Yay! The holiday is here. Complements of the season people, may the joy of the season never elude us.
This period is a time to treat your family to special delicacies, meals you ordinarily would not have the time to put together or may not think about. Give your family a treat this season.
In the family of rice, which is what most homes have during the holidays, instead of just boiling rice and eating with stew or cooking jollof rice there are other variables you could make from your rice.
There is Rice and Ayamase popularly known as of ada sauce, you also have native jollof rice or palm oil rice, you could also make coconut rice.
To add variety to your meal, you can add spaghetti and corned beef sauce to your list of meal for the holidays. For your preferred swallow like pounded yam, why not try cooking bitter leaf soup to go with it. A chilled glass of chapman to accompany your meal is mwahh!
To make your ayamase you will need the following;
- Green bell pepper called tatase in this part of the world
- Green scotch bonnet
- Locust beans also known as iru
- Palm oil
- Grounded crayfish
- Assorted meat
- Boiled eggs (optional)
To start with, wash and cook your well seasoned assorted meat. Blend the green peppers and cook to dry out the water as this will make your cooking faster. When your meat is tender, separate the meat from the stock and set aside to be used later.
Place a clean pot on fire. When it is hot and dry, pour in the desired quantity of palm oil depending on the number of servings you intend to achieve. You need to blanch the oil beyond the regular.
Considering how smoky the kitchen and in extension the house might get, it is advisable that you cover your cooking pot such that the evaporated smoke from the palm oil blanching does not escape. When this is done, watch your timepiece as you need blanch the palm oil for 10 minutes.
Take off the pot from fire or turn off the heat after 10 minutes, wait for the palm oil to cool a little, take off the lid and wait a little while. At this point, add your finely chopped onions to the oil as you put back the pot on fire.
Let it fry for like 2 minutes while you stir it from time to time to prevent it from burning. When the onions become translucent, add your rinsed iru. Note the iru must be in large quantity. It should not be used sparingly. Make sure that when washing the iru, you do not wash out the essence of the beans rather you take out the particles only.
Stir from time to time while the iru fries as well. Next, add your finely chopped assorted meat. Note, the meat must be cut in sizeable bites.
Fry the assorted meat for like 5 minutes depending on how you like your meat in ofada sauce. Remember you need to stir at intervals.
When you are satisfied with the result of your fried meat, add your semi cooked pepper and let it cook. When the oil which must have been absorbed by the pepper begins to reappear, then it is time to add your stock.
After about 5 minutes when the oil resurfaces, add your grounded crayfish. Make sure the quantity is such that it can be tasted in the sauce but not too much to overshadow the taste of the iru.
Taste to ascertain if there is need for additional seasoning or salt. Add if necessary. Add your boiled eggs and your tasty ayamase is ready to eat with your boiled ofada rice or plain boiled rice.
If you decide to make the native jollof rice, ingredients to use will include
- Palm oil
- Scotch bonnet and bell pepper
- Roasted fish
- Roasted Prawns (optional)
- Grounded crayfish
- Garlic and ginger (optional)
- Locust beans (sometimes, I make mine without the locust beans)
- Finely chopped vegetable (ugu or scent leave)
- Seasoning and salt to taste
The steps are quite easy. Remove the bones from the roasted fish, wash and set aside. Remove the head of the prawn, rinse and set aside also. Also get your finely chopped onions and iru ready. Blend your pepper with onions, garlic and ginger (garlic and ginger is optional). I love mine to be rough looking as opposed to a smooth paste.
Place your pot on fire, when it is hot and ready, add your palm oil, add your onions and depending on the type of roasted fish, add your roasted fish. If you are using and dry roasted fish, you do not need to fry it like you would a not so dry and hard roasted fish.
When you can perceive the aroma of the lot, add the iru and then the blended pepper. When the pepper is fried, add the prawns so it soaks in some sauce also add seasoning. After about 5 minutes, you can remove some of the fish and prawn then add water (note, pour the quantity that would cook the quantity of rice you are cooking).
Taste to ensure it is tasty cover and let it boil. While this is going on, wash your rice, place in a sieve to drain excess water. When the content of your pot is boiling, pour your rice, cover and let it cook.
When the rice is cooked and it is almost steaming, give it a stir, add your washed vegetable sparingly, cover and let it simmer for about 2-3 minutes. Serve with plantain, moin-moin, salad or any sides of your choice.
For directions on making your spaghetti and corned beef sauce the following will be needed
- Green peas (or any other greens, optional)
- Corned beef
- Vegetable or groundnut oil
- Tomatos puree and if you like pepper like I do, add some blended scotch bonnet
- Garlic (optional)
- Seasoning and salt
Boil your spaghetti. Make sure the water boils before pouring in the spaghetti. Break it into the length you prefer. It could be in half or not. When it is soft, add your carrot, after like 2 minutes, add the other greens. Get your sieve and drain the water after about a minute so the greens do not become overcooked.
To make the corned beef sauce, place your pot preferably your frying pan or wok on fire, when its dry, pour in some oil, add your chopped onions and garlic. Let it fry for a while. I usually like to add my puree and pepper at this stage, let it fry before adding my corned beef.
You can buy corned beef from any food store or supermarket. Stir continually to ensure that it does not get lumpy. When it becomes crispy, add a little water and stir. At this stage, check for taste when the water is properly blended in the sauce.
Add seasoning and salt if need be. There you have it. You can also eat your corned beef sauce with yam or bread.
To make your chapman is so easy but tricky. First and foremost, you need to get
- Angostura bitters (available in supermarkets or stores around you)
- Chilled Fanta orange
- Chilled Sprite
- Chilled Grenadine Syrup and or Blackcurrant Ribena
- Ice cubes
- Other fruits of your choice (optional)
First make your ice cubes either with water or with a mixture of fanta orange and sprite. If you choose to make the ice cubes with the mixture of fanta and sprite then by the time your cubes are melting in your chapman, your drink will not go flat.
Next, cut your washed lemon, cucumber and other fruits in quarter and circular shapes respectively.
Then, take out your mugs, add some ice cubes, about half a cup of the grenadine syrup, few dashes of your angostura bitters, also add a few dashes of your ribena blackcurrant if you are using it then add squeezed citrus fruit like the lemon, pour equal amount of fanta orange and sprite in the mug and all you have to do is garnish with your cucumber or other fruits. Another common fruit used is banana.
That’s all. You have your chilled glass of chapman. Put in your straw and sip away.
Friends, do have a blast this holiday as you try out different dishes. Feel free to share what you had during this festive period. Ciao.