Saturday, 27 June 2015

Koose/Akara




INGREDIENTS:
  • 1 cup black eye beans
  • ½ medium size onion
  • Tiny piece of scotch bonnet pepper ( to your taste really)
  • 1 egg yolk
  • Pinch of black pepper and paprika
  • 1/3 cup of water
  • Salt to taste
  • ½ litre of Oil for deep frying
METHOD:
  1. Soak beans in water for some couple of hours, it can be overnight. 


  2. Drain the water from the beans. If you prefer a whitish Koose, remove the skin and blackeye by rubbing the beans between your palms. This will remove the skin. This is optional. Most of the nutrients in the beans are in the blackeye, so I prefer to keep the skin and blackeye on the beans.
  3. Using a food processer, blend the beans together with the onion and pepper until nice and smooth.

  1. Add the egg yolk and salt to taste. No need to add the water at the beginning. When the mixture is too thick, add the water in bits to loosen it up.  
  2. Pour the mixture in a bowl and use a spoon to beat it up to incorporate air into it.
  3. Put the oil in a deep pan for deep frying. Heat the oil till very hot. 
  4. Using a spoon, drop spoonfuls of the Koose mixture in the oil. As it cooks, it will rise up to the surface of the oil. Turn it over to brown on the other side. When the oil gets too hot, lower the heat to enable the Koose to cook evenly without burning. 


  5. Serve warm with millet porridge or any beverage of your choice. It can be eaten as breakfast or as a snack.

Friday, 19 June 2015

Garden Egg Abomu (Stew) in Asanka aka Puto hwe gu mu


I can never emphasize enough how much making your abomu (stew) in an Asanka adds so much depth and flavour to a simple dish. This right here is made from simple ingredients but the finished sauce is a hearty sauce full of rich earthy African flavours. Cooking in an Asanka means that sharing the meal from the Asanka, it's a family thing and an intimate one. This dish is my 'go for' meal for Father's day. It embodies everything I want to express, simplicity, hearty, flavour, love and intimacy! 

INGREDIENTS:
  • 1 Medium size onion,
  • 5 Kpakposhito (Pettie Belle Chilli) or any chilli of your choice and to your taste),
  • 2 Medium sized fresh tomatoes, 
  • Piece of Koobi (salted dry tilapia)
  • About 15 small garden eggs or 8 big ones
  • 2 Maggie cubes crushed into powder
  • Sardines/Grilled Mackerel/ Fried Fish/eggs or any protein of your choice 
  • Salt 
  • 1 ladle of Palm Oil 
METHOD:

1. Wash the garden eggs well, cut the green stalk away and make two cuts, lengthwise and halfway to create quarters. However, don’t cut all the way through. Place them in a pot.


2. Add the tomatoes, onion, pepper and koobi to the pot and add just enough water to steam.
3. Steam until the tomatoes, onions and garden eggs are tender. Turn off the heat and keep any remaining water left after the steaming.


4. Place the chilli, onion and a piece of the koobi in an asanka (earthenware mortar) and mash it with the pestle. If you don’t own a mortar and pestle, you can blend, however you will not get the same texture and flavour.

5. Now add the tomatoes to the mortar. Mash until it is well incorporate with the onion mixture.

6. Now add the garden eggs and mash well into the mixture. If it is too thick, loosen it up with a bit of water from the steaming process.


7. Add the Maggie cubes and check the seasoning at this point. You may not need any more salt at this point as the koobi is salty. After this process the sauce can be eaten with a bit of palm oil drizzled over it. However, I like to take it a step further.
8. Place the asanka on the hob and heat it up and add the palm oil. As the sauce heats up, the water in the sauce will bubble. After some couple of minutes the bubbles will reduce in size and the oil will form a layer on the surface. Caution, the asanka gets very hot and it keeps conducting heat even when it’s taken off the hob.


9. Check your seasoning and add a pinch of salt if needed. Add your choice of protein.
10. Serve this sauce with boiled yams, ripe & unripe plantains, cocoyam or boiled rice. Garnish with ripe avocado pear and just delve into it straight from the asanka! No need to plate it up just enjoy from the Asanka! 





Friday, 12 June 2015

Kontomire Abomu (Puto hwe gu mu)

Every time I make this hearty meal, it's always an all dig in affair. That is how we do it in Ghana. Meal times are family gathering times and what makes it even more beautiful and engaging is when all the family eat from the same pot. Of course if there are too many, groups of 2 or 3 or 4 are formed and they share a bowl. Being the youngest of seven siblings, I found it quite challenging having to match up to the mouthful bites, which we called 'blows', my older siblings would take at a time. We used to say, 'this is survival of the fittest' and it sure did teach me a thing or two on how to survive in challenging situations!

INGREDIENTS:

  • 1 Medium size onion,
  • 4 Kpakposhito (Pettie Belle Chilli) or any chilli of your choice and to your taste),
  • 2 Medium sized fresh tomatoes, 
  • Piece of Koobi (salted dry tilapia)
  • About 10 leaves of Kontomire (cocoyam leaves)
  • 2 Maggie cubes crushed into powder
  • Grilled Mackerel/ Fried Fish or any protein of your choice 
  • Salt 
  • 1 ladle of Palm Oil 

METHOD:

1. Wash the kontomire leaves well, remove the stalk from the vine and place in a pot.

2. Add the tomatoes, onion, pepper and koobi to the pot and add just enough water to steam.










3. Steam until the tomatoes, onions and kontomire leaves are tender. Turn off the heat and keep any remaining water left after the steaming.










4. Place the chilli, onion and a piece of the koobi in an asanka (earthenware mortar) and mash it with the pestle. If you don’t own an asanka, you can use a blender, however you will not get the same texture and earthy flavour which comes from the asanka.










5. Now add the tomatoes to the mortar. Mash until it is well incorporate with the onion mixture.










6. Now add the kontomire and mash well into the mixture. If it is too thick, loosen it up with a bit of water from the steaming process.










7. Check the seasoning at this point and add the Maggie. Stir well and check if the seasoning is ok. You may not need any more salt at this point as the koobi is salty. After this process the sauce can be eaten with a bit of palm oil drizzled over it. However, I like to take it a step further. Placing the asanka on the hob to heat up the sauce releases an earthy flavour from the asanka which gets infused in the sauce. I just love this earthy flavour, it just brings a soul to the sauce.


8. Place the asanka on the hob and heat it up and add the palm oil. As the sauce heats up, the water in the sauce will bubble. After some couple of minutes the bubbles will reduce in size and the oil will form a layer on the surface. Caution, the asanka gets very hot and it keeps conducting heat even when it’s taken off the hob. 

9. Check your seasoning and add a pinch of salt if needed.

10. Serve this sauce with boiled yams, ripe & unripe plantains, cocoyam or boiled rice. Dig in, no need to get a plate! But be careful you don't burn your fingers!


Pineapple & Ginger Drink

Earlier on in the week I was suffering from hay fever and bad soar throat, I felt so miserable, I wished my big sister was around to give me some much needed TLC. She reminded me of the concoctions of natural herbal medicines she made for me as  a child. Oh my this lady is such a naturalist, she will go for natural and herbal medicines rather than processed. She was always cooking up concoctions for any ailment I complained about. I hated most of these concoctions then but there was one particular one I liked. Anytime I was feeling feverish or suffering with a cold, she would boil pineapple skin with some ginger and cloves. This turned into a lovely drink which did miraculous things for my body. Remembering how good this drink was back then, I made some. After drinking it for some couple of days, I feel so much better. For extra TLC, I served the drink with my homemade carrot cake and pancakes. Below is how I made it. I hope you will enjoy it too and enjoy the health benefits it provides.

INGREDIENTS:

  • 1 medium size pineapple
  • Fresh ginger about thumb size or to your preference
  • 5 cloves
  • 2 litres of water
Choice of Sweeteners:
  • Sugar or honey
METHOD:

1. Peel pineapple and ginger slice them. Place the pineapple peels, fruit ginger and cloves in a soup pot.


2. Add 2 litres of water and boil for about 45 minutes to an hour. The smell that emanates from the pot is divine.
3. Once the mixture has boiled, allow it to cool, leaving the mixture to steep for some couple of hours at least for a day.


4. Strain the drink to separate the juice from the chuff.


5. Blend the boiled pineapple fruit and cloves by adding just enough water to help blend. Strain this through a fine sieve and add this to the drink.
6. Add your choice of sweetener to taste. This is optional and may not be necessary depending on how sweet the pineapple is.
7. Bottle the drink for storage. Either serve it warm or well chilled on ice.
Enjoy!







Wednesday, 3 June 2015

Check Check

Fried Rice is popularly called Check Check by university students in Ghana. I remember my days in uni, precisely Kwame Nkrumah University of Science and Technology (KNUST) Independence Hall Market Canteen, Check Check was so popular there were more than two vendors. However, there was only one whose was the tastiest. It was always such a disappointment when one got there and her Check Check was sold out. It was like Mehn! what am I going to eat! Apart from #Jollof  Rice, Ghanaians love their fried rice. It is usually served on special occasions or when people want to eat it posh! So what is our fried rice, it is basically an adapted Chinese style vegetable fried rice. The choice of vegetables used depends on the cook but what is usually constant are carrots, spring onions, and onions. For the fried rice in this post, I used carrots, pak choi, peas, sweet corn, onions, spring onions, sweet yellow peppers, garlic and roasted lamb. As this was such a random meal, I didn't get the chance to take step by step photos for the recipe. I will recreate this dish and post it at a later date. Thank you for stopping by.