NNEM O (Mother).

A beautiful caramel and a petal like vegetable leaf

Strong, delicate and remarkable as an African

Seductive, innocent, pure and talented African oyibo Continue reading “NNEM O (Mother).”

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Herbal Drink.

A glowing beautiful melanin or white skin, a healthy human system – danger to sickness and diseases, have you ever wondered just like me how both the poor and rich of the African society are able to stay in good health? I mean, you find both the rich and poor on the same level due to good health. What is the secret you may ask? It is simply leaves, that is, leaves used in making local herbs to be drank, eaten or rubbed by Africans to sustain good health.

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Then & Now…

It was a cold morning on 19th October, 1896, some of the husbands and wives were already at the farm to check the crops that had been destroyed by the heavy rain that occurred so as to uproot and replant them, while the young ladies went to the stream to fetch water.

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African Bean Fritters

I’m reminiscing about the days when my brothers and I used to go buy bean fritters for breakfast. On the weekends when my mom was busy, she would send us to go and buy bean fritters for us to eat while she worked at the back yard. A our backyard, my mother built a kitchen extension. It was where she baked and did the cooking for her catering services. Going to buy the bean fritters, was always a thrill. And the smell of fried hot bean balls molded into soft bread was orgasmic 🙂

Bean fritters is a popular street snack in some parts of Africa. In fact the Ghananians call their’s kose. It is made with black eyed peas; soaked and blended; then seasoned and deep fried. Meanwhile in Nigeria, we call ours akara and it is made with the use of sweet honey beans or brown beans. It is usually, soaked and the skin is washed and the beans blended into a creamy paste; then seasoned and fried. In fact, I’m dreaming of making some now as I type. The smell, wafting through the kitchen and the ever delicious combination with bread, suya or oatmeal. Please don’t say pap. I could never stand that thing 🙂

I remember growing up in Nigeria, my mother used to make me grind the beand using the grinding stone and I used to hate that chore. Chei Chineke! Those things were a pain to use. It was always easier to go to the nearby shop and pay to use their industrial blender. We usually had to pay between 10 and 15 Nigerian Naira to blend the beans and sometimes, my mom would let me buy snacks with the change. It depended on how she felt lol. Mothers sha!

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GOD IN AFRICA.

 This is an ode to God in the various common African languages ranging from Igbo to Spanish. God has been merciful upon Africa just like the Israelites in the bible so…

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Native Yam Pepper Soup(Ji Mmi’ri Oku)

Oh! the joys of growing up as a little girl with a mother whose joy was in making food with age old recipes. Native yam pepper soup was always a hit whenever my mother made it. She used to make it with all kinds of dry fish, crayfish and aromatics. My favorite part was always the yam; which mother cut into huge chunks. It was soft and usually had the taste of the pepper soup…And to eat this meal, you had to dip the yam in some oil and pepper; then chase it with the pepper soup. It was just jazzy!

Ji mmi’ri oku is literally interpreted in English as hot water and yam. It is medicinal especially for new mothers; as it is known to help heal the insides after child birth.

Speaking of child birth, Nigerians have different rituals for new mothers. For the Igbos, this dish is made immediately the mother has had her baby; and the earlier she starts; the better for her stomach to heal. We also have another ritual where the woman is supposed to tie a big piece of cloth around her stomach to help keep the stomach flat. A good belly massage with hot water and a towel helps a great deal. She is also expected to sit only on hard surfaces for a few months to prevent her hips from spreading.

I remember after having my ajebutters, I had to eat ji mmi’ri oku; even if I didn’t want to observe other rituals. I like yam, so I didn’t really care. Even now; this meal is helpful in the curing of the flu, it helps with stomach upset and is a gives a great hug during the winter months. When I had my ajebutter1, my Aunty made me some and she had all kinds of aromatics, spices, stock fish and dry fish in the bowl. My brother served it to his visitors and it quite pissed me off! I was meant for me to heal…hiss lol

The healing properties of this meal comes from the spices and aromatics used. My favorite Nigerian spice is Ehuru and it is known to heal the stomach. As a matter of fact, I have used it for my upset stomach and it helpled to sooth it greatly. I actually made this pot for my ajebutter1 on the day she had a small stomach upset. She ate it all day and was playing by evening.  The uyayak pod is also a soother. Many a time, I have had a cold and I have made regular pepper soup with the uyayak pod and the ehuru and it has helped put me to sleep; to help me rest; as what you need when you have a cold is sleep and fluids. You’d be surprised what these little spices can do for your body. It’s no joke!

Recipe here:

1 small Nigerian yam tuber(peeled and washed)

1 large dry fish(washed and deboned)

8 ehuru seeds(Jamaican nut meg)

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Ehuru…Image credit…Funke Koleosho

one uyayak pod. Aka Aidan fruit (try breaking it into pieces, but not into a powder)

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uyayak pod. Image credit…1qfood platter

3 small African negro pepper i.e (uda)

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African negro pepper…Image credit…all Nigerian recipes

3 small habanero peppers(ata-rodo)

1/2 tbsp. crayfish

1/2 tsp dry chili powder

A hand full chopped scent leaves or basil

bouillon

salt to taste

salt

Method:

Roast the ehuru over open fire or toast it in a pan. Blend with the habanero pepper. (the scent is heavently)

Roast the negro pepper and remove the seeds by slightly crushing the pod.(do not blend into a powder…discard the seeds and use the slightly crushed pod in the soup)

Pour the peeled and washed yam into a pot. Pour water into the pot; until a little above the yam. Add all the seasonings except the dry fish and the scent leaves.

cook until the yam is tender. Remove the yam from the pot(this prevents the yam from over cooking); then add the dry fish and dry pepper.(if you need to add more water, you could do so at this point and adjust seasonings). Cook for a few more minutes. Add the scent leaves, check for seasonings and serve with yam, crushed habanero and palm oil.

What are your customs and traditions when it comes to meals like this? Please share with us in the comments 🙂