The Pretend Chef

Gizdodo, Gizzard and fried Plantain

Sweet and salty gizdodo, gizzard and plantain

Gizdodo, gizzard + dodo = gizdodo (dodo is fried plantain). The name is simple enough for one to guess the 2 main ingredients, gizzard and plantain. The dish is also simple enough to prepare and cook but when it comes to the taste, you realise where the originator of this dish channelled their creative energy. Gizdodo is fried gizzard and plantain coated in tomato sauce.


Cayenne Pepper Stew (Shombo Stew)

Spicy Cayenne Pepper Stew (Shombo Stew)

Cayenne pepper stew (Shombo stew) is a stew made with Fresh cayenne pepper with no tomatoes added. Nigerians and their numerous stews, we love our stews which are mostly made up of a combination of tomatoes and peppers, tomato being the main ingredient.

Tomatoes and peppers are nutrient rich fruits. Cayenne pepper by itself is high in vitamins A, B and C, minerals, flavonoids and carotenoids. It aids digestion, acts as an


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,


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


Nigerian Boiled Tomato Stew

Fresh, light and healthy Nigerian boiled tomato stew

Boiled tomato stew is light and fresh tasting. Most Nigerians like their stew fried, it is what we know and it is what we are used to. Sometimes I believe our palate has genetically adapted to the Nigerian fried tomato stew with the trio of peppers used in the tomato mix.

I remember there was this stew our cook would sometimes prepare when I


Nigerian smoked fish sauce

Simple, easy and delicious Nigerian smoked fish sauce

This smoked fish sauce is a very simple and easy sauce to make and can be eaten with a variety of things. This sauce is an excellent way to incorporate more fish with all its wonderful nutrients into our diet. 

I use smoked mackerel to prepare the sauce. The humble mackerel is such a versatile fish which can be used in so many different ways to produce beautiful dishes that will wow your family and friends.


Mongolian Beef Stir fry

Crispy, sticky mongolian beef stir fry

Mongolian beef Stir fry is a Chinese-American takeout dish and has nothing to do with Mongolia, but it will most definitely assuage one’s cravings for Chinese food.

It is crispy pieces of beef glistening from a sticky sweet and salty velvety sauce with a side of rice or fried noodles. With Chinese food outrageously over priced in Nigeria, make your very own delicious Chinese food and make everyone around happy. The ingredients for Mongolian beef Stir fry are readily available and inexpensive.


Fresh tomato sauce

simple, well balanced fresh tomato sauce

Any fresh tomato sauce is only as good as the tomato used. The tomatoes should be fresh, good tasting, sweet, fleshy and fully ripe. A versatile sauce which is both an ingredient and a dish.

This recipe is a basic fresh tomato sauce, what Italians will call Marinara sauce. It is easy, simple and unpretentious. Marinara sauce is a base for many other dishes, just like the Nigerian tomato stew base. So make an exquisite pot of fresh tomato sauce and your other dishes that are based on it will be delectable. It can also be used as it is for a simple and quick pasta sauce because it is that delicious. 

This is the sauce base for spaghetti and meatballs, Homemade pizza, etc. The name changes


Homemade Pizza Sauce

simple, easy and amazing homemade pizza sauce

Recipes, Stews/ Sauces/ dips | February 14, 2017 | By

Homemade pizza sauce can be made with or without tomatoes. It can be cooked or raw. In Nigeria, we make our pizza with tomato based sauce. That being said, there is no hard and fast rule to what goes in there or not, it all depends on your taste. 

This pizza sauce uses tomato puree (tomato paste). With tomato paste sauce, you cut the time and effort of making the sauce to a fraction of the time. The taste is delicious and it looks great. 


Coconut curry sauce

perfectly spicy and satisfying coconut curry sauce with white rice

Stews/ Sauces/ dips, World food | December 13, 2016 | By

This coconut curry sauce is spicy, earthy, warm and comforting. It is gloriously golden and super simple to make, sure to please even non-curry enthusiasts, you’ll love it.

Curries are Indian by origin but Nigerians being great travellers, usually come home with the knowledge of lots of different cuisines which are in turn either incorporated or adapted into the Nigerian cuisine. Also being that both cultures love spicy food, curries were easy to find their way into our way of life. Though not as commonly served as the Nigerian vegetable sauce, curry sauce is still special in its own right. Try pleasing your guests during the Christmas period with this curry.


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