Yoruba Traditional Cooking – Part 2–The Ingredients

In this installment I am covering the ingredients you need to prepare this meal. Most of the ingredients are things you will have on hand, but some things will need to be purchased from an African Grocery or Asian grocery store. Some things may even be found in a Mexican/Latin grocery store. If you need help locating an item, let me know.

Once this series is complete you will be able to access a printable file via ziplist.

Here are the ingredients we will be using in this meal:

Meats:

2 Ibs each chicken  thighs and drumsticks.
2 Ibs goat meat, found in African or Asian grocery. I like Goat meat.  As in A LOT. My kids don’t like it, so I make the chicken for them. If you want to skip either meat, you can just double up.
If using just chicken, I’d use a whole cut up chicken.
If you’d rather skip the meat, I’m sorry, I can’t help you there…it’s just not the same!

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Spices:

Jamaican Curry
Thyme
Bouillon cubes (I like the Maggi Brand, I’ve only ever found them in the African or Asian grocery store)
Salt
Dried Shrimp (African Grocery store)

Produce:

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1 Ib  Okra – Fresh or frozen found in your local grocery
4 ripe medium sized tomatoes
1 sweet red pepper
1 habanero pepper
2 large onions, white or red

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Other:

Red Palm Oil – African or Asian Grocery store or here
Vegetable or Canola Oil
Iyan powder – found in your local African or Asian Grocery Store, or here:
1 6oz can Tomato Paste

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(please excuse my abused bottle Smile)

Now that we’ve got our ingredients, let’s get ready to rumble!

Please subscribe to this blog here so you don’t miss a post!

Missed a post? Here are the other parts:

Part 1: Introduction
Part 2: The Ingredients/Shopping List

Part 3: Prepping the meats
Part 4: Making the Stew/Obe Ata
Part 5: Okra Stew!
Part 6: The Pounded Yam (Iyan)
Part 7: Putting it all together/Conclusion

Traditional Yoruba (Nigerian) Morsel Food -Part I-Introduction

Yes, that’s right, I’m putting the Afro into AfroMartha! Come along with me on a journey into preparing some traditional Yoruba food!

I dare you to try it. I dare you not to love it.

In the next few days I will be showing you how to prepare from scratch: (Iyan) Pounded Yam, Obe Ata (Pepper Stew with Meats), and Okra Stew.

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Traditional Yoruba food is morsel food. What is morsel food, you ask? It is food you eat with your bare hands, dipped into some type of stew, as pictured above. Some people who are familiar with morsel food universally call the morsel portion Fufu.  Fufu is actually just one variation of it. There are many other types, such as Pounded Yam, which is what we will be making in this series.

Like any other type of food, the Yoruba have a variety of food, some eaten by hands, and some eaten with utensils. In this series I am focusing in on the type eaten by hand, because it is the most esoteric and purest of Yoruba tradition. Due to its esoteric nature, I feel that it has not gained as much popularity as other foods.

As some of you may know, I am a Naija woman, born and bred. My ancestry is from the Yoruba tribe of the southwestern region of Nigeria. I spent the first thirteen years of my life immersed in my Yoruba culture. Once something is that ingrained in you, you can never shake it.

This makes it all the more ridiculous that in the almost 4 years of this site I have never not once introduced a Yoruba recipe. I have asked myself why, in all the years of presenting different recipes have I never introduced African food? To be honest, I just didn’t ever give it much thought. When I honestly sat down and thought about it, I realized that it had more to do with me, and less to do with you, the audience.

The bulk of my (subconscious) reason was due to the reservations I have about stigma usually attached to anything African as being primitive and unrefined. I realize now that in not celebrating and incorporating this aspect of my culture, I help to perpetuate the stereotypes and the stigma. It also does not give you enough credit for being open minded, and does not allow you to make up your own mind.

Since traditional Yoruba food is  ‘morsel’ food eaten with your (well washed) bare hands it may take getting used to.  It is not at all like eating sandwiches, wraps, tacos, etc. It can be messy for a novice, but you will quickly get the hang of it.

Yoruba cooking can be very much improvisational. There are no hard and fast recipes. It is a splash of this, a dash of that, and a whole lot of instinct.  American cooking is based on fairly precise recipes, so I have come up with a solid recipe that can be replicated. I have also broken down these posts into very short and easily do-able portions, so as not to overwhelm you with the complexity of all the moving parts. In the final post I will sum up how to make everything simultaneously. The more you do it, the more it will run like a well-oiled machine!

Yoruba cooking  is somewhat time and labor intensive. Preparing a pot of stew will take a good 2 hours. Making the Pounded yam portion requires some serious upper body strength. On the plus side, once the stews are done, the rest is easy. Your stew will last for several meals.

Like most foods, you either love it hate it. It could be an acquired taste for some, and instant love for others. I started preparing it for my children when they were very young, and they absolutely love it. We don’t go too many weeks without them asking me to make it for them. I have many American friends who love it. The Mister on the hand is not at all interested.  Tried it and didn’t like it. On nights when we eat it, he eats something else. It’s just not for him.

I want to say that Yoruba food and cooking is going to be totally different from anything you may have  experienced, but is that really true? Maybe I’m not the best judge of that.  I may not be giving you enough credit. We will find out together through this journey.

Please visit tomorrow for the  first installment where I will show you how to prep the meats for the Obe Ata.

Please subscribe to this blog here so you don’t miss a post!

Part 1: Introduction
Part 2: The Ingredients/Shopping List
Part 3: Prepping the meats
Part 4: Making the Stew/Obe Ata
Part 5: Okra Stew!
Part 6: The Pounded Yam (Iyan)
Part 7: Putting it all together/Conclusion

Making Pasta

#pastamaking this afternoon. #butternutsquash #ravioli and #linguini done. Recipe at #thejoykitchen.com

Making Pasta for my family? But why? because fresh home-made pasta is delicious! Puts the store bought dried stuff to shame.

Here’s my confession: I never really liked Pasta until I started making my own.  I would make sphaghetti for my family, then eat something else. I liked Ravioli and Lasagna, but the stuff that you just add sauce to? I hated it. Then I started making my own.

Not gonna lie to ya, it is time-consuming, and there’s probably better uses for my time. So worth it though.

Here’s a simple dough recipe I found at www.thejoykitchen.com

2C flour ( I used 1 C semolina, 1 C all purpose)
3 large eggs
1 tsp olive oil
1/2 tsp salt

Basic gist:

Combine the dry ingredients, make a well in the middle, add the eggs and oil in the well.

Draw in the flour mix into the egg/oil mix.

Continue until the mix is well incorporated and you have a smooth elastic dough.

Let rest for 1 hour, then roll out and cut either into lasagna or any pasta shape you want. I use my pasta machine.

 

Banana Oat Muffins

#banana #oat #muffins are done and the house smells glorious!

In my previous post I showed you how to grind your own oat flour using a coffee grinder. Look what that oat flour turned into!

Easy-peasy banana oat muffins.

Ingredients:

1 1/2 cups all-purpose flour
1 cup rolled oats
1/2 cup white sugar
2 teaspoons baking powder
1 teaspoon baking soda
1/2 teaspoon salt
1 egg
3/4 cup milk
1/3 cup vegetable oil
1/2 teaspoon vanilla extract
2 mashed ripe medium sized bananas

Method:

Combine flour, oats, sugar, baking powder, soda, and salt.
In a large bowl, beat the egg lightly. Stir in the milk, oil, and vanilla. Add the mashed banana, and combine thoroughly. Stir the flour mixture into the banana mixture until just combined. Line a 12-cup muffin tin with paper bake cups, and divide the batter among them.
Bake at 400 degrees F (205 degrees C) for 18 to 20 minutes.

Enjoy!

No oat flour, no problem.

#grind your own #oatflour using a #coffee #grinder.

You know how a recipe sounds so much more exotic and not-doable if you don’t readily have some of the ingredients on hand? Yeah, I hate that feeling. I’m like, could you just tell me what else I can use if I don’t have that thing?

I had this recipe for Banana Oat muffins that looked good…except I didn’t have any oat flour like the recipe called for. Being smarter than the average bear, I figured, isn’t oat flour really just ground up Oatmeal? Like the oatmeal my kids wake me up every morning to make for them? Hell yeah it is…. BTW, the fancy schmancy crew like to also call it Colloidal Oatmeal, as if they don’t think we’d be smart enough to figure out that it’s just ground up Oatmeal.  I mean, it’s not as if there’s another species of Oats called “Colloidal’ or “Flour.” Well played, recipe writer, and ingredient namers, well-played.

Next time your super health nut muffin recipe calls for oat flour and you don’t have some on hand, fear not, for you have oatmeal on hand, I hope, you big dope…No really, you’re dope…ok I’ll stop now.

 

Pancit Canton noodles with chicken and Broccoli

#dinner! Cannot wait to dig in. #Homemade #chicken and #broccoli using #pancit #canton

This dish is yummy!

What’s even better? It’s very easy to make. I use the ever popular 3-2-1 Sauce recipe I found online.

pancit canton noodles with chicken and broccoli

3-2-1 sauce:

3 parts soy sauce (I like to use sweet soy sauce)
2 Parts Oyster sauce (or hoisin would do to)
1 Part sesame oil (this gives it that flavor!)

I don’t have any set amounts of anything, because that’s how I roll. Next time I make it I will try to get some proportions. I usually just assemble the following ingredients till it looks right to me.

2 Chicken Breasts raw, cubed
Carrots (usually about 1 cup)
Broccoli (about 2-3 cups)
1 large onion, sliced thin, separated
2 cloves garlic
Chicken broth, if needed for the noodles.

8oz of Pancit Canton noodles
sesame oil to pan fry

Method:

marinate the cubed chicken in the 3-2-1 sauce with the onions and garlic for at least 1 hour in the fridge
Pan fry in a little bit of sesame oil until cooked.
Add the vegetables and cook until tender but still firm.
This part is important ***Do not precook the noodles*** Add the dry noodles with the chicken and vegetable mix and cover.
The noodles will cook in the sauce. If it’s a little dry, add some broth to help further cook the noodles. It should be cooked within a few minutes.

Bon Appetit, for it will be delicious!

 

Turkey Burger Con Salsa y Aguacate

My efforts to #eatlessbread ...hope it's worth my suffering!

 

I hope this is worth my suffering…

Bread is my downfall. I never met a loaf of bread I didn’t like so I tend to eat a lot of it, which you will immediately be able to tell when you meet me in person. Anyway, I made this absolutely scrumptious turkey burger complete with Avocado slices and Garden Salsa…theeeeen, decided to skip the burger buns.  All part of my efforts to #eatlessbread.

Who am I kidding? that won’t last, but oh well. It was a delicious try.

Turkey Burger

Ingredients:

2 Ibs Ground Turkey

1 small onion, finely chopped

1 green pepper, finely chopped

4oz mushrooms, finely chopped

1 cup fresh spinach, finely chopped

1/2 C Italian style breadcrumbs

salt and black pepper to taste

Method:

Throw all the chopped veggies in a bowl with the ground turkey and mix well together. Form into Patties. Grill or cook on a griddle. Serve with some garden salsa and a couple of slices of ripe avocado.

Eat it on a bun…or not.