Category Archives: Nigerian Meals

No Fuss Jollof Rice

Jollof Rice

This jollof rice method is really SUPER easy. All you have to do is combine the ingredients in your rice cooker, and that’s it.

Servings: 8 Serving Size: 2/3 cup

Calories: 182, Protein: 3.48 g, Carbohydrate: 33.7 g Fat: 3.75 g Sodium: 516.1 mg

Ingredients:

Rice Cooker Jollof

2 cups rice (I used jasmine rice for mine)*

8 oz tomato sauce, low sodium

1/3 cup diced onions

1/2 tsp garlic powder

14 oz chicken stock OR broth, low sodium

1 tsp thyme

4 bay leaves

2 tbsp olive oil

2 bouillon cubes

1 tsp curry powder

1 tsp salt

1 ½ tsp chili powder (optional)

Directions:

Wash the rice at least three times. Strain excess liquid.

Combine the rice and remaining ingredients in a rice cooker. Mix with a spoon to distribute the spices evenly. It will take about 30-35 minutes to cook.However, gently stir rice halfway into cooking time.

Serve with your choice of protein and/or vegetables.

 Jasmine jollof rice

* Parboiled long grain rice is the kind of rice typically used  to make Jollof. Parboiled rice works really well when substituted for Jasmine rice in this recipe. You can be really creative and choose different kinds of rice for your jollof such as brown rice, basmati rice, etc. Keep in mind however, that the cooking time is a bit longer (about 40 minutes) when using parboiled long grain rice.

Pictured below is jollof rice made with parboiled long grain rice. It is served with oysters and green onions. 

Jollof rice

Chin Chin

Chin Chin

  Baked Chin chin
(Baked)

Fried Chin Chin

(Fried)

Chin Chin is a very popular Nigerian snack which falls into the “small chops” category. (Small chops meaning it can be served as an appetizer). It is made by deep-frying dough until golden brown and crunchy.

I try to stay away from fried foods as much as I can, and so I thought to BAKE the chin chin instead of deep-frying it. I’ve never heard of anyone bake chin chin before, but there’s a first time for everything, right?

I actually made 2 batches, one baked, and the other deep-fried to determine which I liked better. The baked one won me over, hands down. It has a ‘cleaner’ mouth feel, and it actually turned out to be crunchier than its fried counterpart.

I challenge you to try the baked version; you won’t hurt my feelings if you decide to go with the fried version. I promise I won’t judge *wink*

Servings: 6,  Serving Size: ½ cup

Calories:  291, Protein: 5.09 g, Carbohydrate: 50.0 g, Fat: 7.74 g, Sodium: 130.9 mg,Fiber: 1.69 g 

Ingredients:

½ cup sugar

1 tsp nutmeg, ground

2 tsp ginger, ground

2 tsp cinnamon, ground

½ cup light butter, melted

2 cups of all-purpose flour

½ cup of low-fat milk (1%)

Directions:

Preheat your oven to 400 degrees F.

Measure out the flour and pour in a medium-sized bowl.

In a separate bowl, combine the sugar, nutmeg, ginger and cinnamon. Whisk until evenly combined.

Pour the liquid mixture into flour, mixing with a spatula until your dough is formed (it will be really sticky).

Sprinkle some flour on a flat work surface, and knead your dough. (You may have to sprinkle some flour on the dough so it is easier to work with but do not overdo it).

Roll your dough out flat, and cut into strips, length wise and across, forming square chips (It’s okay if it is not precise, rectangle shaped chips are quite okay).

Cut chin chin

Spray a baking dish/pan with cooking spray. Arrange the chips of dough in the pan and set in the oven for 35 minutes (or until golden brown and crunchy).

Remove from oven, and let cool before eating.

If you would like to try the fried method, after the chips are formed, deep fry in hot vegetable oil.  Either way, enjoy this traditional Nigerian snack. 

Suya

Suya

Suya is a spicy Nigerian Shish Kebab. The spices used to season Suya vary from vendor to vendor, and one of the reasons it is so popular aside from its deliciousness is that the spices used to give it its wonderful distinct flavor, remains a mystery.   

Suya spice is sold on the market, but the ingredients in the concoction are never divulged. With a lot of taste testing, and brain storming, I came up with my own blend of seasonings that closely replicate that used by the traditional Suya masters back home.

Serving Size: 4 pieces of meat, Servings: 7

Calories:  150.3, Protein: 15.3 g,  Carbohydrate: 3.37 g, Fat: 8.48 g, Sodium: 293.6 g

Ingredients:

1 tbsp cayenne pepper, ground

1 tbsp paprika, ground

1 tsp sage, ground

1 tsp cumin, ground

1 tsp curry powder

2 tsp beef bouillon powder (I used knorr)

2 tsp basil, ground

1 tsp garlic powder

¼ cup peanuts, crushed

1 lb thin sliced sirloin (about 28 chunks)

½ cup red onion, thinly sliced

Directions:

Pre-heat oven to 375 degrees F.

In a small bowl, combine all the ingredients (with the exception of the red onion and beef) until well mixed.

Dip the sliced beef chunks into the spice mix until completely covered on both sides.

Spray a baking dish/pan with cooking spray, and arrange the spice coated beef in the dish. Cover with aluminum foil, and place in the oven for 25 minutes.

Suya seasoning
After 25 minutes, add the sliced red onions and place back in the oven for an additional 5 to 8 minutes (or until well done).

Serve Suya as is, or on skewers/ toothpicks. 

Efo Elegusi

Roughly translated, this is vegetable soup with ground melon seeds. Pictured below, with brown rice.

Efo egusi

Servings: 14 Serving Size: ½ cup

Calories:  130.2, Protein: 3.86 g, Carbohydrate: 16.9 g, Fat: 5.83 g, Calcium: 120.3 mg, Potassium: 199.0 mg, Sodium:  217.6 mg, Dietary Fiber: 2.91 g

Ingredients

1 red bell pepper, chopped

1 cup tomato sauce (reduced sodium)

1 white onion

2 Tbsp locust beans (iru)

2 Tbsp ground crayfish (crawfish)

1 cup ground melon seeds (egusi)

2 cloves garlic

1/3 cup canola oil

2  Knorr beef bouillon

2 tsp cayenne pepper

3 ½ cup collard greens (chopped)

Directions:

Cut the onions, in half. You will blend ½ the onion with the peppers and you will dice the other half to be used later in cooking.

In a blender, combine the bell pepper, onion, garlic, locust beans, tomato sauce and ½ cup water. Blend until smooth.

Heat 1/3 cup canola oil on medium high heat. Add the onions and let fry until translucent (this will take about 2 minutes).

Add in the pepper, bouillon and ground crayfish to the oil. Let cook for 10 minutes.

Reduce the heat to low-medium and then add in the ground melon seeds. Cook for 25 minutes.

Add in the collard greens and cook for another 6 minutes.  (You can add some assorted meat with the collard greens if desired, however this is optional). 

Serve with your choice of fufu, eba, pounded yam, or even brown rice as pictured above. 

Ayamase

DSCN5614

This is by far, one of my favorite Nigerian stews.  However, it has one ingredient which is crucial to its unique flavor that I’m not too fond of. The culprit in question, is palm oil. I never use palm oil to cook anything, except for this stew.  The reason being that it is high in saturated fats. Did you know that a cup of palm oil contains a little over 1900 calories,  107 g of saturated fat, and 218 g of total fat? Yeah that’s a ton.  Saturated fats have been shown to raise total blood cholesterol levels and ‘bad cholesterol’ low-density lipoprotein (LDL) cholesterol levels, which can increase your risk of cardiovascular disease. Considering that most people use more than a cup of palm oil in their recipe is a cause for concern.

In order to preserve the unique flavor, I still kept the palm oil but I used a lesser amount, and added some canola oil to balance it out. This gives you more yum, without the guilt, because its healthier for you.

Servings: 18, Serving Size: ¼ cup

Calories:  200.8, Protein: 11.88 g, Carbohydrate: 3.72 g Fat, Total: 15.9 g, Saturated Fat: 4.22 g, Sodium: 137.0 mg, Potassium: 208.0 mg, Calcium: 24.6 mg, Fiber: 1.16 g

 Ingredients:

4 large green bell peppers (tatase)

4 habanero peppers (ata rodo)

1 medium white onion (red onion, also works)

1 lb of cooked assorted meat (This can be a combo of beef, goat, beef tripe, etc. I used chicken gizzard and beef)

 6 oz cooked shrimp

3 tbsp crayfish, ground

1 tsp garlic paste

1 tsp beef bouillon  

1 tbsp locust beans (iru)

1/2  cup palm oil

1/3 cup canola oil 

Directions:

If your meat hasn’t been cooked before hand, just combine the meats, (with the exception of the shrimp) and season with 2-3 diced garlic cloves, 1 tsp thyme, 2 beef bouillon cubes, 1 chopped red onion. Add 3 to 4 cups of water and cook over medium-high heat until tender.

Next, you will want to blend your onion, green peppers, and habanero peppers. You DO NOT want it smooth. You want it chunky.

Pour the blended mixture through a sieve to remove the excess water (there will be lots of it), you want it to be as dry as possible. You can use a spoon to ‘smoosh’ the pepper, so as to strain the excess liquid through.

DSCN5604-001

Once this is done, take ½ cup of palm oil, and pour in a small pot on medium heat. You want to ‘bleach’ the palm oil, until it turns a yellowish, almost clear color. This will take 10 to 12 minutes. Make sure you pay attention to it while it is bleaching, and leave your vent turned on.

While your palm oil is bleaching, transfer your pepper mixture unto a lined aluminum foil pan and place in the oven to broil for 7 to 9 minutes (you want to keep close watch to make sure it doesn’t start to burn).

When the palm oil is bleached, put the heat on low, and remove temporarily from the burner to cool down the oil a bit.

In a large pot, heat the canola oil on medium-high heat. Once the oil gets hot, add the garlic, crayfish, locust beans, bouillon and shrimp, stir. After about 3 minutes, add in the peppers, stirring occasionally. Let it cook for about 10 minutes, and then add your palm oil, and lastly the meat.

Mix the meat with the peppers and the oil until completely coated and let cook for another 10 minutes.

You can serve Ayamase with rice, plantain or both. Enjoy!