to make, melted in my mouth and delicious. cooking the Moi-Moi in pouches are perfect for commercial use especially when you don’t have access to the soft cane or plantain leaves. Likewise, if you need to serve them in disposable packaging at events. Moi-Moi made with lentils can also be baked in the oven over a pool of water. Similar to how cheesecake is made. You can use ramekins or baking tins for the baked version. For the steamed in a pot version, you can use the pouches as seen above. Additionally, you can use cooking jars that are reusable. Frequently asked questions about making and serving Moi-Moi with lentil Q: What do you serve it with? A: This Lentil Moi-Moi can be served the same way simply cooked lentil is served. You can also use it as a spread on bread or as a filling in pies. Q: Do the lentil require soaking beforehand? A: No, soaking the lentils is not necessary. However, you can soak them if believe your food processor is not strong enough to break the unsoaked lentils. Q: Similar to beans, do lentils cause gas? A: As with most legumes., lentils contain FODMAPS that can cause bloating and excessive gas production. This is different for everyone. If you have a sensitivity to bloating and the like, I would recommend soaking the lentils for at least an hour before using them. This has been known to reduce the symptoms of bloating or excessive gas. Q: Do you eat it cold, room temperature or warm? A: There is no right or worng answer. How moi-moi is eaten is based on personal preference. I prefer it warm and that is how I recommend it to most people. However I’ve also eaten moi-moi at room temperature and it was still delicious. Moi-Moi is a dish that is usually filled with protein before cooking. However, this is optional. The most common choice of proteins is fish. Others are eggs, corned beef or shrimp. The first time making the lentil moi-moi, I used shrimps. Over time I have tried wit with various proteins and they all taste delicious. For this recipe, I used some canned tuna fillets. I also decided to add some fresh sprigs of parsley for an extra depth in flavour. It was mouthwatering.

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The Nigerian Chapman Cocktail Revised, Fresher And Better

The Nigerian Chapman Cocktail Revised, Fresher And Better

This Nigerian Chapman cocktail is the revised version of the common drink you can find only in Nigerian restaurants. The refreshing drink is usually made as a punch with a base of orange and lemon sodas. Alongside, grenadine syrup and a touch of Angostura bitters poured over a mix of sliced fruits, cucumber and ice. Unlike the popular Hibiscus beverage (zobo), the Nigerian Chapman is not a popular go-to beverage for gatherings or potlucks. Likewise, it is a great accompaniment to popular Nigerian dishes like Jollof. Although, it is delicious and a favourite to many Nigerians, it is unclear why this beverage still lurks in the dark. Tools you will need to make the chapman cocktail: cocktail shaker. a shot glass or Measuring Jigger. Serving glass. pestle or a cocktail muddler. I’m proud to collaborate with more than 30 Black recipe developers as we celebrate Black History Month 2022. This Virtual Potluck explores Black food through the lens of Afrofuturism. Our collaboration of recipes explores the intersection of the Black diaspora via culture, future, geopolitics, imagination, liberation, culture, and technology. Cook and share the inspiring recipes by checking out the list of participants below. Follow each participant and continue the discussion with us on social media using the hashtag #BHMVP2022! In the spirit of Afrofuturism, I have decided to put a spin on this refreshing drink. Hence, I’m taking a simple punch full of sugary sodas and revising it into an elegant cocktail. My Nigerian Chapman cocktail focuses on freshness. Using the juice of oranges and lime with a base of mashed cucumbers. Thus, replicating the day-old taste of cucumbers pickling in a punch. Similarly, the original Chapman is typically best enjoyed after chilling overnight in the refrigerator. I retained the core refreshing taste from the cucumbers and fizzling effect with the use of soda water. Therefore the only difference is that it’s fresher, with an addition of dry gin that turns it up a notch. Black History Month Potluck Participants List: Warm Brewed Zobo Drink by Dash of Jazz. Sorrel Martini Popsicles by Dish It With Tisha. Fish Patties with Pontchartrain Sauce by Dude That Cookz. Stuffed Shrimp & Grit Collard Green Rolls by Fior. Spicy Berbere Lentil Chili by Flights and Foods. Sankofa Bowl w/ Suya Duck Breast by Food Fidelity. Brown Stew Pineapple Chicken with Roasted Groundnuts by Geo’s Table. Champurrado Custard by Global Kitchen Travels. Caribbean Fish and Chips with Tamarind Sauce by Heal Me Delicious. Curry crab stuffed dumplings by Home Made Zagat. Twinkl has included this recipe among their top picks for 9 Fun Meal Ideas for the Whole Family.

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Puff puff with hibiscus glaze

Nigerian puff-puff with a vibrant hibiscus glaze

Puff-puff is a delicious Nigerian dessert, snack and small chops. It is a favourite to many Nigerians, both those who live locally in the West African nation and those in the diaspora. It is one of the simplest things to make, of which the basic traditional recipe calls for 4 ingredients: flour, sugar, yeast and water. Every Nigerian has an aunt, mum or grandma who makes a banging puff-puff and probably has their own special recipe. Something extra they’ve added to the 4 ingredients that the basic recipe calls for. Some popular additions are nutmeg and cinnamon. I have also tasted some delicious chocolate versions. Puff-puff is very versatile, an addition of just one or two ingredients can vow to almost anyone. This recipe will show you how to make the classic recipe with a modern twist using popular Nigerian ingredients. Zobo / Hibiscus leaves My “addition” of choice is hibiscus. Also popularly known as zobo in Nigeria. It is typically used in making an ice-cold drink as a refreshment to eat snacks like puff-puff. I’ve taken a sort of side dish and made it the main character. the process is the same as used in making the classic Nigerian zobo. Hibiscus flower + water + sugar. Although fruits such as pineapple, oranges and lime act as a great flavouring for the drink. In the case of this syrup, simple is better. To appreciate the natural vibrancy and taste of the hibiscus flower. However, a dash of lemon or lime is not a bad idea. The Nigerian puff-puff with the hibiscus syrup is a combination of two classics that results in something exceptional. Small chops & shaping the puffed balls. As I previously stated, puff-puff is a delicious “small chop”. Small chop is a popular category of meals eaten by Nigerians. It’s a combination of finger foods, both sweet & savoury, accompanied by a chilled beverage. Similar to the Italian aperitivo. Traditionally the foods served as small chops were typical street foods. For example, chin-chin, hot buns, meat pie, plantain chips etc. A combination of sweet and savoury treats. Puff-puff is one of the few on the sweet side. Although these days savoury versions of puff have started making appearances on Nigerian plates. As the name implies, Nigerian puff-puff is simply puffed-up pastry balls. A sweet batter proofed with yeast and deep-fried. Forming the round shape can be a bit tricky. Traditionally the cooks do it with their hands and so do I. As is how my mum taught me. However, scooping batter with your hands into hot oil can be frightening to most people. Honestly, it’s not as scary as it seems. Nonetheless, there are other ways to scoop the batter. It can be done with a tablespoon or an ice cream scoop. Getting the shape right on your first trial might not be promised. What I can promise, is the taste of deliciousness in your mouth.

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