The Pretend Chef

12 Nigerian dishes everyone should know how to cook

okro soup 12 Nigerian dishes everyone should know how to cook

Nigeria is blessed with so much food, fresh organic produce with a lot of variety, due to its climate range. Nigerian climate changes from the north (Sokoto) to the south (Calabar), from Savannah to forest which is reflected in the vegetation and food found in each region. They are varied both in type and abundance. The variation also shows up in the way the ingredients are used in each region e.g in the south with an abundance of rainfall, vegetables are used fresh while in the far north with much less rain but an abundance of sunlight, dehydrated vegetables are mostly used which are stored and used all year round.

The sheer variety of dishes found in Nigeria is mind-boggling. Nigerians are also known to adapt imported cuisine to their taste and make it their own e.g

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Catfish pepper soup (Point and kill)

Best hot and spicy catfish pepper soup (Point and kill)

Recipes, Seafood, Soups/ light soups | September 14, 2017 | By

When the weather is cold, you are home warm and cosy, then your tummy starts rumbling, demanding food, what usually springs to mind? hot chocolate, steaming plate of spicy jollof rice, a large bowl of pepper soup, fresh fish pepper soup…? So I made this steaming hot pot of catfish pepper soup because it was raining and cold outside but warm and toasty indoors and we were hungry. I served it with white rice. My Rennaisance man, son no. 3 and I ate and were contented.

Catfish pepper soup is always high in demand by guests at Nigerian parties and is about the most common pepper soup cooked in Nigeria. It is served to a nursing mother during Omugwo (see Yam pepper soup (Ji mmiri oku). Catfish pepper soup is called point-and-kill in drinking parlours for a reason

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Afang soup deluxe

Afang Soup Deluxe

Afang Soup Deluxe is basically Afang soup taken from delicious to exquisite, this recipe will blow your Afang loving minds. A lot of experimentation goes on in the modern kitchen, the reason being that people are bolder now, taking risks in the kitchen. Be it the professional or home cook, everyone is prepared to go against the establishment and make a statement with their food, tell stories, put their personality or signature on the food they cook.

There is also a lot of fusion going on in food preparation. Afang Soup Deluxe is a fusion

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Gbegiri beans soup

Gbegiri, Creamy yoruba beans soup

I read somewhere that if the Yorubas of Western Nigeria were to have a flag, it will be the colours of Abula. Abula is a combination of Gbegiri, Ewedu and Obe Omi. I also heard that Gbegiri is an unhindered express road to a man’s heart, hmm…men will have to confirm that. It might just answer the age-old question, ‘what do men want?’ Gbegiri.

To be honest,

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Plain Okro Soup (Ila)

Fresh Plain okro soup with Omi Obe and Amala

Plain okro soup is different from the one pot okro soup, it is cooked to be accompanied by the versatile Omi Obe (stew). They make an exquisite pair. I first ate plain okro with Omi Obe in the boarding school. At first, it was a shock to me seeing stew and eba (garri fufu) served together, then there was this pool of seemingly uncooked okro right in the middle. Did somebody forget to stir the soup in the pot? Did they forget to add the okro when the soup was being cooked?  By the way who serves stew and eba? Coming from the Eastern part of Nigeria, I had only known the one pot Okro soup with green leafy vegetables. Eventually

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Ewedu Soup

Simple Ewedu soup

Ewedu soup is the soup my Yoruba friend, Shade loved and always raved about in secondary school. In the refectory, we were being served stew and Plain okro soup and the times I ate it I liked it, strange though. So I promised myself that one day I will get to eat Ewedu soup.

The opportunity presented itself at the early stage of Buka surfing in Lagos which my Sister-in-law and I indulge in, I remembered Shade and ordered Ewedu soup. After staring at it for awhile

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Omi Obe (Stew)

Omi Obe (Stew) with goat ear

To the Yorubas of Western Nigeria, Omi Obe is a ubiquitous stew/soup. Literarily translated as watery stew, it serves so many purposes and as a Nigerian home cook, it is one dish that should never be missing from your freezer. It will save you in many culinary emergencies, I speak from experience. For the flavour it packs, Omi Obe is surprisingly very simple to make with simple everyday ingredients.

Whenever I am in Lagos, my Sister-in-law and I go Buka surfing or revisit some of our favourite ones. No two buka stews taste exactly the same, but most are really, really good and the variety of meat can be overwhelming. In fact, some are so good you will be tempted to lick your plate. I also need to mention that my Rennaisance man

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Fried Egusi Soup

Easy and yummy fried egusi soup

Recipes, Soups/ light soups | April 9, 2017 | By

In my earlier post on Egusi soup (lumpy Egusi soup) I mention that there are numerous ways Egusi soup can be prepared in Nigeria cuisine. Fried Egusi soup is another delectable way to get egusi soup on the dinner table. It is easy and very straightforward to prepare. Egusi seed (melon seed) is nutty, mildly sweet and contains a very rich oil. It is common to most parts of Nigeria.

For Fried Egusi soup, the dry ground egusi seed

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Ugu soup, Ofe ugu

Easy Ugu soup, ofe ugu

Soups/ light soups | March 21, 2017 | By

Ugu soup is one soup I cannot say I know the origin of, I actually thought my Mother created it, this was until I ate it at a local restaurant. It is not a very common soup which is surprising given that it really really tastes good. It is like a relationship where opposites attract or somebody tried to pull a joke because the soup has all the trappings of a typical sturdy Igbo soup but then light-hearted ugu vegetable is added. 

Like most Nigerian vegetable soups, the ugu

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Goat meat pepper soup

Spicy, flavourful goat meat pepper soup

Meat, Recipes, Soups/ light soups | March 18, 2017 | By

Goat meat pepper soup is Goat meat in spicy, herby broth. It is the most common meat pepper soup in a lot of Nigerian households. It is also a staple at weddings and ceremonies, in restaurants, it is almost always on the starter menu along with fresh fish pepper soup. In pubs/beer parlours, goat meat pepper soup is a staple and patrons drink copious quantities along with their drinks to the joy of the beer parlour madam. She makes sure to add enough hot pepper in it so that the more pepper soup you drink,

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