Recipes

Stacked Kenyan Chapati

Kenyan Chapati – Journeying through African foods and of African-descents

My previous knowledge of Chapati was that it’s an Indian flatbread similar to Naan & Roti. However, a few years back I was introduced to Kenyan Chapati by my friend, Tracy. She kneaded a dough made of flour, grease, water, salt and sugar. Then proceeded to create this flaky pastry that turned out to be the Kenyan Chapati. It made me realise there is a lot about African food heritage that I am yet to learn. Something else that was intriguing to me about this flatbread is the flour. The chapati fortified wheat flour. A flour from Kenya which I am yet to find here in Italy. Quite ironic actually that I have learnt more about Africa whilst living across European countries than I ever did in the motherland. For example, the ties between South Asian and Eastern African cultures. Hence, the existence of the Kenyan Chapati. who influences who is unbeknownst to me but what I do know is that these soft layers of dough known as chapati are delicious and the depth of African culture together with cultures of African descent know no bounds. When I say learn more about Africa whilst living in Europe, I mean because I have had the opportunity to meet other people from various African cultures than when living in one African country. I did not learn about Africa from Europeans. A “no-recipe recipe” with short video: View this post on Instagram A post shared by Immaculate Ruému (@immaculateruemu) This is a “no-recipe recipe” for how to make the Kenyan Chapati. I don’t have a recipe with the measurement as Tracy makes it of heart. Similarly, now I also make it off the memory of watching her. INGREDIENTS: Chapati Flour (or regular plain flour / several cups) Sugar (usually just about a teaspoon or a tablespoon) Salt (usually just about a teaspoon or a tablespoon) Vegetable oil (about a fourth of the amount of water being used Lukewarm water (about 5/2 fraction of the amount of flour used) INSTRUCTIONS: Mix flour, sugar and salt in a bowl. Make a well in the middle and pour in the oil and water. Mix all together until all ingredients are combined into a dough. Then knead for 10-15 minutes. Cut the dough into pieces and mould it into balls using your palms. Cover with a clean kitchen towel and allow to rest for 10-15 minutes. Using a rolling pin, roll out each piece of dough at a time into a large round sheet. Spead all over with cooking oil then gradually roll the sheet of dough until you have a long string. Wrap the string into a coil and set it aside (covering with a kitchen towel). Repeat the process till all the pieces of dough are wrapped into a coil. Allow resting for another 10-15 minutes. On a floured surface, roll out each coiled piece of dough at a time into a large round sheet. Place a large griddle or pan over medium heat and grease with some oil. When hot, place a sheet of the dough into the pan and cook until you see some bubbles, then flip over. Spread a little oil over the cooked side, press gently with a spoon against the pan and flip again. Cook on each side for 10-15 seconds. Remove the cooked chapati from the pan and cover it with a kitchen towel. Repeat this process for all the pieces of coiled dough. Serve and enjoy. The Kenyan Chapati is now a dish I make quite often. I am intrigued to learn the stories behind our cuisines. Some of which I’ve tried, like Ethiopian Injera/Njera/Enjera, Senegalese Thieboudienne (a.k.a Ceebu jën). Others that I am yet to familiarise myself with, such as Haitian Griot & Jamaican Ackee & Saltfish and many more. There are endless recipes in the African continent & beyond that, I am yet to learn from. I am excited as I begin this Journey through African foods. Other articles you might find interesting: The Nigerian Suya Spice Mix The Nigerian Jollof 101 – Extras & Essentials

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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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Light chocolate cake with mixed-nut frosting and banana slices

Light chocolate cake with mixed-nut frosting and banana slices

This light chocolate cake with mixed-nut frosting is the right type of treat to kick of the year with. Perfectly rich and delicious bake that can be portioned in bars for an easy to reach treat when needed. The cake itself is moist and delicate. Slattered with a creamy frosting made from a combination of nuts for a luscious finish together with fresh banana slices. It’s almost like eating a banoffee pie but it’s a chocolate cake that is just as rich but lighter. Store-bought peanut butter does not come close to homemade nut butter. You know exactly what is going into your food. No additives and preservatives. Additionally, you are. not limited to just one type of nut, or what’s available in store. You get to create the type of nutty delicious butter that is just right for you. Once you make your own nut butter, you will use it for almost everything. As a snack of its own and as a topping on almost every dessert and snack. How to make homemade mixed nuts butter Take equal parts roasted walnuts and almonds. Then take some roasted peanuts in half the amounts of walnuts and almonds. Take the same amount of melted coconut oil (the same amount as peanuts). Place in a blender or food processor and blitz into a paste. Store the mixed nuts butter in a jar to use as you please. Ready to be used in this chocolate cake with mixed-nut frosting and many other desserts. Here’s a quick recipe for the mixed nuts butter: 1/2 cup walnuts 1/2 cup almonds 1/4 cup peanuts 1/4 cup coconut oil Blitz in a food processor and store in a jar. Here are some other delicious desserts to try: Plantain Pancakes with Honey caramelised walnuts Chin-Chin: Nigerian Fried Cookies (2 ways) Easy Valentines Day Dessert Spread – Sweet grazing board

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9 Recipes to spark up your christmas menu

9 Recipes to spark up your Christmas menu

Over the years I have perfected several recipes that are perfect for Christmas and other festive occasions. If you are in search of some inspiration for dishes to serve this holiday. Look no further! Here is a round-up of nine delicious recipes to add to your Christmas menu. Including hot drinks and cocktails, desserts and entrees. Read till the end for a little surprise. 1. Hibiscus Mulled Wine Classic mulled wine recipe with a vibrant addition of Hibiscus flower that ignites a much stronger flavour, packed with minerals and Vitamins. A warm and perfectly brewed recipe for the winter and Christmas festivities. 2. Gingerbread Sponge Cake with Cream Cheese Icing A soft and decadent gingerbread sponge cake. A great alternative to gingerbread cookies. Just as delicious (if not more) with the feeling of a warm hug in every slice. Even more delicious when shared with family and friends on Christmas. 3. Smoky Party-Style Jollof Rice, the Nigerian way The richness and vibrancy in a Smoky Party-Style Jollof Rice are one most Nigerians look forward to on Christmas day 4. Oven grilled peri-peri turkey drumsticks: A popular sauce with influence from Portugal and South African cultures. Typically used in grilling chicken but in the spirit of Christmas the peri-peri Turkey drumstick is the way to go. 5. Perfectly stuffed Nigerian chicken pies Flavourful and whole are the words to describe these Nigerian Chicken Pies. A low fat take on the classic meat pie but just as delicious. A great starter for the Christmas festivities. 6. Hibiscus Sangria (Zobo / Sorrel Cocktail) Delicious Hibiscus Sangria known as zobo in Nigerian and Sorrel in the West Indies. Perfect summer mix and equally great for the winter festive seasons, especial on Christmas. 7. Chocolate / Cinnamon Rolls (half and half) Give the option of cinnamon rolls or chocolate rolls. A half & half tray of pure decadent perfection to share with a cream cheese glazing. 8. Classic Nigerian style fried rice Nigerian style fried rice is a staple rice dish similar to Jollof. Made with a mix of vegetables, its a delicious addition to festive menu’s. 9. Nigerian puff-puff with hibiscus syrup The Nigerian puff-puff with the zobo-hibiscus syrup is a combination of two Nigerian classics that results in something exceptional. Surprise: As a bonus, here are 4 plantain dishes that will make a great addition to your christmas menu 4 delicious plantain from various cultures around the world. Plantain recipes that will make a great addition to any Christmas menu. If you like this list, you might also like my Christmas Hamper Wishlist: Black-owned f&b brands, products and services

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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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Oven grilled peri-peri turkey drumsticks

Oven grilled peri-peri turkey drumsticks – South African/Portuguese style

My first introduction to Peri-Peri was when I moved to London in my teens. My mates took me to the infamous Nandos restaurant during our lunch break. It was the first commercial where I tasted anything close to my Nigerian palate. I had roasted corn, thick fried potatoes, green peas, fried rice and of course the spicy peri-peri chicken. I was pleased and soon enough Nandos became a go-to option for hanging with friends as it is with most young Londoners. Peri-peri is a sauce that is usually used in cooking grilled/roasted chicken, hence the popularity of peri-peri chicken. However, similar to the Nigerian suya spice mix, Peri-peri is a versatile sauce. I opted for these oven-grilled peri-peri turkey drumsticks for a more festive flare. Other options could be peri-peri ham, grilled fish and so on. So what is the origin of Peri-Peri: It is unclear where Peri-Peri originates from. There are several claims but these three countries are the common denominator: South Africa, Mozambique, and Portugal. There are talks that the name peri-peri (also known as Piri-Piri) originates from a mix of Portuguese and Swahili, which translates to pepper-pepper. The peri-peri sauce is a result of cross-cultural influences. So what goes into making the Perinase: “Perinase” is my chosen name for the peri-peri sauce. Which simply means peri-peri marinade. The base of the sauce is peppers. Specifically two peppers. One regular sweet red bell pepper. The other is the African bird’s eye chilli pepper. The chilli itself was a local ingredient in some South African and West African countries in pre-colonial times. The debate is who decided that this spicy chilli mixed with some garlic and herbs would result in something delicious. There are so many variations of the peri-peri recipe today. There are choices between lemon or lime, basil or parsley. Either way, this sauce cannot easily go wrong and it shows in this peri-peri turkey drumstick. If you like this recipe for peri-peri turkey and want to learn more about foods from the African diaspora, you might also like Extra nutty Cocadas – An introduction to Panamanian cuisine.

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perfectly stuffed Nigerian chicken pies

Nigerian chicken pies – low fat and stuffed to perfection

Pies as you may already know are part of the Nigerian culture. Similar to most cultures with a heritage of British colonialism. However, the transition of the classic British pot pies into the Nigerian culture has a distinct yet still similar result. Meat pies have a variety of fillings, including beef, fish and chicken. Making Nigerian chicken pies has some differences in comparison to the typical British meat pie. Runnier VS concentrated filling: The typical british way of cooking a meat pie is in a pot/pan (i.e. ramekins). The british pour the meat filling iinto a small pan already lined with the pastry. As you can imagine the british filling is basically a gravy with chunks of meat, potatoes and carrots. Which is delicious! However cooking the pies on a baking tray is the Nigerian way. The filling for the Nigerian meat pie is a thick, rich and creamy stuffing. Spicy & Favourful: A known fact about most Nigerians is our love for spicy food. Although the typycal british meat-pie is rich and delicious, it falls on the delicate side when it comes to flavour. Nigerian dishes tend to offer a richer flavour, thanks to the knowledge and wealth of seasonings. Hand pies or Turnover pies: As previously stated, Nigerian pies are not cooked in a pot/pan, but rather on a baking tray. The pies are made of rolled out pastries which are cut into shapes (typically a round shape). Each pastry is then stuufed with a thick meat filling. Of which one side is turned over to stick to the otherside. Hence, locking in the meat stuffed inside. As is fiting with the shape and size of the pie, we hold the pie in our hands to eat as a snack or a quick bite. The Stuffing Unlike with most meat pies, this chicken pie stuffing is leaner. I used that classic Nigerian technique of flour and water mixture as a binder instead of heavy cream. Different pie can use similar techniques or different techniques, there are no rules. I always like to consider if there are any health requirements or dietary needs from my guests. This influences my decision on if I will be using chicken, shrimp, beef, pork or a mix as my stuffing. I also consider what pairs better, for example, shrimp or any seafood has a richer taste when cooked with heavy cream. Hence, why I used heavy cream in my Shrimp turnover pies. The only unspoken rule when making the stuffing is the use of carrots and potatoes. I can’t think of any other thing that tastes better than potato and carrots in a meat pie. There are other delicious options, but the balance in the sweetness that carrot brings and the starchiness of the potatoes are unmatched. Why I used Margarine instead of butter for this recipe: When baking, butter is usually the go-to option. However, there are times when the use of butter is not my first choice. An example would be when someone is lactose intolerant, so I opt for vegetable fat. The fat in my opinion that closely mimics the taste and molecular structure of butter (which influences the pastries texture) is margarine. I have shared details on this on my recipe for The best flakiest Nigerian Meat-Pie. That pastry recipe uses both butter and margarine for different reasons. You can substitute the recipes for both pastries as you see fit. Just be aware that the measurements are different.

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Zesty Watermelon Granita in a glass cup

Easy Refreshing Watermelon Granita made with 3 ingredients

This Watermelon Granita is the perfect cold refreshment for the summer. Granita is the next best thing to a gelato or ice cream. Although similar to a sorbet and a slushy their textures are different. Sorbet is softer and smoother and can be scooped like gelato/ice cream. A granita is crunchy with bits just like shaved ice. Hence the name granita, which sounds like ‘granite’, granite which is coarse and grainy just like a granita. Granita originates in the south of Italy, in the region of Sicily. These shave-like ice crystals are served all year round but are most popular in the summer. As the granita is a perfect icy refreshment for hot weather, especially in July and August. One of my favourites for the summer months is a zesty watermelon granita. On the itinerary of most travellers to the region of Sicily is to try the granita. Delicious when served with a freshly baked soft brioche or on its own. One of the most popular Italian franchises that serve delicious granita is GROM. They offer a variety of gelato and granita flavours. What makes a granita? Granita is typically made with water, flavourings, and colouring. However, when I make a granita, I like to use the actual fruit instead of artificial flavours. In addition, using the fruit itself gives a natural colour. Some of my favourite fruits to use are blueberries, watermelon and oranges. Sometimes a layer of all three or a mixture of two. I had a large piece of leftover watermelon. Hence why I opted to make this zesty watermelon granita. Watermelons are very refreshing, sweet, colourful and perfect for the summertime. Only three ingredients were used in making this zesty watermelon granita. It could easily be two ingredients (fruit and sugar)depending on the blender/food processor’s power. Watermelon – Any fruit of your choice will work also. You can start with this zesty watermelon granita recipe. Then experiment with other fruits. Sugar – The addition of sugar in a granita is important because it aids the crystallization effect. If you take out the sugar you will most likely end up with a sorbet or a slushy. Orange – The natural sweetness of the watermelon with the addition of sugar can be a little much. I choose to add both the orange juice and zest to add a little zestiness. This creates a richer dual-toned flavour. The liquid also aids in blending the frozen fruit into a smoother paste. Another zesty recipe you might be interested in is: Orange Upside-Down Cake with Italian Apéritif and another cold choice of beverages you might like are Dalgona Coffee Whipped 3 Ways

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