All posts filed under: Nigeria

nigerian-fried-rice

Celebrate Name Yourself Day with Nigerian Fried Rice

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 morbid statement. Today, in honor of international Name Yourself Day (April 8) I’d like to explore if we can find such power in our names – whether or not where we end up in life can be manifest through clear and purposeful intention repeated like mantra, with something as basic as our very own names. If it is true, then the meaning and sentiment of our names can have a big influence on who we are and what we do with our lives. So we should choose them …

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Monday Meal Review: Nigeria

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 Nigeria, and so – in a fit of boredom one sweltering afternoon – I look into Nigerian naming traditions. As the air-conditioner whines, I lose myself in a group called the Yoruba who live, in part, in Nigeria. According to Yoruba culture, the naming of the child is a decision of the utmost importance. They believe that the child’s name shapes the life of the child because the name is like a spirit, constantly on a quest to seek out fulfillment. This is how, for example, a Yoruba child can come to be named “kokumo,”or “this …

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Grilled Plantain spears with crushed peanuts | Boli Bopa

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 charred, but not mushy. Slice and serve… … preferably with crushed peanuts and a sprinkling of extra spices, as desired. This would also be great with minced chili peppers, like jalapeno. That’s it! A quick and relatively fuss-free taste of Nigeria. Adapted from The Africa Cookbook: Tastes of a Continent by Jessica Harris. Here’s what you need… Ingredients: 3 plantains 1-2 Tbsp red palm oil handful crushed peanuts salt cayenne pepper, optional 12345 Votes: 0 Rating: 0 You: Rate this recipe! This is so quick, it’s silly. …

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Nigerian Chapman Cocktail

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 invented by a Nigerian bartender named Chapman and, although I wasn’t able to find any solid facts on the history, I like the idea that there is a real live person behind the drink. There are as many variations as there are bubbles in Chapman. The general idea is to mix orange soda (traditional would be fanta) with a lemon/lime soda (like sprite). I went with natural izze sodas and later made a version with san pelligrino. Both tasted bright and zesty. Perhaps the most …

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West African Peanut Kebabs | Suya

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 more). Just the other day I unearthed three bulk bags of peanuts in the back corner of the shelf. This is what happens when Patty is in disorder. When I don’t clear through her clutter. I’ve never been happier to have too many peanuts in my pantry. It means I get to make Suya, west African Peanut Kabobs. These kabobs, ever-so-popular in Nigeria, crackle with the most addictive crust – ground peanuts seasoned with fresh ginger, garlic, paprika, onion powder, and …

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Menu: Nigeria (& Giveaway)

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 do. Grilled Plantain spears with crushed peanuts | Boli Bopa [Recipe] A simple way to taste Nigeria – brush plantains with red palm oil, sprinkle on spices, and grill until tender. Serve with crushed peanuts. West African Peanut Kebabs | Suya [Recipe] Pure, wonderful bites of happiness. Beef (or whatever you’d like) grilled with spiced peanut crust (think fresh ginger, garlic, paprika, and cayenne… onion powder and more). You’ll make this one again and again. Nigerian Chapman Cocktail [Recipe] Citrus, bubbles, and smiles. What more can a girl ask for? You’ll get all …

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

About the food of Nigeria

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, plateau, and plain. The food is as varied as the landscape – guaranteed to make your tummy rumble. There are many traditional dishes to be found, made with goat, chicken or beef. There’s also a great love for seafood and fish – especially prawns and crayfish – abundantly found in the ocean and the Niger River. These might be accompanied by casssava, corn, or millet (Fancy a millet ball? Gotcha covered – try serving it with yogurt, honey, and spices like cinnamon, nutmeg, and cardamom). Common veggies include peppers, squash, …

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