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
I have never associated Tiger nut with oil, never. Tiger nuts, Cyperus esculentus, sedge, chufas (Spain), aya (hausa), imumu/ofio (yoruba), aki awusa (Igbo) are those tiny nuts, that are not really nuts sold by street vendors in their wheelbarrows on Nigerian streets, alongside dry dates and kuli-kuli. Crunchy, sweet and juicy, they are actually tubers.
Munching the fresh or rehydrated dry tiger nuts, drinking tiger nut milk, even making the flour and using it in delicious recipes, these are things I do with tigernuts, but tiger nut oil? I was totally blown away and happy I came across it. I have said to myself anything that comes from tiger nuts must be good and delicious, I need to buy tiger nut oil from
Asaro is an easy one pot dish of yam porridge/pottage which is popular in western Nigeria. Different from the other type of yam porridge, Asaro is cooked with tomatoes and peppers, then mashed to a complete puree or with a few lumps of yam left unmashed for texture.
It is most times cooked without
Besides eating tigernuts whole, a delicious wholesome non-dairy milk can be made out of them. It is called Kunnu Aya in Nigeria and Chufa de Horchata in Spain. Tigernut milk is white, sweet and creamy. Although tigernut ‘Cyperus esculentus’ is not a nut, it is a tuber but milk is extracted from it like any nut milk.
Tigernut milk is produced commercially in Spain and can be bought in shops. It comes in different forms, Natural tigernut milk, Pasteurised natural tigernut milk, Sterilised tigernut milk, UHT tigernut milk, Concentrate
Sometimes it seems as if nature is partial in its distribution of goodies, to some plants it is overly generous to others not so much. It put in so much good stuff into the simple tiger nut that it is referred to as a ‘superfood’. Tiger nuts have not been given the attention they deserve due to lack of information. Really, it should be part of everyone’s diet.
Tiger Nut ‘Cyperus esculentus’ is not a nut but a tuber. It is found in many warm countries of the world, from the far east to the middle east and Africa through to the USA and South America. It was originally native to the Mediterranean region. The three main varieties are the black, brown and yellow. The yellow variety is
Cocoyam is a starchy edible root of which there are several varieties. It can be boiled, fried or roasted, depending on the variety. Cocoyam is typically used as a thickener in soups like ora, bitter leaf (onugbu), ofe ukpom and ofe ugu. For this purpose, it has to be cooked and pounded into a thick paste. You can use a mortar and pestle, blender or food processor to process cocoyam for soup. I sometimes use my cake mixer.
When cocoyam is boiled for pounding,
Boiled yam coated in flour, dipped in egg and fried, Yamarita has taken plain ol’ boiled yam, dressed it up and made it all fancy.
The beautiful thing about yamarita is, you can re-purpose leftover boiled yam and turn it into a brand new awesome dish, just like the Chinese fried rice where leftover boiled rice can be used.
Vegetable yam porridge is Yam Porridge with vegetables and possibly herbs added to it. I am making a separate post on it so I can highlight the fact that a variety of vegetables, herbs and combinations of vegetables and herbs can be used in preparing yam porridge.
It is delicious and healthy and can be made with or without any proteins, making it ideal for vegetarians. Vegetable yam porridge is different from Vegetable yam (Ji Akwukwo).
Yam porridge is very simple, quick and easy to make. It is delish and very filling, it always reminds me of my time in Federal Government College, Enugu doing my A’ Levels, Yam Po was a dish not be missed. It can be called yam pottage, just like Plantain Porridge / Plantain Pottage, but they are more commonly called porridge. Whatever you call it, just make it scrumptious and enjoy your dish.
Yam Porridge can be served at breakfast, lunch or dinner. In fact in typical Nigerian style, when there are tens of people sleeping over, during weddings, burials etc.,
Yam pepper soup (Ji mmiri oku) is pepper soup with yam added to it. Among the Igbos of eastern Nigeria, this is the first dish given to a woman immediately after childbirth and is mostly prepared by her mother who comes to take care of her for the first month (Omugwo) after childbirth. The combination of spices and the heat of the soup is believed to help flush her womb of lochia and get her milk coming in. It is so woven into the Igbo culture such that if you see a man