Thursday, 18 May 2017

CHAR GRILLED MACKEREL IN WAAKYE LEAVVES

The idea of an impromptu barbecue on a Saturday afternoon, had me thinking of ways to create something different. A dash to my local fishmonger, to source fresh  Mackerel heeded a great result.   The idea of char grilling  the Mackerel filled me with both excitement and apprehension. I was apprehensive as I knew the probability of the Mackerel splitting , when cooked was high. Grilling any fish on a barbecue is always a 'tricky' situation.  A quick glance of the Waakye leaves in my fridge, made me grin silently as I knew I've found a solution. The Waakye leaf, has a distinct flavour that lends itself to any dish when served in it. I have a pet name for the leaves as my 'Natural Plate'. Enjoy the aromatic, smoky ,flavour of the 'whole' Mackerel and thank me later. Here  you have a recipe created  from problem solving.? 


Serves 4
Ingredients; 
4 large cleaned whole fresh Mackerel (you can keep the head on if you prefer)
3 tablespoons of finely chopped lemongrass 
16 individual spring onions, cleaned and halved lengthwise
250g washed Coriander 
4 teaspoons of freshly grated ginger
4 tablespoons of olive oil 
4 tablespoons of fresh lime juice. 
Freshly milled black peppercorns 
4 Waakye leaves cleaned with soap and water. (purchase from most African shops). 
String to tie the fish.


Method;
Place each string in a vertical way and leaves in a horizontal way. 
Place each Mackerel in the middle of each cleaned Waakye leaf. 
Divide the lemongrass and ginger evenly and add to each Mackerel. 
Rub the ginger and lemongrass into each mackerel well. 
Divide the spring onions and coriander evenly, to each mackerel. 
In a bowl mix the oil and lime juice together. 
Add a teaspoon each of the marinade to the Mackerel 
Season with freshly milled black pepper corns. 
I have omitted salt from this dish as I used lime juice instead, however that a personal preference. 
Bring each end of the leaves together, overlapping each other and tie the string to hold the leaves and fish together. (See below).


The mackerel needs to char grill on a medium heat for 3 minutes on each side. Disperse some of the heated charcoal to help control the heat. 
Try grilling some tomatoes as well (optional) for a smoky raw pepper salsa.

Once cooked leave for 2 minutes and serve immediately.

Best served with with steamed vegetables, Yam or sweet potato chips or the African way with hot Kenkey or Akple with a smoky raw pepper salsa.
All photos and recipes are by the owner of this blog. 

Find more inspiring recipes on my YouTube channel, 'Ndudu by Fafa' and don't forget to subscribe and share.




Thursday, 11 May 2017

LIGHT SOUP (Mutton)

Almost every household in Ghana, will buy fresh ingredients for their light soup on a Saturday morning. (Light soup is a spicy tomato based soup). Light soup and Fufu (a mixture of Cassava and Plantain) on a Saturday or Sunday lunch, in Ghana, is what a roast is to the British on Sunday. Light soup can be made with beef, Goat meat, Chicken, Lamb or Mutton. 


Ingredients;
Serves 6
1.5 kg of mutton cut into sizeable chunks (ask your butcher to cut into your preferred chunks)
3 large tomatoes
25g cleaned ginger cut into chunks
2 large onions
2 cloves of peeled garlic
20g of de stalked kpakpo shito Ghanaian chillies ( Pettie Belle) 
1 teaspoon of carom seeds (optional)
80g of tomato paste
3 litres of Chicken stock (your preferred stock) or Water  
Alternatively you can use 2 Bouillon cube
Salt

Method;
Wash and clean your mutton and place in a bowl.


In a blender add the ginger, 1 chopped onion, garlic, carom seeds and 10g of Kpakpo shito
Add a little water and blend to a smooth paste. 


Add the paste to the mutton


Mix the paste well into the mutton and refrigerate overnight or at least for 2hrs . 


Remove your mutton from the fridge and place in a saucepan or clay pot. 
Place your saucepan on a medium heat and steam your meat in it's juices, (add a little water if needed).


Cook slowly for about 30 minutes and add your tomato paste. 

If you're using Bouillon cube;
 Crumble your preferred cube into the sauce at this stage. 
Mix till well combined and cook for a further 5 minutes, making sure you stir constantly. 

Add your  fresh tomatoes and 1 whole onion and cook for a further 3 minutes. 



Add 1.5 litres of your preferred stock  or water and cook for a further 15 minutes
The tomatoes and onion should be cooked through now. 
Remove the tomatoes and onion and place in a blender. 
Add the remaining stock/ water to the blender. 
Blend to a smooth consistency. 
Using a fine colander, pass the tomato and onion blend through into a bowl 
Add your strained juice to the mutton and cook for a further 20-25 minutes. 


Add the remaining Kpakpo shito (Pettie belle chillies) and cook for a further 5 minutes. 
Taste the mutton to make sure it's tender. 
Add salt to taste and enjoy. 



Best served with steamed Okra, Fufu, Yam & Rice. 

All photos and recipes are by the  owner of this blog. 






Sunday, 7 May 2017

KETA SCHOOL BOYS EGG STEW

Lunch was Ice Kenkey with Peanuts and by the time I drove away  from my works car park, I started to plan my dinner. 
I couldn't  come up with anything exciting to whet my appetite, but I was certain my decision wouldn't include a complicated dish.

Fridays are for using up any leftovers in my household. I had a few Tomatoes, Chillies , Eggs, Onions and some pre blended Ginger spice in the fridge.
I thought of making the famous Ghanaian Egg stew but I wanted to add the 'Ndudu twist ' in the form of protein to my dish.

 

I found a bag of dried Anchovies (Keta School boys) in the freezer and decided to make a creative version of the Ewe 'Abobi Tadi' (Anchovies stew).
Traditionally the dried Anchovies are slightly roasted and served with hot Akple (Steamed Corn dumpling) and a spicy Tomato salsa commonly known as 'Raw Pepper'.

KETA SCHOOL BOYS . ABOBI . ANCHOVIES 
Dried Anchovies are synonymous to the Ewe tribe from Ghana and are incorporated in most of their dishes, due to their Umami flavour.

 

The only drawback whilst cooking the dried Anchovies is its dominating  pungent smell that can fill your home easily. Please ensure you open your windows and doors when cooking the dried Anchovies. 

Kitchen Hack
Place a few cloves in a warm oven, as the smell of the cloves will neutralise the pungent smell. 

The Abobi or Keta School boys in Ghana are on the salty side, hence it's best to soak it for about minute or 2 to reduce the salt content (reserve the stock for other dishes like a Seafood Okra soup).

The process of roasting and frying the dried Anchovies  before incorporating it into your sauce (instructions given to me, by my Mum), gives the fish a crunchy and nice texture.  The roasted Anchovies could also be enjoyed as a healthy snack. 

Dried Anchovies are also used in most Asian recipes particularly in Korean recipes, as stock and the  'fresh' Anchovies are used across Europe in pizzas, sandwiches, salads etc 

I purchased my dried Anchovies from an Asian shop, however they're also available in most African grocers across the U.K. 

Anyway, I decided to incorporate my Abobi to my Egg stew and shared the journey on my Instagram stories. Don't miss out live cooking sessions, on my Instagram page 'Ndudu_by_Fafa' .

Let's start cooking ... Are your windows opened? 

 

Ingredients 
100g of dried headless Anchovies (Abobi or Keta School boys).
300g of blended fresh Tomatoes 
20g of Tomato purée or paste
3 large free range Eggs
2 large peeled and sliced chunky white Onions
8 Kpakpo shito or 1 Habanero chilli
2 tablespoonful of a Ginger, Onion and Aniseed (Sukoni) blend.
2 tablespoonful of Olive oil 
15g of chopped Coriander for garnishing 
2 finely diced Green chillies for garnishing 


 

Method 
Soak the Anchovies in water for about 2 minutes and reserve the stock by freezing it for when a recipe requires it.

Place a frying pan on a medium heat and dry fry the soaked Anchovies for about 2 minutes whilst tossing them.

Add the oil and half the sliced chunky Onions. Fry for 3 minutes and add the Ginger blend.

Fry for another 3 minutes.

Mix 30ml of water with your Tomato purée or paste till well combined and add it to the Anchovies mix.
Continue to fry for 4 minutes and add the blended Tomatoes. 

Fry the mixture for 12 minutes ensuring you stir to avoid the bottom catching the pan. 

Taste for salt and add not more than half a teaspoon to the stew.
Crack your eggs into the stew and reduce the heat to the lowest setting.
Cover the frying pan with its lid to allow the eggs to steam. Cook this for 5 minutes and stir everything together.

Sprinkle with chopped Coriander, Green chillies and serve with Akple, steamed Rice, boiled Yam or Plantain.

 

Find more inspiring recipes on my YouTube channel, 'Ndudu by Fafa' and don't forget to subscribe and share.




All photos and recipes are by the owner of this blog.

RASPBERRIES & GRAPEFRUIT JUICE

Breakfast was going to be poached eggs (but i decided to fry the eggs in Coconut oil) on a slice of  Rye bread with Avocado.  I wanted a tangy fresh juice to accompany my meal (as you do). I had 2 Grapefruits left in my fruit bowl and I immediately squeezed them. I decided to add the Raspberries I had in the fridge for a depth of flavour and colour. I knew the juice would need a little sweetener as it's rather tangy in , hence I opted for a teaspoonful of Manuka honey. Adding the Rosemary was a continuation of my recent obsession with the herb in most of my fruit juices. It adds an aromatic flavour and calming smell to the juice (which is divine). I decided to go ahead and make my juice. 

 

Even though I had my personal reasons for choosing each ingredient, I couldn't help but research about their benefits. The benefits listed below are summarised but I'll say this drink is packed with nutrients and it's fair to say it's a 'power house' 💪🏾

Grapefruits are great antioxidants, low in calories , rich in  Vitamins A & C ,Pottasium , lycopene which supports a healthy heart. It also promotes a healthy, clear skin , aids your digestive tract and weigh loss journey.

 

Raspberries are also a great source of antioxidants and they're high polyphenol content, helps reduce your risk of any cardiovascular diseases by reducing your blood pressure. Raspberries also helps one to maintain a healthy digestive tract and reduces inflammation in the body.

Honey reduces gastrointestinal disorders, strengthens your immune system (Manuka honey) and contains flavonoids and antioxidants which helps reduce the risk of heart disease. 

Rosemary is packed with anti inflammatory properties , packed with antioxidants, it's anti-carcinogenic in nature and the  aroma relieves stress.

I'm sure you don't need any encouragement to make this juice now.

PS: Please check with your Doctor if you're on certain heart medications before consumption.

 

Ingredients 
2 large squeezed Grapefruits juice into a bowl
7 large washed Raspberries 
1 teaspoonful of Manuka honey 
20ml of water
1 sprig of Rosemary 

Method 
Add the Raspberries to the Grapefruit juice and mash them to a pulp.

Add the honey and mix till well combined 

Strain the juice into a glass and reserve the fibres for a smoothie.

Chill your juice in the refrigerator.

 

Tip
Release the oils of the Rosemary by placing it in your clean palm and clapping your hands twice.

Immediately insert the Rosemary into your chilled juice and enjoy.

Find more inspiring recipes on my YouTube channel, 'Ndudu by Fafa' and don't forget to subscribe and share.

Don't miss out on my live cooking sessions on my Instagram stories. Follow 'Ndudu_by_Fafa' on Instagram.





All photos and recipes are by the owner of this blog.



Friday, 5 May 2017

THE GHANAIAN RICE PORRIDGE

 

'Rice Water' is basically Rice cooked in water into a mushy porridge texture and it's a popular breakfast choice in Ghana. It's a relatively easy, gluten free porridge to make. The type of rice used isn't specific to one, but what one has available. I've made a brown Rice porridge version which was divine, that I'll share later in this recipe. 
The rice porridge can be enjoyed in its  basic form or add some milk and an optional fruit to enjoy.

 

I remember the first time I had rice pudding in London and my comments were on the lines of 'basically a portion of posh Rice Water'. 🙈

Rice water can be enjoyed at breakfast and also comes in handy during ones hunger pangs, some evenings. 

My very first experience of cooking independently (I was about 8 years old) , was to make Rice water  for my Mum who was ill. It was a disaster as I used too much water, added uncooked rice and ended up with a mushy uncooked textured rice porridge 🙈


 
Wow! That's a memory; and to think if I ever gave up cooking due to that mishap, you won't be reading this now. 

Whilst enjoying your bowl of Rice water remember never to give up on your dream because of the hurdles you face.

This recipe serves 2.

 

Ingredients 
50g of white or brown rice
300ml of water
A pinch of salt 
1 tablespoonful of Sugar 
100ml of full fat milk

Method 
Wash your rice and place a saucepan with the water on a medium heat.
Add the washed rice  to the saucepan and cook gently for 20 minutes. 
Reduce the heat to the lowest setting and add the Sugar and Milk.
Cook for another 3 minutes and serve immediately. 
I used to have my Rice Water with Butter bread and Jam. Try it, you might like it to.




Find more inspiring recipes on my YouTube channel,'Ndudu by Fafa' and don't forget to subscribe and share.

All photos and recipes are by the owner of this blog.

 

THE GHANAIAN SANDWICH

Last night , I was in a middle of a conversation with a very good friend of mine talking about Ghanaian recipes and the nostalgia they evoke. 
Eating in Ghana is a social and family bonding session, so much so there are memories and great stories associated with each dish. Memories quite often includes the uninvited guest who happens to only visit your  household just when dinner is ready. The concealed pain on ones face, as they watch their Mothers quickly create a portion for the guest by reducing each already served  portion. 
However the frown is quickly forgotten about as everyone consumes their portion or if unlucky a disgruntled Uncle will speak against the uninvited guest and his timing, which creates a suppressed giggle particularly from the children. 

 

Anyway back to my conversation with my friend and about the varieties of fresh bread in Ghana, particularly at dawn. The conversation quickly went into which bread was each others favourite and filling. I echoed I prefer Tea bread with Chiibom (Ghanaian Omelette), my friend stated she preferred her Chiibom in butter bread.

 

We were chatting away about 10pm when I decided to get some bread flour from my local convenience store and bake my Tea bread for breakfast. The joys of being a Chef and giving into your cravings.
Here we are with the results of my conversation from last time.
Recipe for the Tea bread and Chiibom are already available on my blog. 


Ingredients 
1 Tea bread loaf 
Peeled and mashed Avocado or thinly sliced Avocado
200g of Chiibom or the Ghanaian Omelette 


 

Slice your warm Tea bread length ways ways and in half.
Smear the bread with the Avocado butter or layer the bread with thinly sliced Avocados.

Add the Omelette, divide in two and enjoy!

 

Enjoy this with a Papaya and Lime smoothie for breakfast. 

Find more inspiring recipes on my YouTube channel, 'Ndudu by Fafa' and don't forget to subscribe and share. 




THE GHANAIAN ICE KENKEY RECIPE

'Ice Kenkey', is a popular gluten free and pro biotic smoothie or milk shake made with fermented, steamed Corn dumpling known as Kenkey in Ghana.

 

The process of making Kenkey includes fermenting the corn, milling it into a smooth paste, mixing it with water and cooked till you form a pliable dough. The cooked dough is then mixed with an uncooked dough , shaped into ball and wrapped into a corn husk. The ball is then steamed or boiled into what's known as Kenkey. Kenkey originates from the Ga tribe in Ghana, who are from the capital Accra.

 

Kenkey is a serious affair in Ghana, as it's enjoyed anytime of the day including breakfast,  with either a spicy Tomato salsa (Raw Pepper), Black chilli sauce (Shito) with proteins such as fried Fish, tinned Sardines, Omelette's, Avocado or and Prawns.

The left over Kenkey, which could be a day or two old (even a week long for best results), is then used for the Kenkey smoothie or milk shake. 



Traditionally, the water residue from which the Kenkey is boiled in, is reserved as the liquid for the mash Kenkey or 'Mash Kay'  (popularly named by all boarding school students). 
The Kenkey is then mashed (using clean hands) till you have a smooth consistency or blended into a smooth consistency using a blender. You can use water, milk or flavoured milk as the liquid for your Iced Kenkey. 

 


The Kenkey is then sweetened with Sugar ,  and enjoyed cold as 'Iced Kenkey'. 
Iced Kenkey has come a long way from a simple blend of fermented Kenkey , Water and Sugar to a modern interpretation of adding spices, fruits, using of milk and flavours. 
I made my own Kenkey a week ago (recipe coming soon) and fermented the leftover  Kenkey for a week in a dark warm place for this recipe. I included Yoghurt in this recipe and used lactose free milk but you can use any milk you prefer. I once used Tiger nut milk which was equally delicious. 

 

You can flavour the Ice Kenkey with either Vanilla paste or a pinch of Cardamom or omit them altogether. The inclusion of Cardamom helps with your digestive system , acts as an antioxidant and a diuretic for your kidneys . It's closely related to the benefits of Ginger and Turmeric. Cardamom is available in most supermarkets or Asian grocers ,whilst Kenkey is readily available in most African grocers across the U.K.
My personal and favourite place to get Kenkey here in the U.K. is from Rashbelle Ventures. I send an email and they deliver to my doorstep with a minimum spend. 

Let's start blending...

 

Ingredients 
1 ball of Kenkey
 280ml of chilled Water or 250ml of Milk and 2 tablespoonful of natural Yoghurt 
Quarter of a teaspoon of Cardamom powder (optional)
Half a teaspoon of Vanilla paste ((Optional)
1 tablespoonful of Sugar
30g of roasted Peanuts or Groundnuts

 


Method 
Take the Kenkey out of it's husks and place in a blender.
Add the Milk or Water and Sugar.
Blend into a smooth consistency and transfer into a bottle and refrigerate until chilled.
Serve with roasted Peanuts and enjoy!






Find more inspiring recipes on my YouTube channel, 'Ndudu by Fafa' and don't forget to subscribe and share.