Wednesday, 28 October 2015

MASA (Rice Crumpet)


Masa is an African crumpet originating from the Hausa tribe. Masa is  made from rice, which is fermented and fried. 

I first tasted Masa during my childhood when we hosted a family from the Hausa tribe. I loved the sweet and sour taste of this crumpet. I spoke to my Mum who gave me a sketchy recipe and my hairdresser (Hajia Fulera) for an authentic recipe. 

I have a Masa recipe already on my blog, where I added Yoghurt and the batter was lighter. 

This recipe is perfect for your Hors d'oeuvre or canapés. 

Personally, I think African ingredients are under rated as most African dishes are Gluten free , fresh, natural and nutritious. This morning, my mission was to incorporate a bit of Africa to my breakfast, so instead of normal pancakes I made 'Masa'. 

A lot of work, creativity, passion and research goes into perfecting a recipe, verifying the recipe and writing about it, as such, I love to hear your feedback.

  Ensure you try the recipe, share the page and leave a comment about your experience. This helps educating the world about African cuisines. 


Serves 4

Ingredients 
150g of uncooked rice soaked overnight or 150g of rice flour.
150g of cooked rice 
1 tablespoon of Sugar
1 teaspoon of dry yeast
Half a teaspoon of salt
120ml of lukewarm water
Half a teaspoon of bicarbonate soda or Kaun (edible potash)

Mushroom mix
Tip;
You can use any mushroom that's available. 

100g Enoki mushrooms
80g of Shimeji mushrooms
1 finely diced Banana shallots
2 finely sliced Garlic
1 deseeded and finely diced green chilli
Half a teaspoon of olive oil 
10g of fresh Thyme (optional)
Salt and pepper to taste. 



Egg filling

3 hard boiled diced eggs
1 teaspoon of English mustard
1 tablespoon of grated fresh Turmeric or half a teaspoon of dry Turmeric
1 teaspoon of grated Ginger
1 tablespoon of olive oil 
1 teaspoon of rice wine vinegar (you can use malt or white vinegar). Alternatively use 1 teaspoon of lemon juice. 
1 teaspoon of honey 
1 teaspoon of chopped chives or finely diced spring onions 
Salt and pepper to taste

Method;


Mix the lukewarm water in a cup with the yeast, sugar and Edible potash (Kaun) or use bicarbonate soda . 
Leave in a warm place for 12-15 minutes ( until it's frothy ). The timing might take longer during this cold period. 

Tip;
I warm my oven up and open the door. I leave the yeast mixture on top of the door for 15 minutes. 

In a blender add the cooked rice, uncooked rice and the yeast mixture. Blend till you have a thick silky smooth paste. 

Tip
It's imperative to use a very good blender (Vitamix) for the silky smooth texture. 
Alternatively use rice flour.

Leave the paste in a warm place for fermentation. The paste will rise with loads of bubbles.



Let the paste rise for about 10-13hrs and collapse. 
Once it's collapsed, you can add an optional (extra teaspoon of sugar) and stir. 

Place a frying pan on a medium heat. Spray with oil, scoop a tablespoon of the batter (form a nice disc) and fry for 1 minute on each side . 

Tip;
Let the batter brown perfectly before you turn it over. The batter is ready to turn when it comes off easily from the frying pan. 

Alternatively, scoop a ladle of batter to the frying pan for a large pancake size. 

Repeat this process until all the batter is fried and set aside. 

Mushroom mix
Using the same frying pan, add the teaspoon of Olive oil . 
Add the diced shallots and diced green chilli. Fry for 2 minutes on a medium heat. 
Add the Garlic and fry for 30 seconds (avoid burning the garlic)
Add the mushroom, toss the mixture together and reduce the heat to the lowest setting. The mushrooms will soften within 3 minutes. 
Add salt and pepper to taste and set aside. 

Egg filling
In a bowl add the grated Turmeric (dry turmeric), grated Ginger, Mustard, Vinegar, Honey, Olive oil, Salt and Pepper. 

Mix everything till well combined. Add the diced eggs , mushroom mix, chives and mix well. 

To serve


Top each Masa with a tablespoonful of the egg mixture and serve. 


Alternatively , serve in a large plate for as a sharing platter. 
Serve with a chilled smoothie of Pineapple and Ginger. 

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


TURMERIC TEA


My love for exploring ingredients and their benefits led me my local exotic grocer ( where I found fresh turmeric). 
I've always used dried Turmeric for cooking and was rather excited to find the fresh root. 
I prefer the fresh ones now, as they don't  have the 'woody' taste, that dry Tumeric has. 
I've always known about the great benefits of Turmeric (anti-inflammatory and a great antioxidant) including its healing properties when used as a face mask. 

Curcumine, (the main nutrient component of Turmeric)  is what helps Turmeric to possess it's strong anti inflammatory and antioxidants benefits. However curcumine is hard to absorb into our bloodstream. By adding black peppercorns (which contains piperine ), it helps with the absorption of curcumine. 


Every second day , I enjoy a lovely cup of tea with Tumeric and black peppercorns.
 Here is my recipe. 


Ingredients;

15g of sliced fresh turmeric or 1 teaspoon of dry turmeric 
Half a teaspoon of freshly millet black peppercorns 
200ml of hot water
Add 10g of sliced Ginger (optional)

Tip;
Japanese Tea pot with an internal strainer


Method;

Add the Tumeric, milled black Peppercorns and Ginger to the strainer.


Add the hot water and leave to steep or infuse for 3-4 minutes. Pour into your tea cup, sit, relax and savour the spicy flavours. 

Try the recipe and hashtag #Ndudurecipes on Instagram to be featured. Don't forget to leave a comment with feedback about the recipe. 


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




Tuesday, 27 October 2015

FURA (THE ALKALINE AFRICAN SMOOTHIE)

' Fura tor , va afiee' (I'm sure the Ewe purist will frown upon my spellings,(meaning Fura seller , come over).  'Ewe' pronounced 'Erh-were', is the the name of my tribe and language. I'll make time to learn how to write in Ewe (personal challenge). 

My mum was kind enough to send some millet my way, hence the idea to make Fura and Hausa Koko, became a necessity. I'll update my blog with the Hausa Koko recipe. Recipes like these are not readily available in Ghana, as they're sold already cooked. I have recreated this recipe by memory of my taste buds, (when I last had Fura, over 15 yrs ago). 


You should see my excitement when I got the flavours right. I noticed as I omitted the Soya beans, the  Fura had a dark grey and brownish colour, however the flavours are 'on point.' My hairdresser, Hajia Fulera  (who is from the Northern part of Ghana gave me the thumbs of approval for the recipe, after she tasted it. Whoop whoop!

Most snack hawkers in Ghana,  roam for miles to sell their wares, hence wanting Fura, boiled nuts, bofrot (doughnuts), etc could take longer than you anticipate. One could potentially wait for hours and days for their favourite snack , hence when you see one, you scream to get their attention. 

Fura
'Fura' (a traditional dish from the Northern part of Ghana) is made out of milled millet and spices.

Millet is alkaline which means it's easy to digest.  It hydrates your colon, it's gluten free, helps lower and  maintain a good cholesterol level (Vitamin B3) , a good source of protein to mention but a few. 

I've omitted the Soy beans as there wasn't any readily available in my larder.  

Guinea Peppers

Millets prebiotic properties, helps with my sensitive stomach as it's easily digestible. I'll call this recipe the 'Alkaline African Smoothie'.

This is my favourite recipe, as all the ingredients help promote a good digestive system. 

Millet

Ingredients;

250g of milled Millet
(If you don't have milled millet, soak your millet overnight or for a quicker version in lukewarm water for an hour.)
10g of Guinea peppers
Half a teaspoon of chilli powder 
1 tablespoon of Ginger powder
5 cloves
3g of black peppercorns. 
60ml of cold water
Salt to taste

To serve
800ml of live Yoghurt (readily available in most grocers or supermarkets)
12g of Sugar
200ml of semi skimmed milk


Method: 

Toast the Guinea peppers, cloves and black peppercorns in a saucepan for about 2 minutes or (until you can smell the peppers). 

Tip;

Toasting spices generally helps release their oils and flavours. 



Blend the peppers and cloves  to a powder form. 

Un-milled Millet

If you're using un-milled 
millet, blend the spices with the millet to a smooth paste. Transfer the paste  to a bowl and mix with 50ml of water. Proceed to cook the paste, with your preferred option. 

Milled Millet

Add the milled Millet, Ginger powder, Salt, Chilli powder and mix everything together. 



Now add the water and mold into a smooth ball. Cover the dough with a cling film and leave in a warm place to ferment overnight. 
There are 2 ways of making 'Fura'

Option 1 (traditional method)

Place a saucepan with 800ml of water on a medium heat. 

Roll the dough into 6 equal balls and add them to the water. Boil for 20 minutes and take the dumplings out of the boiling water. 


Using a pestle and mortar, grind each ball till you have a smooth paste and roll it  into a ball again. Repeat this process for the rest of the dumplings. Dust the dumplings with corn or millet flour and refrigerate. It keeps well for 5 days. 



Option 2 (Quick & Efficient)

Once the dough has fermented overnight, mix it with 150ml of water to a smooth consistency.

Pour the mixture into a saucepan and place  on a medium heat. 

Keep stirring  (to avoid any lumps) into a thick paste. It will turn into a thick paste, within 3 minutes of stirring. Decrease the heat to the lowest setting and steam the dough for about 7-10 minutes.  Transfer the dough to a bowl and leave to cool down.  Once the temperature has cooled down (easy to touch) roll into 6 individual balls. 

Dust with some millet or corn flour and refrigerate. Best eaten within 5 days of preparation. 

To serve;

Add a ball of Fura, 200ml of Yoghurt with 50ml of semi skimmed milk to a blender. 
Add 1 tablespoon of Sugar or sweetener 
Blend to a silky textured smoothie. 
Best served chilled. 


All photos and recipes are by the owner of this blog. Try the recipe, leave a comment, share with your friends and don't forget to subscribe. 








Thursday, 22 October 2015

TEA BREAD (The Ghanaian recipe)


'Tea bread' in Ghana, is similar to the taste of a classic white loaf. Traditionally, Tea breads, are oblong shaped like mini baguettes,have a floured surface, pale in colour, soft and fluffy in texture.



Most Ghanaians will only purchase fresh and soft bread (no day old or stale bread is appreciated). One will test the freshness and softness of the bread by touching (much to the annoyance of the hawker). You're guaranteed freshly baked bread early in the morning, hence waking up at dawn, to grab the attention of a hawker passing by is a must (unless you have a bakery close by or a shop that stocks fresh bread). 


Bread is relatively cheap to buy in Ghana, hence baking bread at home is not promoted. The varieties of bread in Ghana were limited to Baguettes, Brown bread, Tea bread, Butter bread, Sugar bread, Sweet buns , flat breads, flats breads with Zaatar (Inspired by the Lebanese residents in Ghana), during my childhood and teenage years. 
However in recent times, the eating habits of Ghanaians are moving towards a healthier spectrum , hence there's an influx of healthy, whole meal , multi seeded breads etc (which are available in specialist bakeries) sprouting across the country. 

When I first arrived in the UK, I purchased a loaf of bread from a supermarket and I didn't like the taste. It didn't taste natural and fresh to me (flavours I was accustomed to), hence I stopped buying bread, till I discovered my local bakery.




Even though my local bakery serves me well, I can't help but miss my Ghanaian fresh bread and bake my own.

This week I'm paying homage to the typical Ghanaian (myself) who will only eat freshly baked bread, with either an omelette, Avocados, butter or jam. 

Relive that nostalgic feeling by baking your own Tea bread. An unsweetened light and fluffy bread. 



Ingredients 

330g of strong bread flour 
175ml  of lukewarm water
Half a teaspoon of salt
10g of dry action yeast
1 teaspoon of butter
Half a teaspoon of sugar
20g of flour for dusting 

Method 

Add the salt , then flour, sugar, butter and yeast to a mixing bowl. 
Using the dough hook of your mixer, add the lukewarm water and start from a medium setting (to avoid flour spilling everywhere) . Once the mixture is combined into a dough, increase the speed and whisk for 7-10 minutes or until you have a shiny soft dough (as shown below). 


In the mixing bowl, add some flour and roll the dough into a round shape above. 


Cover the dough with a kitchen napkin, soaked in warm water and leave the dough in a warm area.
The dough should rise (double in size), within an hour. 

Some recipes shape the bread at this stage, leave it to rise and then bake. 

However, I prefer to proof the dough , before baking. 

Flour a clean surface and place the dough in the middle. 
Knock the wind out of the dough and roll into a round shape. 



Using a knife, divide the dough in two, shape it into an oblong shape (look of a mini baguette). 

Line a baking tray with a baking sheet. Sprinkle the baking sheet with flour or coarse corn flour. 

Transfer the oblong shaped dough to the baking tray. 
Cover with a warm wet napkin or oiled cling film. 
Place the dough in a warm place for about an hour for proofing. 

The dough will double up in size at this stage and might fuse into each other.  (To avoid the dough touching , use a bigger baking tray). 
Personally, I like it touching, as I enjoy tearing the warm bread apart.

Preheat your oven to 160*c
Place the bread in the middle of the oven.

In another baking tray, add half a cup of water and place in the bottom of the oven. 

Bake the bread for 20-25 minutes. The water will provide steam in the oven, which helps the dough to cook within, delay the browning process and give the bread a light crust . 


Keep an eye on the bread to ensure you get the pale beige colour. 
Tap the bread and if you hear a hollow sound, it's cooked. 

Remove the bread from the oven, cover with a clean napkin and leave it to rest for about 5 minutes. 


Serve with Butter, Jam, Olive oil, Avocados , Hausa KokoOmelette etc

Try;
Pour 3 tablespoonfuls of olive oil into a bowl and a tablespoon of balsamic vinegar. 
Dip the bread into the mixture and enjoy. 


Try the recipe,  leave comments, subscribe and share. 
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.









Sunday, 18 October 2015

PAN FRIED OKRA & SHIITAKE MUSHROOMS

Breakfast or brunch should always be rewarding, especially on Sundays; before the start of a hectic week. 
It's a norm in my household to either bake , create a recipe or treat ourselves to a decadent meal. 
This is an African & Asian inspired brunch that mixes Okra and Shitake mushrooms together. 
When I posted the picture of this brunch on my Instagram page, the reaction was of intrigue and curiosity. 

Comments from my Instagram page;

'Please look at this combo', 'Interesting', 'I never thought Okra, could be eaten this way, SMH, interesting'. 

Okra, when used in African dishes, are cooked to increase it's mucilagenous (goo texture) by adding water, stock, edible potash, bicarbonate of soda etc; whereby in most Asian dishes, they're fried to prevent activating its mucilage texture . 

Okra are also known as bhindi, ladies fingers, Fetri, Okro or Gumbo. Okra is rich in potassium, calcium, folate, Vitamin C and a great antioxidant. 
Try this easy to follow recipe,  leave a comment, share and subscribe to my blog and YouTube page 'Ndudu by Fafa'.


Serves 4

Ingredients:
24 sliced individual Okra
2 finely diced Banana shallots
2 sliced Jalapeño peppers 
2 cloves of peeled and sliced Garlic
2 tablespoonfuls of extra virgin Olive oil
400g of fresh Shitake mushrooms 
8 refrigerated eggs
1 teaspoon of cumin seeds
Bresaola(An Italian air dried salted beef, thats aged for 3 months)
You can replace the Bresaola with smoky bacon).
150ml of light olive oil (for frying)
Freshly milled Guinea Pepper / Black peppercorns
Salt to taste

Guinea Pepper or Grains of Paradise

Method:

Place a frying pan on a medium heat and add 2 tablespoons of Olive oil 

Add half the finely diced shallot and fry for a minute. 

Shitake Mushrooms

Add the garlic, stir and add the mushrooms. 
Stir fry the mushrooms for about 2 minutes. Sprinkle with fresh thyme , a pinch of the milled Guinea pepper and salt. Stir fry for 45 seconds and take off the heat. 

Transfer the contents to a plate and return the frying pan to the fire. 
Still on a medium heat, add the remaining finely diced shallot and stir. 

Just when it starts to brown, add the sliced Okra, Jalapeño peppers, Cumin seeds and stir fry for about 3-4 minutes. 

Add salt to taste , sprinkle with freshly milled Guinea Pepper and set aside. 

Fried Eggs

Preheat the grill to 180*c 
Place the Bresaola on a baking tray and transfer to the preheated grill. 
Grill for 2-3 minutes or until crispy. 

Wipe the frying Pan and place it back on the fire at a very low setting. 
Take your eggs out of the fridge and crack each egg into the frying pan. 

Fry gently (on the lowest setting) for 4 minutes for a perfect runny yolk or (longer if you prefer a hardened yolk). However, this recipe requires the yolk to be runny, as it'll act as sauce to the dish.  

Tip
Applies to fried eggs only
Placing the egg in the fridge, allows the egg white to wrap around the yolk, when frying (as shown above).

To serve;
Scoop some of the Mushroom mix into a bowl and spread to the sides of the bowl. 
Then scoop some of the Okra mix and spread evenly.
Lay a crispy Bresaola on top of the vegetable mix. 
Carefully place a fried egg on top of the Bresaola.
Drizzle with extra virgin olive oil. 

Tip;
Try buying Olive oil made from 'Arbequina' Olives. It gives the Olive oil an aromatic taste and it's delicious. I tasted this olive oil for the first time at, 'Restaurante Elkano' , Getaria, in Spain. 
I found a 500ml bottle at Waitrose for £16.00. (Safe to say , I use it sparingly). 

Sprinkle a pinch of freshly milled Guinea pepper(careful not to add to much, as it's rather spicy).
Alternatively , sprinkle with freshly milled black peppercorns.




Serve with freshly baked Baguette, Sour dough bread or Ciabatta. 

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