Ose Oji (Spicy peanut butter)
Ose Oji (spicy peanut butter) also called Okw’ose in the igbo tradition, is a spicy smooth blend of peanuts. It is served as a dip for kolanut, oji and garden egg, anala/afufa, to visitors to the home or during ceremonies.
Ose oji can be bought already made from the open market, but my mother, due to her aversion to buying already made food from the local markets, used to make her own, that way she could also control the spiciness. It is pretty simple to make using the hand mill grinder, dry mill blender or food processor. The smoothest blend is by the hand mill grinder, which is also what is used in the markets. The dry mill of the blender and the food processor give pretty good blends but it depends on your patience and power of the machine. There might still be some grittiness but it won’t be so noticeable.
It is best made with shelled, roasted skinless peanuts. If you only have raw peanuts, roast them in the oven before use. There is really no need to add oil to your Ose oji, because the peanuts have enough oil to give a smooth blend. The small sized peanut gives a smoother blend because it has a higher oil content than the larger sized specie.
To make Ose Oji (Spicy peanut butter):
2 cups skinned roasted peanuts (ground nuts) 2 toasted ehuru 1 seasoning cube toasted dry chili
Put peanuts, ehuru, seasoning cube and dry chili into the dry mill of the blender, food processor or hand mill grinder.
Grind on high. Initially it will be sandy, scrape the sides and continue grinding. Make sure you let your grinder or processor rest in between grinding to avoid a blow out.
The peanut powder will start clumping together, scrape sides and continue grinding.
The clumps will start getting smoother and creamier,
at this point, the butter will not need much scraping and the machine will run smoother. Keep grinding till the texture is right.
With the hand mill, it’s just a one way process and some elbow grease. For the food processor, once it starts getting creamy, you don’t really need to scrape the sides anymore as long as you started out with a good volume of peanuts for the size of your processor. The larger the food processor, the larger the quantity of peanuts needed for it to grind efficiently. For the blender dry mill, you might need to work in small batches.
Store Ose oji in an airtight container. It can be stored in or out of the refrigerator for an extended period because peanut has a low moisture level and the peanut oil has a high smoke point, it doesn’t go rancid easily. Peanut’s high vitamin E content, which is an antioxidant, also helps it resist rancidity. After some time, being pure Peanut butter with no stabilizing additives, the oil will rise to the top, just mix it back in and eat. Storing in the refrigerator prevents this separation but hardens the butter, just leave it at room temperature for about 10 minutes to soften.