Yam Served With Fish
Pepper Soup

Yam Pepper Soup

Yam in Igbo language is called “ji”. Each year, yam is celebrated by Igbo people; the celebration which is known as “iri ji” or “new yam festival”, this is because of its vital importance to Igbo land. It is believed that if a new yam is celebrated, the subsequent year will be productive. Thus, yam is one of the best foods in Igbo land.

Yam can be prepared in so many ways. However, in this topic, it is about ‘Yam Served with Fish Pepper Soup’. Yam with fish pepper soup can be used as a starter of a meal whether lunch, dinner, etc., although not suitable for breakfast due its peppery nature. Peppery soup wouldn’t be good stuff to start early morning with, though akara na akamu may be contrived to serve this purpose.

According to Chinelo’s article in the Guardian, she said “Yam served with fish pepper soup provides high-energy and abundant calories. It is rich in complex carbohydrate, protein from fish used in preparing the fish pepper soup, omega-3 fatty acid (harmless fat that is good for healthy heart and nourishing the skin), vitamins B1, B6 and C. It is also rich in other nutrients such as manganese, potassium and dietary fibre.”

She goes on saying “each nutrient in this recipe plays a vital role in the body to promote good health. The high complex carbohydrates and soluble dietary content of this dish makes it ideal food for those that want to prevent constipation, irritable bowel syndrome, cancer, overweight/obesity, diabetes and bad or low-density lipoprotein.”

“Research has shown that fibre benefit health in several different ways such as alleviating constipation, irritable bowel syndrome, obesity, preventing cancer and regulating blood sugar.”

And advised that “consumption of yam and fish pepper soup is recommended for people who want healthy heart, prevent cancer, diabetes and constipation. It is an ideal food for those that want to age gracefully, boost immune function, quick wound healing and bone growth due to its high vitamin C content. Take yam served with fish pepper after fast today and you will be happy and be satisfied.”

Equipment for the preparation

Cooking gas or electric cooker or kerosene stove knife, or firewood, pots, plate, wooden turner, knife, cutting board

Yam

Ingredients                Quantities
Yam                         750g
Tomatoes                  1kg (2 pounds)
Carrots                     1 medium size
Onion                       1 medium bulb
Olive oil                    6 tablespoons
Seasoning (knorr)      2 cubes 

Method of preparation

Wash the tomatoes.

Chop and blend the tomatoes, onion, carrot, and fry with three tablespoons of olive oil.

Cook on a medium fire for 20 minutes from the time that the liquid from the tomatoes begins to boil.

Stir occasionally.

Add Knorr cube, you may need to add a teaspoon of sugar to counteract the acidity of the tomato.

Peel, wash and chop the yams.

Boil yam in salted water until they are tender.

Drain/rinse the yam and fry/sauté them in three tablespoons of olive oil in a frying pan.

Add the tomato sauce.

Cook on a low flame for 10 minutes.

Serve hot with fish pepper soup. 

Fish pepper soup

Ingredients                             Quantities
Fresh fish                                 10 medium pieces
Onion (ground)                         1 tablespoon
pepper                                     1 tea spoon
African Nutmeg (ground)           1 teaspoon
Water                                      1½  liter
Salt                                         A pinch
Seasoning (Knorr)                     1 cube 

Method of preparation

Cut and wash the fish thoroughly with clean water.

Season the fish with onion, salt and some pepper.

Steam till the water is almost dried up.

Add the 1½ litre of water, stir and add the ground African nutmeg, the remaining pepper and Knorr cube.

Stir and add a pinch of salt to taste.

Simmer for about 10 minutes.

Remove from heat and serve hot with yam.

 

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Egusi Soup Served With Pounded Yam

Egusi Pounded Yam

Egusi soup served with pounded yam is one of the best meals any Igbo person will be grateful to eat. And once again, yam in Igbo language is called “ji”. Annually, yam is celebrated by Igbo people; the celebration which is known as “iri ji” or “new yam festival”, this is to show the importance of yam to Igbo land. Igbo people have faith that when a new yam is celebrated, the coming year’s yam farming will be favourable. Thus, whether yam is pounded, boiled, fried, porridged or grounded, it is one of the best foods in Igbo land.

Sometimes we take some of these foods for granted because we eat it all the time and we forget how significant it is. One day I was surprised when my niece at University of Hartford called me on a phone complaining about her mother. She said “I have been at the University for six months now, and coming home, I was looking forward for egusi soup, instead my mother made agbono soup, my mother knows that I don’t like agbono soup and she still made it. I was thinking that my mother would at least made egusi soup for me knowing that I am coming back on holiday today.”  I then reassured her that I will tell her mother to be making egusi soup for her whenever she is coming back from the university.

Egusi soup with pounded yam is a plate of dish that both young and old could appreciate. In Igbo land, egusi soup served with pounded yam is everybody’s favourite and the dish is highly nutritious with health benefits. This soup is an as an excellent source of protein, vitamins, folic acid, calcium, iron, magnesium and zinc, according to Nwagbo.

Nwagbo said in her article in the Guardian that “egusi (melon seed), the main ingredient of this recipe has many medicinal values due to its high oil content. Study has showed that egusi seed contains considerable amount of oil and it has protective effect against coronary heart diseases. Egusi soup consumption helps to fight against infections, promotes healthy heart, skin, nails and nerves; and helps in quick wound healing. Fibre from the vegetables used in this soup preparation helps in prevention and treatment of constipation. Take this soup with pounded yam and enjoy all its health benefits.” 

Recommendation

Egusi soup served with pounded yam is recommended for everybody but highly beneficial for people that need energy to carry out their day-to-day activities, boost their immune system, prevents constipation, anaemia, and malnutrition. It is ideal food to eat to help replenish energy and nutrient loss during fasting.

Ingredients                Quantities
Beef                            8 medium pieces
Ugu leaves                   1 medium bunch
Dry Egusi seeds            1½ cups (milk tin)
(ground) red pepper     1teaspoon
Fresh pepper                4 large size
Onion                          1 medium
Palm oil                       100ml
Dry ground crayfish      10g
Fresh tomatoes            120g
Water                          1½ litres
Deboned dried fish       1
Seasonings                  2 maggi cube
Salt                            To taste 

Method of preparation

Wash and season the beef with onion, maggi cube, salt and pepper then steam till juice dries up.

Ground Egusi seeds give the soup a unique colour and flavour.

Wash the Ugu leaves well in clean, fresh water.

Blend the onions, tomatoes and egusi seeds until smooth.

Add the dry ground pepper and fry in palm oil for five minutes.

Add the water, cover the pot on and cook for five minutes.

Add the shredded ugu, replace lid and cook for a further five minutes.

Finally, add all other available ingredients.

Remove from heat and serve with pounded yam.

Pounded yam

Common or white yams are staple food in many tropical regions. It is rich in carbohydrates in form of starch, B group vitamins, vitamin C and potassium. This food is highly recommended for people that want to maintain a healthy heart and prevent cardiovascular disorders, particularly arteriosclerosis (narrowing/ blocking of the artery wall as a result of fat and cholesterol deposit) because of their low content of fat and their richness in potassium which is essential for a healthy heart.

Equipment for preparation

Mortar, pestle, pot, knife, cooking gas

Ingredients             Quantities
Yam                          3 medium slices
water                        1 litre

Method of preparation

Cut, peel and wash the yam.

Put the yam in a pot, add enough water and place the pot on the fire.

Boil until the yam is cooked.

Drain it from water.

Pound the yam in a mortar or pounding machine until it is free from lumps and slightly elastic.

Mould and serve with Egusi soup.

 

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Moi - Moi

Moi Moi3

(Moi-moi is good for pregnant women and children)

Moi moi is one of those foods kids love to eat. Although most kids may not eat black eye beans because of the black spot or black eye, yet moi moi is made from black eye beans’ flour or grounded black eye beans.

I was at this party, I saw this 12 or 13-year old girl feistily crying, tears coming down from her face. I called her and asked her what is wrong with her? She told me that she went to collect her food, in her plate of food, there was no moi moi with it and when I requested for moi moi, they told me it is finished. Lucky on my plate there is moi moi, I shared it in half and put half on her plate, she was delighted. 

Moi moi can be eaten separately but usually as an appendage with jollof rice, fried rice, fried plantain, fried yam, yam porridge, corn porridge (akamu) and cornstarch (agidi) among others. If it is eaten separately – be prepare to be drinking a lot drinks throughout the day.

According to Chinelo’s write-up on moi moi, she said “due to its popularity, moi moi is often served in parties, dinners and other special occasions.” “Regular consumption of this food has many health benefits. It helps in promoting good health because of its high nutrient content. It is a good source of protein, calcium, potassium, folate, iron, vitamin A, B1, C, E and dietary fibre from the vegetables used in the preparation.”

Her article makes the point that “people suffering from constipation and diabetes can benefit from eating moi moi because of its high protein content. Consumption of this food helps children to attain maximum growth and development. Menstruating women, who are more at risk for iron deficiency, can also benefits from eating moi moi due to its high iron content. And it would be an ideal food for pregnant women and children to help promote total wellbeing.”

She suggested that “those that want to age gracefully can benefit from this food because beans has antioxidant vitamins that neutralise the effect of free radicals that cause premature aging. Moi moi is an ideal food for students and people that are engaged in intellectual work because of its thiamin (vitamin B1) content. Thiamin protects memory and helps the brain to function properly. Eat moi moi today and enjoy more health benefits from it.”

Ingredients                    Quantities
Beans                              750g (3 cigar cups)
Bone marrow  (optional)      ½ (half) kilo
Eggs (optional)                   3
Corned beef                        1 tin
Vegetable Oil                      3 cooking spoons
Tatashe                              8 medium size
Crayfish                              1 tablespoon
Fresh Pepper                        2 medium size
Onions                                 3 medium sized bulbs
Nutmeg                               1 piece
Salt                                     to taste
Seasoning of choice               3 cubes

Equipments for the preparation of moi moi

Cooking gas or electric or kerosene stove, bowl, spoons, knife, blender or grinding machine, aluminum foil or plastic bowls or umar leaves.

Method of preparing moi moi

Soak and wash the beans to remove the coat.

Place the beans in a bowl and pour enough water to cover it and leave to soak for three hours.

If you want to use egg, cook till hardboiled, cut into small pieces and set aside.

If you prefer bone marrow, cook it with salt and Maggi / Knorr cubes.

If it is corned beef you will go for, open the can and separate the beef into small lumps.

Wash the onions, red pepper, crayfish, tatashe and remove the seed and set aside.

Blend the beans, tatashe, onions, crayfish, pepper and nutmeg together and put in a big enough bowl.

Prepare about half a litre of warm water. This will be used in mixing the moi moi.

Slowly add the warm water and stir the mixture at the same time.

Add more water if necessary, the mixture should have a poring consistency, add salt to taste, 3 cooking spoons of vegetable oil, bone marrow stock (if this is what you have chosen to add to your moi moi) and Maggi / Knorr cubes.

Stir the mixture very well and start putting the mix in your choice of containers or aluminum foil or umar wrap.

Add one egg piece per bowl/ aluminum foil/ uma wrap.

Corned beef pieces should be added this way too if chosen.

Pad the base of a big pot and set the moi moi containers in the pot, add a small quantity of boiling water and start cooking.

Add as small quantity of water as possible at a time while cooking the moi moi till it is done and don’t allow it to get burnt.

Serve eko or cornstarch.

Eko (cornstarch)

Cornstarch also known as Eko in Yoruba and Agidi in Ibo language is highly refined, corn flour. It is one of the staple diets among many tribes in Nigeria.  This food is rich in carbohydrate in form of starch and is easily digested and assimilated and also rich in vitamin B. It is low in protein, fat and vitamins. Consumption of cornstarch helps boost the memory system and attain maximum growth in children. It prevents intestinal disorders like indigestion and anaemia. 

Recommendation

Eko is an excellent food and is highly recommended for children, sportsmen, people that want to prevent heart diseases, hypercholestroamiae (increase in blood cholesterol) and arteriosclerosis (narrowing/blocking of artery of artery wall due to fat and cholesterol deposit.

 

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Pounded Yam and Egusi in Germany Restaurant

Egusi Soup and Pounded Yam3

Written by Anthony Akaeze
Sunday, 24 July 2011

In Frankfurt, Germany, Nollywood restaurant founded and run by a Nigerian family is a huge attraction.

The sea of black faces at the restaurant is probably the highest you might find in any single outlet in Frankfurt, Germany, at any point in time. From different parts of the city, they go there, mostly in the evenings and nights, after a hard day’s work, to wine and dine. They are mostly Nigerians, who are desirous to enjoy Nigerian dishes. For many of them, Nollywood restaurant is the place to realise, the true meaning of Virginia Woolf’s saying that “one cannot think well, love well, sleep well, if one has not dined well.”

Nollywood restaurant, to many who patronise the joint, reminds them of Nigeria. It is a place where you can order for pounded yam and egusi soup, or cowtail pepper soup, and enjoy it the African way. You may also request for a bottle of Stout, Gulder or Star, all Nigerian brewed beer, to go with it. They are specially imported from Nigeria, along with the food items, for ‘home sick Nigerians’ in Frankfurt, particularly.
But, according to Aguele Renatus Imhafidon, the proprietor of the restaurant, it is not only Nigerians who patronise the eatery. “Some other Africans, particularly African students in Germany, as well as Germans themselves, do come in,” he said.

Imhafidon, with a smile, explained why he chose to name the restuarant after Nollywood, the brand name for the Nigeria film industry. He said it was because Nollywood has captivated viewers across the world in the last two decades. “It’s something to identify us with Nigeria. Once a Nigerian or African visiting Germany or Frankfurt sees it, he would know that this is home. And we’ve also had customers who, on passing by, identified us as a Nigerian restaurant,” he said. Ironically, Nollywood films are nowhere seen on the restaurant’s TV. What you see is either music, German films or football, considering that the FIFA Women’s World Cup was being hosted by Germany. “We would soon start showing Nigerian films. We have it in our plans,” replies Imhafidon.

An indigene of Edo State, Imhafidon runs the restaurant with his wife. The restaurant was previously located in a certain part of Frankfurt until December 2010, when they secured the new place at Hafenstrasse Street. “We moved it from our former location because we were losing customers due to parking problem because it was mostly a residential area and when this place, which is centrally located and with a lot of parking space, finally came up, we jumped at it.” Imhafidon admitted that the FIFA Women’s World Cup, boosted his sales because of the presence of many Nigerians, which included members of the Nigeria Football Supporters’ Club, in the city. “Since this female World Cup began, it has been more of Nigerians than Germans here, but at other times, the patronage has been 50—50,” said Imhafidon. He described Germans as “very adventurous and curious people who want to know what we Africans eat and how we eat them. And most of them, when they come in and eat it, they like it and they come back again.”

It was also his love for adventure that led Imhafidon to travel to Germany, in the early 90s. “I wanted something new, I wanted to see something else,” he said. Recalling his years in Nigeria, Imhafidon added: “I wasn’t doing particularly badly in Nigeria. I worked at Universal Trust Bank, in Nigeria. As a young banker at UTB, I had a promising future. But I just wanted something else, something new.”

Although Imhafidon left Nigeria almost 20 years ago, he still follows events in the land of his birth closely. “ I don’t visit Nigeria often. The last time I was in Nigeria was four years ago, but I monitor events in Nigeria, via the internet. I’m impressed that Nigeria had an election without any violence. And, as for Lagos and Edo states, I see online what’s going on. Those are the states I can confirm, and from what I’ve heard from my customers, the governors are doing well. I wish them all the best and hope they could do more”

 

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Chicken Pie Served With
Orange Juice

Chicken Pie with Organe Juice

BY CHINELO NWAGBO

THERE are many foods that can be eaten to help keep fit and stay healthy. Chicken pie is one of them. Many people eat just to satisfy themselves and avert hunger without knowing the nutritional content of the food. It is good to know what you eat and also eat right by including all the six classes of nutrients such as carbohydrate, protein, fat, vitamins, minerals and water in the right proportion to help live a healthy life.

Nutritious and balanced diet helps one to stay physically fit, feel better, and prevent many illnesses. We can lower our risk of illnesses like heart disease, obesity and diabetes as well as maintain a healthy weight if we eat healthy.

You can make a chicken pie starting off with a whole chicken or just as easily from the remaining chicken meat left over from a roast chicken dinner.  Traditional chicken pie will contain plenty of fabulous fresh vegetables including carrots, peas, leeks or onions. Nowadays, you can add almost anything to your chicken pie, for example mushrooms, potatoes, sweet corn, parsnips or ham to make it rich.

Chicken pie is made with vegetables (tomatoes, onions, pepper) chicken meat and flour among others. It is highly nutritious and is rich in protein, carbohydrate, Vitamin A, B6, K, C, potassium and dietary fibre. Consumption of chicken pie helps in enhancement of growth and physical development. It also helps to protect against bone loss in older people and strong and healthy bones in children.

Recommendation
Chicken pie is recommended for those who require high-calorie and nutrient food (children, adolescents, physical workers, sportsmen, women who are pregnant or nursing), those that are in need of gaining kilo of weight, people recovering from weakening sickness because it is packed with nutrient of high biological value. 

Ingredients               Quantities
Whole flour               400g (2 ½ cups)
Boneless chicken       100g
Brewer’s yeast          1 tablespoon
Milk                         100ml
Butter                      100g
Water                      100ml
Onion                       1 medium bulb
Green pepper             1 medium size
Red pepper                1 medium size
Tomatoes                  3 medium size
Olive oil                     3 tablespoons
Salt                          a pinch

Method of preparation
Wash, clean and chop the onion, pepper and tomatoes.
Season the chicken with salt, onion and maggi.
Cut the chicken meat into small pieces.
Mix the flour, egg, butter, milk and water.
Heat the oil in a frying pan and sauté or fry the onion, pepper, tomatoes and chicken.
Using a rolling pin spread the dough over a floured board and cut circles of about 12 cm diameter.
Place in a centre of each a small amount of filling to form a half-moon shape. Join the boarder to seal the turnovers.
Place the turnovers on a slightly greased over tray and bake for 20 minutes at 180oc.
Serve hot with cold orange juice.

Orange juice
Orange juice is among the most favoured drinks in the whole world. It is naturally sweet without addition of artificial sugar. Orange juice is a good source of vitamin C (ascorbic acid), potassium, thiamine, phosphorus, folic acid (Vitamin B9) and vitamin B6. In addition, it does not contain cholesterol, sodium and fat.  It is also rich in phytonutrients, which are known as flavonoids. Flavonoids help support the immunity process and promote a strong heart. Intake of orange juice helps to boost the immune system and prevent diseases and infections. It is an ideal juice for those that want a healthy heart and for those that want to prevent arthritis, cancer, kidney stone formation and eye problem. 

Recommendation
Orange juice is recommended for those that want to increase resistance to infection, prevent cardiovascular diseases, eye problem, osteoporosis and cancer.

Ingredients             Quantities
Oranges                 15 medium size 

Method of preparation

Wash the oranges with clean water.

Cut them into halves and squeeze them.

Sieve with a cheesecloth to remove the seeds.

Pour the orange juice in a goblet.

Serve cold with hot chicken pie.
 

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Boiled Rice Served With Fish Stew And Grape Juice

Boiled RiceFish StewGrape Juice

BY CHINELO NWAGBO

HEALTHY living is all about making healthy choices that help stay physically, mentally and spiritually fit. Eating nutritious balance diet and carrying out a regular exercise can make one healthy. By staying healthy, we can help prevent chronic diseases and reduce our risk of becoming ill or seriously injured. Boiled rice served with fish stew is one of many nutritious foods that can be eaten to maintain and live a healthy life.

This delicious food is many people’s favourite in Nigeria. From the roadside hawkers to the tables of the elite, it is a welcome accompaniment to complement any meal or festive spread. Boiled rice served with fish stew provides the body with carbohydrates in form of starch, vitamin B1, B2, B6, niacin, protein, unsaturated fatty acids, which include omega-3 fatty acid, calcium, magnesium and water.

Fish, the main ingredient for the stew is highly nutritious. Pregnant and nursing mothers can have a great impact on the intelligence and happiness of their babies by eating boiled rice and fish. Consumption of this nutritious dish helps to lower risk of developing heart diseases, strokes, mental decline in old age, and prostate cancer. Boiled rice with fish stew is an excellent food for everybody. Take a plate of boiled rice with fish stew and grape juice and enjoy all its health benefits.

Equipments for the preparation
Cooking gas or electric cooker or kerosene stove knife, or firewood, pots, plate, knife, blender, cutting board

Fish stew

Ingredients             Quantities
Fish                       1kg
Fresh tomatoes        8 medium size
Tomato puree          1 tin
Fresh pepper           2 medium size
Onion                     1 medium bulb
Olive oil                  3 tablespoons
Tatashe                  4 medium size
Known                    1 cube
Thyme                    1 teaspoon
Water                     1 litre

Method of preparation

Cut the fish and wash thoroughly.

Steam with few slices of onion and salt for about 10 minutes.

Pour the olive oil into a pot.

Add the grounded ingredients (ground tomatoes, pepper, and onion) together with the tomato puree.

Stir and fry for another 10 minutes.

Add the known cube and pour the seasoned fish.

Simmer for another 5 minutes.

Stir and add salt to taste.

Remove from heat, serve with boiled rice and enjoy.

Grape juice

Grape juice is tasty and nutritious juice. It is rich in vitamin B1, B2, B3, C niacin, potassium, iron and non- nutritive substances (phytochemicals, flavonoids, anthocyanidines, resveratrol) consumption of grape juice has a lot of therapeutic/ healing properties. It is an excellent juice for preventing cardiovascular disease, renal disorders, gout and arthritis and it cures anaemia.

Ingredients    Quantities
Red grape       2 kg

Method of preparation

Get your grapes. You can always go to the grocery store and find grapes. You can use white or red grapes.
Clean the grapes. Remove the stems from your grapes.
Wash your grapes in cold water and let them drain well. The amount of grapes you want to use is up to you; it all depends on the quantity you want.
Blend the grapes.
Strain.
Empty your mixture into the cheesecloth and strain directly into your serving pitcher.
You can add sugar if desired to taste.
Allow your product to cool for several hours in the refrigerator before serving.
Serve cold with boiled rice and fish stew and enjoy.
E-mail: chineloeby@yahoo.com

 

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Ofe Owerri Served With Pounded Yam

Ofe Owerri 2Pounded Yam

BY CHINELO NWAGBO

There is no joke in popular saying that “You are what you eat.” It just makes good sense that what you put in your body is what reflects in all aspect of your health. A big part of staying healthy and living long life is related to one’s diet. Good and nutritious food makes one look good and prevents many diseases. There are many nutritious foods that are eaten all over the world. Ofe Owerri is one among several nutritious soups that is mostly consumed in the eastern part of Nigeria among the Igbo people.

This soup stands as a unique dish because of its flavour, method of preparation, nutritive content and its potential therapeutic / medicinal value. From the roadside hawkers to the tables of the elite, it is a welcome meal for festivity.

The principal ingredients such as vegetables, meat, snail, periwinkles and stockfish used in the preparation of this soup make a delicious and mouth watering dish. We all know by now that it is important to eat vegetables because of their nutrient content. Vegetables are rich in vitamin C, E, folic acid, vitamin A (beta carotene) and dietary fibre, which are all essential for maintaining good health.

Vitamin E has a number of functions and one of these is to act as an antioxidant, which neutralises the effects of free radical that causes cancer and heart diseases. Vitamin A performs the functions to maintain the healthy skin, protect the body from infections and also good for good vision.

Apart from nutrients from vegetable, Ofe Owerri is also rich in protein qnd calcium and they are essential in maintaining a healthy living.

Regular consumption of this soup is essential for people wishing to take extra care of their health. It is an ideal food for both children and adolescents for physical growth and development. Pregnant women, nursing mothers can also benefit from this dish for their wellbeing. Convalescing patients can recover quickly from their illness and also build a strong immune system against diseases and infections when they include Ofe Owerri in their diet.

Ingredients                                    Quantities
Beef                                        8 medium pieces
Smoked fish (Asa)                      2 medium size
Stockfish                                  4 medium size
Snail (washed)                           6 pieces
Isam (periwinkle out of shell)        1 cup
Ukazi leaves (shredded)               2 cups
Ugu                                          2 small bunch
Smoked prawns                          1 cup
Dry pepper                                1 tablespoon
Onion                                       1 small bulb
Cocoyam (red type)                    4 medium size
Palm oil                                     2 cooking spoons
Maggi cube                                2
Maggi crayfish cube                     2
Water                                       2   litres
Salt                                          To taste

Method of preparation

Wash the beef and season with onion, one magi cube and salt.
Allow to steam till juice dries up.
Add 2 cups of water, snail and stockfish, continue cooking till the stockfish is soft and the meat is cooked.
Pick, wash and shred the ugu leaves.
Wash the fish thoroughly.
Add the fish and isam to the meat pot and add the remaining water.
Peel and wash the cocoyam.
Cut each into two pieces and pot, continue cooking until is cooked.
Remove the cooked cocoyam and pound and return to the pot as a thickener.
Add the maggi crayfish, pepper and palm oil.
Stir thoroughly and reduce the heat.
Add the shredded ugu and ukazi leaves.
Stir and allow to cook for about 6 minutes.
Stir and add salt to taste.
Remove from burner and serve with pounded yam or cassava fufu.

Pounded yam

Common or white yams are staple food in many tropical regions. It is rich in carbohydrates in form of starch, B group vitamins, vitamin C and potassium. Pounded is a good source of energy because of its carbohydrate content. Pounded yam is highly recommended when there is increase energy demand like during growth, pregnancy, physical strain and for those that are involved strenuous activitie.

Method of preparation

Cut, peel and wash the yam.

Put the yam in a pot, add enough water and place the pot on the fire.

Boil until the yam is cooked.

Drain off water.

Pound the yam in a mortar or pounding machine until it is free from lumps and slightly elastic.

Mould and serve with Ofe Owerri.

E-mail: chineloeby@yahoo.com
Source: The Guardian, 7th May 2011.

 

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Fried Plantain Served With Pap

BY CHINELO NWAGBO

PLANTAIN is one of the many staple foods eaten with much enjoyment. It can be fried, boil, mashed, baked, pickled or grilled for eating. Frying is one of the simpler ways of eating plantain. Most children and even adults around the world like eating fried plantain because it tastes good.

Fried plantain 3

Fried plantain has carbohydrate, fat as the prominent nutrients. It also contains significant amount of vitamin A, C, B1, B2, E, potassium, calcium, iron, fibre and magnesium.

Fried plantain has some health benefits when taken in moderation and can be harmful to health when taken in excess. Lean and thin people who desperately want to put on weight can benefit from eating fried plantain because of its high fat and carbohydrate content. Also vitamins like vitamin C and B-complex present in plantain help in proper absorption of this carbohydrate, which in return helps to gain weight.

Fried plantain, mostly the unripe type is an excellent food for diabetics because it contains little amount of carbohydrate which is absorbed slowly and does not produce a sharp rise in blood glucose (sugar) level. It is good to take fried plantain in moderation because over-indulgence or eating it in excess can cause so many health problems like indigestion, cardiovascular disease (arteriosclerosis, hypertension and hypercholesterolemia), obesity and some forms of cancer due to its high fat/oil content.

Ingredients          Quantities
Plantains              4 medium size
Vegetable oil         1/ 2 cup
Salt                     to taste
Lime wedges          optional

Method of preparation

Peel a ripe plantain and slice about ¾ inch thick.
Heat oil in fry pan over medium heat, use no more than one inch of oil.
Fry on both sides until golden brown.
Remove from fry pan to drain on paper towel.
Enjoy the plantain while hot with pap.

Pap

Pap, also known as ogi in Yoruba  language or akamu in Igbo language respectively is very nutritious and is not difficult to prepare. Akamu is smooth corn starch porridge made from fermented corn paste with a slightly sour taste and is usually eaten as a breakfast meal.

Pap is usually taken with fried plantain or spicy fried bean balls called akara. You can add milk, soybean milk, beverage and granulated or brown sugar to the pap to make it taste great.

Intake of pap provides instant energy. It is high in simple sugars, readily absorbable, high in simple proteins and is rich in vitamins. It is recommended for children and people that are recovering from illness that cannot take solid foods.

Cornstarch pap with egg

Ingredients
Corn-starch paste
Boiling water
Raw egg (optional)
Milk, sugar and preferred beverage (optional) 

Method of preparation

Buy freshly made raw akamu or ogi.
Make it into a paste with the cold water.
Put a kettle of water to boil.
Pour really boiling water on the thick akamu paste, stirring all the time until a change in colour is observed and the paste thickens.

Put back in the pot and cook again for about 5 or 6 minutes to make sure that the akamu is thoroughly cooked. This is essential with children’s pap.

Remove from heat, and add a beaten egg to it. This enriches the pap, and is suitable for children. stir. The heat from the pap is enough to cook the egg without further cooking on fire. If required, sweeten with sugar. Those who can afford it may mix their preferred beverage with the akamu, as many children like this.
E-mail: chineloeby@yahoo.com
Source: The Guardian, 16th July 2011.

 

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Jollof Rice with Meat

Jollof Rice 1

Jollof rice is one of the foods consumed in Igbo land although jollof rice is very popular nourishment in West Africa but then extending to all over the world due to attentiveness given by big food companies like Uncle Ben, Mc Donalds, Mr Biggs, etc. The beauty of jollof rice is that you can add whatever you want to it during cooking to taste delicious. Even though that jollof rice is very easy to prepare but care should be taken for the taste to come out right. With too much ingredients it may taste funny but with right ingredients it will taste just right.

The trick of getting the right taste of jollof rice is that half way during cooking, you taste it, if you put too much salt, pepper, tomato, etc., all you do is to put more water and drain some of the water away to taste right.

Jollof Rice

 

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Ofe Egusi Served With
Plantain Fufu

Ofe Egusi Served With Plantain Fufu

Written by Chinelo Nwagbo

NIGERIA has a lot of foods, which are not only tasty but also help to keep the body healthy. Egusi soup is a nutritious food that is eaten in almost all the states in the country. From the roadside hawkers to the tables of the elite, it is a welcome meal for festivity. 

This soup is a popular dish among the Igbo of in the eastern part of Nigeria during occasions such as New Yam festival and Igbankwu nwanyi (traditional marriage).  

Egusi soup stands as a unique dish because of its taste, method of preparation, nutritive content and its potential therapeutic/medicinal value. It is rich in folate, potassium, manganese, magnesium, iron, copper, iron, calcium, vitamin B3, vitamin B3, protein, potassium, and vegetable fibre, which are all essential for maintaining good health.   

Studies have shown that intake of egusi soup helps to nourish and maintain a smooth skin. It is an ideal food for children to help provide nutrients that are needed for energy production, physical growth and development.  

Pregnant women and nursing mothers can also benefit from this dish for their wellbeing. Convalescing patients can recover quickly from their illness and also build a strong immune system against diseases and infections when they include egusi soup in their diet.

There are a lot more benefits that can be derived from consuming egusi soup. Take this nutritious soup today and enjoy all its health benefits.

Ingredients                   Quantities

Egusi                              2 cups (milk tin)

Beef                                8 medium pieces

Stockfish Head               1 medium head

Smoked fish                   1 medium size

Pumpkin leaves (ugu)    1 medium bunch

Fresh pepper (ground)   4 large size

Onion (ground)              1 large bulb

Okpi (iru)                       1 small wrap

Seasoning cube              2

Water                             1 litre

Salt                                 to taste

Method of preparation

Wash and season the beef and stockfish head with onion, seasoning cube, salt and pepper then steam till juice dries up.

Add 2 cups of water and continue cooking for 20 minutes.

Pick, wash, cut the pumpkin leaves and blanch slightly then set aside.

Wash and bone the fish.

Heat the palm oil, and then add ground fresh pepper, onion. Fry for about 5 to 10 minutes.

Add ground egusi.

Cover the pot and do not stir for about 6 minutes.

Add water and continue boiling for 8 to 10 minutes.

Add the remaining seasoning cube and stir.

Simmer for about 2 minutes and add salt to taste.

Then add the pumpkin leaves (ugu) and allow to simmer for another few minutes.

Remove from heat and serve with plantain fufu.

Plantain fufu

Plantain fufu is a staple food in many tropical regions. Carbohydrates are prominent in plantain composition. It also contains significant amount of vitamin C, B1, B2, E, potassium, iron and magnesium. Consumption of plantain fufu is essential for people suffering from heart disease or circulatory system disorders because of its richness in potassium, B group vitamins, magnesium. It is an ideal food for diabetes because of its little amount of carbohydrate, which is absorbed slowly and do not produce a sharp rise in blood glucose (sugar) level. Plantain consumption alkalizes the blood, which helps in elimination and neutralizes the excess acids that cause arthritis and gout.

Ingredients       Quantities

Plantain fufu (flour)1 cup 

Water       2 cups

Method of preparation using gas/electric range/coal pot

Bring 2 parts of water to a boil in a cooking pot (stove should be on high heat).

Add 1 part fufu (plantain flour) mix as you mix/knead continuously.

Continue kneading for 10 to 12 minutes until well done.

Form into balls as desired.

Serve with egusi soup.

Source: The Guardian, 12th March 2014.

 

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Moi Moi Served With Ogi (Pap)

Moi Moi 2

(Recipe For Good Health)

Written by Chinelo Nwagbo
21st June 2014

IF you are looking for a delicious, versatile, meatless, high protein food that could bring you good health, help prevent heart disease, cancer, diabetes, and keep your weight in check, here is a solution to your problem. Moi moi served with ogi (pap) is highly nutritious and it supplies essential nutrients that are needed to promote good health and prevent diseases. 

It can be eaten separately but usually as an appendage with jollof rice, fried rice, fried plantain, fried yam, yam porridge, corn porridge (akamu) and cornstarch (agidi) among others.   

The basic ingredient that is used for the preparation of this dish is beans. Beans have more protein than most other vegetables, and full of energy-sustaining complex carbohydrates, folate and fibre and even provide good amounts of calcium, iron, magnesium and potassium.  When considering the health benefits of beans, they should be known as “healthy people’s meat” instead of “poor people’s meat,” as they are often called. 

Studies have shown that eating beans as part of a healthy diet may help to manage diabetes, reduce the risk of high blood pressure and stroke. Other studies suggest that eating beans may lower risk of cancer, heart disease and obesity. People who eat a lot of beans are less likely to have high blood pressure. Beans also contain health-boosting resistant starches, which promote intestinal health and prevent constipation. 

Eating moi moi helps in promoting good health, prevents diabetes (excess sugar in the blood), cancer, constipation (difficulty in evacuating faeces) and premature aging.   

Moimoi is an ideal food for students and people that are engaged in intellectual work because of its thiamin (vitamin B1) content, which helps the brain to function properly.     Intake of this food helps children to attain maximum growth and development.   

Menstruating women, who are at risk of iron deficiency, can also benefit from eating moi moi. It is also an ideal food for pregnant women for successful pregnancy and for prevention of birth defects. 

Take this nutritious food today and enjoy all its health benefits.

Ingredients        Quantities 

Beans 750g          (3 cigar cups) 

Bone marrow 

(optional)             ½ (half) kilo

Eggs (optional)     3 

Corned beef          1 tin

Sunflower Oil       3 cooking spoons 

Tatashe               8 medium size 

Crayfish               1 tablespoon 

Fresh Pepper         2 medium size 

Onions                  3 medium sized bulbs

Nutmeg                 1 piece

Salt                      to taste

Seasoning of Choice    3 cubes

Equipments for the preparation of moi moiCooking gas or electric or kerosene stove, bowl, spoons, knife, blender or grinding machine, aluminum foil or plastic bowls or umar leaves.

Method of preparing moi moi

Soak and wash the beans to remove the coat.

Place the beans in a bowl and pour enough water to cover it and leave to soak for three hours.

If you want to use egg, cook till hardboiled, cut into small pieces and set aside.

If you prefer bone marrow, cook it with salt and seasoning cubes.

If it is corned beef you will go for, open the can and separate the beef into small lumps.

Wash the onions, red pepper, crayfish, tatashe and remove the seed and set aside.

Blend the beans, tatashe, onions, crayfish, pepper and nutmeg together and put in a big bowl.

Prepare about half a litre of warm water. This will be used in mixing the moi moi.

Slowly add the warm water and stir the mixture at the same time.

Add more water if necessary, the mixture should have a pouring consistency, add salt to taste, 3 cooking spoons of sunflower oil, bone marrow stock (if this is what you have chosen to add to your moi moi) and seasoning cubes.

Stir the mixture very well and start putting the mix in umar wrap or choice of your containers or aluminum foil. 

Add one egg piece per umar wrap.

Corned beef pieces should be added this way too if chosen.

Pad the base of a big pot and set the moi moi containers in the pot, add a small quantity of boiling water and start cooking.

Add as small quantity of water as possible at a time while cooking the moi moi till it is done and don’t allow it to get burnt.

Serve with pap and enjoy.

E-mail: chineloeby@yahoo.comThis email address is being protected from spambots. You need JavaScript enabled to view it.

 

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Ji Mmiri Oku(Yam Pepper Soup)

Ji Mmiri Oku

Written by Chinelo Nwagbo
18th October 2014

WHENEVER there is an arrival of new baby in some Eastern parts of Nigeria, the new mother’s first meal is ji mmiri oku (yam pepper soup) with fresh fish. This dish does not only taste great, it is a mouth watering, energy giving food. 

  Yam pepper soup is prepared with a blend of medicinal spices like uziza (West African pepper), ehuru (calabash nutmeg) and uda (African Negro pepper). These are purported to help flush any lochia (normal vaginal discharges after birth), which may cause puffiness in the face and legs. 

Consuming ji mmiri oku helps to dilate blood vessels, cleanse the system and burn excess fat that accumulates during pregnancy. It is an ideal food for those affected by blood loss as a result of childbirth. Those that want to prevent heart attack can also benefit from this nutritious food as studies have shown that high intake of foods like yam that contain vitamin B6 and potassium help to reduce the risk of heart disease.  

  Also, preliminary research suggests that dioscorin (a storage protein contained in yam) can reduce blood pressure. Yam’s complex carbohydrates and fibre make this dish an ideal food for mothers that want to maintain an ideal weight and avoid getting overweight after delivery. 

  Take this nutritious food today and enjoy all its health benefits.

 Ingredients                         Quantities

Yam                                      5 slices 

fresh fish                               1 medium size

crayfish                                 1 tablespoon

Utazi Leaves                           1 small bunch

Scent leaves                           1 small bunch

Onions                                    1 medium bulb 

Uziza Leaves (optional)              3 leaves 

Maggi Cubes                            2 cubes 

Peppersoup spice (optional)        ½ teaspoon

Salt                                        A pinch 

Dry or fresh Pepper                   To taste

Water                                     1 litre

Method of preparation

Peel, cut and wash yam properly in clean water.

Put in a pot with some water and boil.

Cut and wash the fresh fish.

Wash and slice the onions, scent leaves, utazi leaves. 

Pound fresh pepper together.

Frequently stir to help the sauce thicken; when it begins to thicken, add the fresh fish. 

Add the pepper soup spice, the sliced utazi and scent leaves. 

Finally, add the onions and cover to cook for the next seven to ten minutes. 

Stir and turn off the heat.

E-mail:chineloeby@yahoo.com

Source: The Guardian, 18th October 2014.

 

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Nkwobi Served With Chilled Drink (Ngwo)

  Nkwobi2 Ngwo 1

HAVE you ever tasted Nkwobi, a popular appetiser in the eastern part of Nigeria? If you have not, please take this today and you will have many stories to tell about the pleasant taste and the health benefits of this delicacy.

Nkwobi is the Igbo name for spicy goat legs cooked and served in rich chilly gravy. It is a real favourite amongst Nigerians, who as a rule, are known to consume peppery foods, flavoured with chillies and various spices.

The main ingredient of this dish is goat meat, which is food one of the healthiest meats. Even the Bible, the holy Book, considers goat as a clean animal, which means that goat meat is good, clean and healthy.

This nutritious meat is rich in many essential nutrients like vitamin B1 (thiamin), B2 (riboflavin), B3 (niacin), B12 (cobalamin), iron, phosphorus, potassium, zinc, copper and selenium. All these nutrients work together to help promote good health.

Goat meat also provides a leaner protein source than beef, lamb, chicken or pork. This means that it is low in saturated fat and high in unsaturated fats, the type that helps increase the High-Density Lipoprotein (HDL), or good cholesterol that promotes healthy heart.

The American Heart Association recommends leaner meats such as goat to help decrease the risk of heart disease, stroke and other serious medical conditions.

Consumption of nkwobi is ideal for people that want to maintain strong bone, prevent bone loss due to menopause or rheumatoid arthritis (pain in the joint).

Adolescent girls and women within the childbearing age can benefit from regular consumption of meat to help replenish blood lost during menstruation and child delivery.

Children can also benefit from this nutritious treat to help attain maximum growth and development. People that are sick can quickly recover by taking a plate of nkwobi.

There are many other health benefits derived from eating nkwobi. Take a plate of it today and enjoy.

Ingredients                        Quantities

Goat limbs                       1
Palm oil                           2 cooking spoons
Edible ground                   1 small piece
potash (akannwu)
Ground hot peppers           1 table spoon
Onion                              1 medium size
Salt                                To taste
Blended crayfish                1 cooking spoon
Seasoning (maggi)             2 cubes
A native bitter leaf            1 small bunch
or utazi

Method of preparation

De-hoof goat leg and wash thoroughly with sponge and lukewarm water.

Chop the meat into small pieces, preferably cubes, and rinse once more.

Put the meat into a large pot, season lightly and cook on moderate heat for about 45 minutes.

When the meat is tender, pour out into a bowl with some of the stock.

In a separate bowl, combine the pepper, chopped onions, crayfish, salt and seasoning. Add warm water and thoroughly mix.

Place a clean pot on the cooker and add the palm oil.

Warm it slightly, then add the edible potash and cover for a minutes.

Stir the oil and the potash vigorously until a thick mash is formed.

Add some water to dilute.

Stir in the mixture of peppers, onions, crayfish and seasoning. Cover the pot and let it simmer for about three minutes.

Allow the entire mixture to simmer for five more minutes.

Put the goat legs into serving mortars or traditional earthenware bowls and pour in the hot mixture.

Garnish with fresh utazi leaves and sliced onion and serve hot with chilled palm wine or any other drink.

Palm wine

Palm wine is a traditional wine extracted from palm tree. This wine is always used to quench thirst when taking some foods like nkwobi, snail salad, bush meat pepper, goat meat pepper soup and all kinds of pepper soups.

Intake of palm wine is beneficial to the body, especially the eyes, to help enhance the sight for good vision.

It is better to take fresh palm wine than the fermented palm wine. Fermented palm wine is injurious to organs of the body like liver, kidney and eyes because of its high alcohol content.
E-mail: chineloeby@yahoo.com
Source: The Guardian, 3rd September 2011.

 

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