Kunun G’eda (Nigerian Rice Pudding) -Thank You Kaka

Hello Everyone! It has been a while but trust me I have a good excuse 🙂

As some of you might know I got married (whoop,whoop) to a dashing young man from Bauchi State. First a bit of Nigerian geography for the benefit of Non-Nigerians, I am from the South-Western part of Nigeria (Ogun State to be precise) while my husband is from the North-Eastern part of Nigeria so you could say our marriage is fusion of two completely different cultures.

It therefore seems fitting that my first recipe post-nuptials be one from Northern Nigeria! This post was inspired by two things, one was the big bag of fresh groundnut ‘Kaka’ (grand-mother in Hausa) gave me when I visited her in Gwaranga (town in Bauchi state)  and the other is my sister-in-law who served us kunu g’eda the last time we visited. After which I asked her for a detailed recipe. 😊

Today’s recipe is Nigeria’s version of a rice pudding cooked in groundnut milk. It is a warming, sweet and sour dish which can be enjoyed either as a main meal or as a desert. The nutritional benefits are also profound. You might have heard me talk about the benefits of combining grains and legumes in order to get all essential amino acids in our  diet, well this dish ticks all the boxes and more. Rice (grain) and groundnut (legume) also provide the perfect balance of carbohydrates, protein and  healthy fats. 😊

Now to the recipe!

You will need

1/2 cup of rice – I used brown but you can use any other type of rice.

1 cup of fresh groundnut

4 cups of water

Juice of 1/2 lemon

1 tsp of cinnamon (optional)

Sugar to taste

Instructions

If using brown rice soak rice in water and some lemon juice or Apple cider vinegar for about 8 hours or overnight. This has been said to help breakdown anti-nutrients present in whole grains. Cook the rice until soft and set aside.  If using white rice no need to soak or pre-cook.

2) Roast the fresh groundnut in a pan on low heat for about 5minites. Stirring occasionally to avoid it burning.


3) Grind in a dry mill or a coffee/spice blender. This makes the process of extracting the milk quicker.


4) Add 2 cups of water and blend until smooth


5) Seive out the skin which would leave you with the groundnut milk.

What you do with the ‘chaff’ is up to you… Personally I just added it back into the pan seemed a shame wasting all that good fibre. Lol

6) Pour the milk into a pan and bring to a boil. Once it starts to boil add the cinnamon (if using) rice, 2 cups of water and give it a good stir. Cook for another 20 -25 mins stirring every now and again to prevent it boiling over and sticking to the bottom of the pot.


If using uncooked rice, cook until rice is very soft. At the end the grounding milk should have a paste like consistency.

7) Add the juice of half a lemon


8) Let it cool down a bit- if you can wait that is lol . Add sugar or honey to taste and serve


Enjoy hot or cold! Do let me know how you get on. 😊

Aubergine ‘No Meat’ Meat Balls 

The other day I bought some Aubergine and the plan was to sauté them and have them with Yam just the way my Dad likes them but I just didn’t seem to get round to it. I was going to get rid of them when I remembered I had seen a recipe in my Abel and Cole “Veg Box Companion” cookbook  for “Aubergine No Meat Meat Balls”.

Those who know me know I am a long way away from being vegetarian as I do love my meat but this is definitely yummy and a testament to the fact that Vegetables don’t have to be boring.

This recipe is yummy and is definitely not just for vegetarians and Vegans. 🙂

Aubergine No Meat Meatballs 

You will need

  • A few splashes of olive oil
  • 2 Aubergines cut into small cubes
  • 1 small onion finely chopped
  • 3 garlic cloves, finely chopped
  • Sea salt and freshly ground pepper
  • 1 lemon,  juice and zest
  • A handful of pitted olives
  • 1 red chilli, finely chopped (or a pinch of chilli powder)
  • A large handful of fresh basil or 1 tbsp chopped rosemary leaves
  • 1 Tbsp balsamic vinegar or Apple cider vinegar
  • 1 mug of breadcrumbs
  • 4 tbsp of pine nuts (optional)

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Method 

  • Place a large pan over medium heat. Sizzle the aubergine and onion in a bit of oil

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  • When they’ve picked up a little colour and are almost done, add garlic, a squeeze of lemon juice and lemon zest.
  • Tip into a food processor with the olives, chilli, herbs, vinegar, breadcrumbs and pine nuts(if using) You can also chop everything on a large chopping board and mix. Season.

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  • Taste and add more seasoning as needed. If it’s too wet you can add more breadcrumbs. If too dry add a bit of olive oil.
  • Shape into balls and fry in some Olive oil until brown all over.

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  • Serve with tomatoes sauce and eat with rice or pasta!

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Enjoy!

Re-thinking Carbs and a Simple alternative to Pasta

Last weekend I was talking to a friend and as seems to often be the case with me these days we were talking about health and food. In the process I mentioned that cucumber was a source of carbohydrate and she looked surprised and said “really? so what should we eat then?” Now that statement highlighted two things:

1) The common confusion as to what foods fall under the carbohydrate group

2) The common misconception that carbohydrates are ‘bad’ and should be avoided or limited.

So today we will be looking at  carbohydrates, what role they play in our bodies and how to differentiate between the different types of carbohydrates.

What are Carbohydrates?   

Carbohydrates are one of the essential macro-nutrients which means they need to be obtained from food. Carbohydrates are used in our bodies to produce energy, they do this by breaking carbohydrate rich foods down into glucose which is transported into the cells where the process of energy generation begins.

Which Foods are sources of Carbohydrates?

There are two broad categories of Carbohydrates namely simple carbohydrates and complex carbohydrates the major difference being the rate at which they are broken down and absorbed.

Simple carbohydrates are made of one or two sugar molecules and therefore broken down quicker thereby given us ‘quick’. Complex carbohydrates on the other hand are made up of multiple sugar molecules which take longer to break down.

Some food sources of simple carbohydrates:

  • Molasses
  • Jams, jellies
  • Fruit drinks
  • Soft drinks
  • Candy
  • Table sugar
  • Brown sugar
  • Corn syrup
  • Honey
  • Maple syrup
  • White Rice
  • White flour products such as pasta, cakes, pastry etc

Sources of Complex Carbohydrates: 

  • All kinds of Vegetables – Leafy green vegetables, Cabbage, Tomatoes, Cucumber,Celery, Onions, Bell peppers etc
  • Whole grains and foods made from them, such as oatmeal, pasta, and whole-grain breads. Also brown rice, pearl barley, corn, quinoa etc.
  • Starchy vegetables such as potatoes, sweet potatoes, corn, pumpkin, yams, cassava etc
  • Beans, lentils, and peas

Some complex carbohydrates have a higher carbohydrate content and are generally known as starchy carbohydrates. These include foods such as potatoes, yams, sweet potatoes, parsnips. As a general rule all ‘below the ground’ crops have a higher carbohydrate content.

Low Carbohydrates vegetables are generally above the ground crops such as Cucumber, Asparagus, green leafy vegetables, Tomatoes, Mushrooms, Brussel Sprouts, onions etc

So what is the problem with Carbs?

In my opinion the only problem is one of balance, ideally we want to get most of our carbohydrates from the complex spectrum. This is because a diet consisting mainly of refined/simple carbohydrates which release glucose quickly can lead to an imbalance in blood sugar levels. These foods give us us what is known as a sugar rush or a buzz of energy but soon leave us feeling tired as energy levels dip. This leads us to eat more which can lead to weight gain.

The key to having a balanced blood sugar profile (especially for non-diabetics) is to eat complex carbohydrates which release glucose gradually, providing us with a steady stream of energy rather than a buzz. Also to eat at regular intervals throughout the day (every 3-4 hours) and to have small amounts of protein with every meal and snack as proteins help slow down the stomach emptying time therefore slowing down the rate at which glucose is released into the bloodstream.

So now that we’ve looked at Carbohydrates, lets look at a simple recipe which uses a vegetable with a lower carb content to make a special kind of  noodles. 🙂

Today I will be sharing a low carbohydrate alternative to pasta/noodles called Zoodles.

You will need – Serves 1-2

  1. 1 Zucchini/Courgette
  2. 1 Red Chilli
  3. 1 Cup diced cooked chicken
  4. 1/2 tbs Fresh root ginger
  5. 1 garlic clove
  6. Salt to taste
  7. Spice of choice – Optional depending on whether or not your chicken is spiced
  8. 1 tbs cooking oil

Method

1) Grate Zucchini/Courgette lengthways or use a  spiralizer and set aside

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2) Heat the oil in a pan and add the garlic, ginger and chilli

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2) Add chicken and spices if using, stir for a few minutes until hot.

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3) Add zucchini and stir for a minute or two and there you have it. 🙂

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Happy Cooking at Eating! 🙂

Mango Chutney Chicken

This Mango Chutney Chicken recipe is one I found on the Daring Gourmet website (if you don’t already know her, do visit her site!). I will be adding a bit of Nigerian Flavour to it. 🙂

Sweet and savory is a winner with most people and this recipe definitely ticks every single box! So no much chatter today, let’s get cooking:

You will need

  • 8 pieces of chicken drumsticks
  • 4 tablespoons mango chutney
  • 1 tbs of Suya Spice – (optional)
  • Juice of one lemon
  • 2 tablespoons unsalted butter, softened
  • 1 teaspoon salt
  • ¼ teaspoon dried thyme
  • ¼ teaspoon freshly ground black pepper
  • ¼ teaspoon paprika

Method

  1. Pre-heat the oven to 180 degrees celsius
  2. Score the chicken and squeeze lemon juice over the chicken and set aside to rest in the fridge. Lemon juice helps to pre-digest the meat aiding the infusion of flavours.
  3. IMG_2499 In a small bowl, all remaining ingredients and stir to thoroughly combine.
  4. IMG_2507Coat the chicken with the mix and place the drumsticks in an ovenproof dish and bake for 25 minutes.
  5. IMG_2509Take the chicken out and spread the remaining sauce over the pieces and bake for another 30 minutes or until chicken is well cooked and juices run clear.
  6. To get a crispier feel, you can place under the grill till skin turns become crisp.
  7. This chicken is best served and eaten immediately. 🙂

I had mine with some salad (Spinach, Rockets, grated carrots and some pearl barley)

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Home-made Mango Chutney

A chutney in its simplest definition is a savoury Jam, which can be made from a variety of fruits, vegetables and spices.The word Chutney originates from the Indian word Chanti which means crushed because the ingredients were traditionally crushed in a mortar and pestle.

During the british colonial era, soldiers and their families developed a love for this local dish and as they moved from place to place the lack of certain ingredients led them to create variations of chutney using what was available. So much so that today there are as many variations of chutney as there are methods of preparing it.

My love for mango chutney began on a trip to Exeter, as I walked past the market stalls I spotted a stall with an array of chutney. No doubt the mango chutney caught my attention, and as I was pondering whether or not to buy it the seller proceeded to tell me they were homemade  by a small family business up in …(can’t remember now). If the mango didn’t get me, the thought of supporting a small family business did the trick so I bought it and was in no way disappointed.

When I finished the jar, I decided to try my hands at making some myself and that is how I found a recipe by The Daring Gourmet. I have made slight changes to it, using less spices as I wanted to create milder version similar to the one I bought in Exeter market. 🙂

Let’s get cooking

You will need:
  • 2 Large Mangoes or 4-5 medium-sized ones (Peeled and cut into  chunks)
  • 1 tablespoon cooking oil (I used coconut oil but you can use any oil of your choice)
  • 2 teaspoons fresh root ginger, you can mince this using a grater
  • 2 garlic cloves, finely minced
  • 1 red chili, sliced
  • ¼ teaspoon turmeric
  • ¼ teaspoon ground cinnamon
  • ¼ teaspoon ground nutmeg
  • ¼ teaspoon salt
  • 2 cups white granulated sugar
  • 1 cup white vinegar

Method

  • Heat vegetable oil in a pan and add garlic, ginger and chilli; sauté for a few minutes then add your spices and Sauté for another minute.
  • Add mangoes sugar and vinegar.
  • Stir well and bring to a quick boil, then turn down the heat and let simmer for about 45 minutes, stirring occasionally.
  • They say a simple test to know if your chutney is ready is to make a channel with a wooden spoon across its surface when it seems thick enough and if it leaves a channel imprinted for a few seconds without being filled by spare vinegar, it is ready.

This recipe filled a medium-sized jar and still had a bit left over!

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The acidity level of chutney means it will generally keep well, storing in the fridge for up to two months in a sealed jar according to the Daring gourmet a conservative time frame.

There are more than one ways to enjoy your mango chutney, I sometimes have it on oatcake (see recipe here) or crackers with cheese.

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You can also try this Mango Chutney Chicken, recipe coming soon. 🙂IMG_2519 Enjoy and do let us know how you get on! 🙂

White Fish cooked in Coconut Milk

I enjoy experimenting in the kitchen, combining ingredients based on their nutritional benefits and hoping to God they come out edible. Needless to say I’ve had some recipes that didn’t come out quite as expected though edible and nutritious, like when I added finely chopped vegetables to my oatmeal, now that is a story for another day.

Today’s recipe thankfully tuned out well and was made on one of those days where I had no clue what I was going to have for dinner. No exciting new recipe to try out, no left over from a previous meal and quite frankly I wasn’t really in the mood for anything elaborate, just needed something light.

I had some white fish in the freezer, tossed in a bit of this and a bit of that as I went along. I was going to make a basic fish sauce when I had a ‘light bulb’ moment as I remembered I had some coconut milk in the fridge, tossed that in and cooked the fish in the milk and voila!

I wasn’t actually planning on putting this up on the blog but I posted a picture on my Facebook page and a friend said she wanted the recipe for this weekend as she was tired off eating fish the same  old way. (lol) So this one is for you Oma and thanks for following. 🙂

I would say this recipe serves two but your appetite might be smaller or larger than mine. 🙂

You will need 

  • 300 g of white fish fillet
  • 240 ml of coconut milk
  • 1 teaspoon of turmeric powder (or curry powder)
  • 1 table spoon of freshly grated ginger
  • 1 garlic clove – crushed or finely chopped
  • 1 table spoon of coconut oil or other vegetable oil
  • 1/2 small onion, thinly sliced
  • 1/2 teaspoon of salt or to taste
  • 1/2 teaspoon of freshly ground black pepper
  • 1/2 teaspoon of sage
  • 1/2  teaspoon of oregano
  • 1/2 chopped chilli or 1 teaspoon of chilli flakes (optional)

Method

  1. Wash the fish and pat very dry with kitchen towel/paper.

Note: If using a whole fish, you will find a useful guide on how to fillet fish here .Also defrost if using frozen fish fillet

You can also use Croaker fish or any other fish with a mild/subtle flavour. A fish like Mackerel will most likely overpower the dish in my opinion.

  1. In a medium sized pan heat the oil and add the onion, ginger and garlic. Heat this on medium-low and sauté for a few minutes until on, stir around in the pan to keep them from burning.
  1. Add oregano, sage, salt and pepper. Stir to combine.

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  1. Pour in the coconut milk, add turmeric and chilli if using. Stir to combine flavours. Add fish and cook on low heat until fish cooks through.

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  1. Serve with some rice and/or steamed vegetables or simply have on its own. The first time I made this I just added some sweet corn, makes a light yet feeling meal.

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Feel free to use alternative spices based on what works best for you. Hope you enjoy it and do let me know how you get on. 🙂

Health Benefits

Fish is a good source of protein and essential vitamins

Coconut milk – This is high in saturated fatty acids and medium-chain triglycerides (MCT) which in the winter warming soup recipe I said was a type of fat which is converted quickly to energy rather than being stored as fat. This type of fat also puts less strain on the digestive system as they do not require bile acids for digestion, they move directly to the liver via the portal vein.

Turmeric – This is one spice that has been featuring very highly on my go-to spice list. I have been adding it to everything (well almost everything..lol), watch out for my curry cake. 🙂

The active ingredient which gives turmeric its many health benefits is known as curcumin which is known to have powerful anti-oxidant and anti-inflammatory properties. These properties have made curcumin popular for the prevention and possible treatment of many inflammatory diseases. For more on the health benefits and uses of turmeric see this article.

Curry –  is a blend of spices one of which is turmeric, so in the absence of turmeric you can use curry as some of the nutritional benefits are shared. For instance they both have the active ingredient curcumin though they differ in their iron, manganese and Vitamin E content. According to Louise Tremblay on livingstrong.com 1 tablespoon of turmeric contains 5.2 milligrams of iron while curry has 1.2 milligrams. Also 1 tablespoon of turmeric is said to contain 1.9 milligrams of manganese while curry gives 0.52 milligrams. Vitamin E is one area where curry is said offer a greater advantage with each tablespoon of curry containing 1.6 milligrams of vitamin E, while turmeric contains just 0.4 milligram.

Ginger – Ginger is known for its ability to help with digestive issues such as gas and flatulence. It also helps in the absorption and assimilation of essential nutrients while its anti-inflammatory properties have been known to help with aching muscles and joints (perfect for winter months!)

Onions and garlic – These are an excellent source of sulphur-containing amino acids. The sulphur helps the liver to detox through a process known as sulphation. The amino acids also provide the body with the raw material needed to produce glutiathone, which is a crucial element needed by the liver to carry out it detoxifying function.

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Funmi’s White Fish cooked in Coconut Milk

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

Winter Warming Soup

I received a few feedbacks which have led me to update this post. One friend who tried the soup said it would be nice to have the number of people it served, can’t believe I forgot to add that! Also another  friend said it would be nice to have pictures of the process so she can know what its suppose to look like, so I’ve included pictures hopefully that would help.

Also I had some of the broth from my skin-nourishing soup, scooped some into the soup and it tasted divine and gave it a very Nigerian flavour to the soup.

Soups are great because they full of nutrients, easy to digest and perfect for cold winter months.

Today’s recipe is Patrick’s Primordial soup, created by Patrick Holford, a leading nutrition expert providing nutritional health advice, articles, blog posts and reports. He created this recipe in order to help his wife get over a virus and it is now highly regarded as a health tonic by many of his readers. I made this soup and according to my friend its the best soup she has ever tasted!! 🙂

This soup is in rich in vitamin E and beta-carotene; the ginger, turmeric, onions and garlic have great anti-inflammatory properties. The coconut milk gives the soup a rich creamy flavour and also has medium-chain triglycerides, a type of saturated fat which is not stored as fat but used up as energy

Patrick’s Primordial Soup – Serves 2-3

You will need

1tbs olive oil or coconut oil

1/2 red onion, roughly chopped onion

1 garlic clove, crushed

1 large sweet potatoe, or 2 small -medium ones, not peeled, chopped

1 large carrot or 2 small-medium ones peeled and chopped to the same size as the sweet potatoe to ensure even cooking

1 heaped tsp grated fresh root ginger

1/4 tsp turmeric

2 tsp marigold reduced salt vegetable bouillon powder

1/2 red pepper, diced

75ml coconut milk

Method

Heat the oil in a large pan and sauté the onion and garlic for a few minutes until they start to soften but do not turn brown

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Add carrot, sweet potatoe, ginger, turmeric and spices. Add boiling water just enough to cover the vegetables and bring to the boil. Turn down the heat and simmer for about 15 minutes or until the vegetable are soft.

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Pour into a blender or food processor, add red pepper and coconut milk.

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Blend until smooth and thick and there you have it! 🙂

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I hope you enjoy this and do let me know how you get on!

 

 

References
Patrick Holford & Fiona Mcdonald Joyce, The Holford 9-Day Liver Detox- The Definitive Detox Diet that Delivers Results