The Pretend Chef

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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30 Amazing Facts About Tiger nuts

Fresh Tiger nuts for 30 amazing facts about tiger nut

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 deserves 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

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Easy apple hand pie

Indulgent Caramel apple filled apple hand pie
Apple pie is a sweet pie with a decadent and succulent apple filling, an excellent comfort food. It is mostly made as a dish pie but with all the pros of hand pies/ turnovers, most pies are now made into “pockets of convenience” especially to suit the fast pace of modern life.
For the past few weeks, I have been making different types of savoury pies, meat pie, fish pie and vegetable pie so today, I decided to showcase a sweet pie.
My first time eating apple pie was as a very young teenager during a summer vacation in London. It was served as dessert in the restaurant where we ate. It just did not taste good. The filling was almost like apple sauce. None of us liked it besides my kid sister. She hadn’t eaten much of the rest of the meal so she was overjoyed when nobody wanted theirs. She stuffed herself full of apple pie slices that day and readily fell in love with it.

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African breadfruit soup, Ukwa soup

Wholesome and delicately flavoured breadfruit soup

African breadfruit soup (Ukwa soup) is made with the excess cooking liquid or broth drained off when your breadfruit is cooked and ready. It is a special delicacy in Igboland of eastern Nigeria. This liquid has all the rich and delicate flavours of ukwa, the

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African breadfruit pottage, Ukwa etelu ete

Luxurious African breadfruit pottage

Breadfruit pottage is the paramount breadfruit dish. It is made with the heavy arsenals of Igbo cuisine. African breadfruit or Ukwa pod comes from the large ukwa tree. The heavy Ukwa pod falls to the ground and is processed to get the delicious ukwa seeds.

It is cooked and eaten at home, parties, weddings, burials etc. In some parties, Breadfruit pottage, Ukwa etelu ete is reserved for the special guests because it is expensive especially during its off season (the price starts going down around march). Competition for ukwa is

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African breadfruit Porridge, Ukwa Porridge

Luscious African breadfruit porridge (Ukwa porrdge)

African breadfruit porridge, Ukwa porridge has a delicate but muted sweetness, a flavour peculiar to it. It tastes so good, it can be eaten just boiled without the addition of any other ingredient even salt. African breadfruit, Ukwa (treculia africana) is very nutritious and excellent for vegetarians. It has oils rich in unsaturated fat (good fat), vitamins, minerals, dietary fibre and folic acid. It is eaten mainly by the Igbos of southeastern Nigeria. 

Ukwa can be prepared and eaten in so many different ways from plain with no additional ingredient right to going the whole nine yards with embellishments and accompaniments. Each and every way

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Stuffed eggs, devilled eggs

Creamy, smooth and luxurious stuffed eggs, devilled eggs

Stuffed eggs are hard boiled eggs which are sliced in half, the yolks removed and mixed with other ingredients then put back into each half of the egg white. The yolk filling should be creamy, smooth and luxurious. It is known by so many different names, the most common being devilled eggs. You can also call them angel eggs, egg mimosa, Russian eggs, dressed eggs, picnic eggs or salad eggs. They can be chopped up and used as a sandwich filling similar to a boiled egg sandwich.

The recipes for stuffed eggs filling are as diverse as there are cooks. This is a simple standard recipe that gives room for you to add or remove your choice of ingredients, the possibilities are endless but go simple. I have included a list of

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