Celebrate Name Yourself Day with Nigerian Fried Rice

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This Shall Not Die In Yoruba culture, in southwestern Nigeria and Southern Benin, the naming of babies is of the utmost importance - one that the Yoruba people believe will help determine their child's future - their fate. That's how a baby might come to be named Kokumo, or "This Shall Not Die." I'll be honest, the first time I imagined a baby with the word "die" in their name, I got the chills. But Kokuma is an optimistic, prayerful name. A wish for their child's well-being - not some … [Read more...]

Monday Meal Review: Nigeria

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I press the glass to my lips. Millions of tiny bubbles burst at once; fireworks in my mouth. Zesty fireworks. If the name is any indication, this Chapman is a serious drink. A drink for gentlemen and poker, with a splash of intrigue. A drink suitable for 007 himself. But one sip in and I know - this is a silly, sing-in-the-shower, dance-with-your-towel-on-your-head kind of drink. This is a sit-in-the-shade-and-sing-to-the-birds kind of drink. What's in a name, anyway? The drink comes from … [Read more...]

Recipe: Grilled Plantain spears with crushed peanuts | Boli Bopa

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This is so quick, it's silly. All you need are a few medium-ripe plantains (as pictured), some red palm oil, and a bit of salt & hot pepper. You can find the red palm oil at your natural grocer or, if you're lucky enough to have an African market, there. You brush on the red palm oil (back in the day I wrote a bit about this popular west African oil)... Sprinkle with salt and whatever spices you like (think hot, like cayenne... or mild, like paprika)... Grill until tender and … [Read more...]

Recipe: Nigerian Chapman Cocktail

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There are four things I love to do in the summer. 1. Flit around pools, lakes, and oceans until my fingers wrinkle and warp. 2. Make mud pies and bake them in the Oklahoma sun. 3. Kiss my husband at the drive-in movie theater. 4. Dance like no one is watching. When that's all done, I like a good, sweet sipper and a shady spot to drink it down. Thankfully, I just learned about Chapman - a bright, bubbly festival for your mouth. This is a Nigerian drink made for parties - supposedly … [Read more...]

Recipe: West African Peanut Kebabs | Suya

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My pantry's name is Patty.* She's actually just a shelf in the laundry room, above the vacuum cleaner and mop, but I love her all the same. Right now she could use a diet - she is packed with boxes upon boxes of noodles, rice, 8 kinds of oils, soup, 4 bags of coffee from around the world, 4 kinds of dried chili peppers, and fishy bouillon cubes I bought 2 years ago for one of our Global Table meals and promptly forgot to use (I'm going to go ahead and presume they aren't good any … [Read more...]

Menu: Nigeria (& Giveaway)

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Today we're celebrating two things. Our Nigerian menu (we're almost done with the "N"'s can you believe it?) and our first weekly giveaway (scroll down to find out what it is). Yay! First, as always, the beautiful food. Our Nigerian menu is all about the grill - grilled plantains, savory peanut crusted kebabs, and a bubbly sparkly citrus drink, perfect to take the edge off summer. Either that or you can impulsively jump in your child's inflatable pool with your clothes on. That's what I … [Read more...]

About the food of Nigeria

Kids playing in the streets of Zaria, Nigeria. Photo by shirazc.

Let's fill a van with pineapples. Let's pack them so tightly they press against the windows. Let's load up a motorcycle with a mountain of empty plastic bottles, all strung together like a tangled string of lights. And while we're at it, let's make this mountain five times the size of the motorcycle. These are scenes from Nigeria, the most populated country in Africa. And I saw every single one on YouTube. Nigeria is nestled in the heart of Africa, where you'll find ocean, swamp, city, … [Read more...]