Monday, 27 February 2017

TURMERIC FACE MASK RECIPE

Turmeric is one of my favourite spice, particularly for its incredible nutritional and healing properties.  I decided to make my own natural face mask that worked and cut down on spending money on products that either didn't work or took a while to work.


Turmeric is used in most Asian recipes and as a natural skin remedy. 

Read more about the benefits of consuming Turmeric in a previous post. 


 


In researching about the benefits of Turmeric for the skin I was astounded by its healing properties.

Turmeric helps with inflammatory skin conditions such as Psoriasis, Eczema , dry skin , helps slow down cell damage, helps with pigmentation and promotes an even skin tone. I knew I had to include this amazing spice to my face mask.


I decided to create an all natural, inexpensive and effective face mask with Turmeric and decided on adding milled black peppercorns, natural Yoghurt and Coconut oil. 


The inclusion of milled Black peppercorns is to act as a scrub, which helps rid pimples and boost blood circulation. 


Yoghurt acts as a calming agent to the mask due to the addition of milled Black Peppercorns and also helps reduce fine lines and wrinkles. 



Coconut oil breaks down dead cells, heals acne and hydrates the skin.


The listed ingredients are readily available in most store cupboards at home or your local supermarket. The ingredients are carefully selected for their healing and nourishing properties for dry skin.


The Turmeric facial mask has been my saviour over the years, especially when I need an instant glow for filming or doing a photo shoot. 


The only draw bag with this facial mask is the staining properties of Turmeric. Please ensure you use a glove to prevent staining your hands and it's best washing the mask off in a shower.


 Wash off any residue of the Turmeric mask from your shower by using any shower cleansing agent. Please use a dark towel for wiping your face (best to invest in one) to save your White towels from discolouration and stains. 



I've recommended this mixture to a few friends and family over the years and they're thankful for the immediate effect. 


 


Ingredients 

1 teaspoonful of Coconut oil

1 teaspoon of milled Black Peppercorns

1 teaspoonful of Turmeric powder 

1 tablespoonful of all natural Yoghurt 


A pinch of Coconut oil or Shea butter for moisturising later. 


Method 

 


Melt the Coconut oil in a saucepan and transfer into a bowl.


 


Whilst warm add the milled Black Peppercorns. This will release the oils of the Black Peppercorns into the Coconut oil.



Stir the mixture together till it's well combined. 


 


Add the Turmeric and mix everything together.


 


Leave the mixture to cool down and add the Yoghurt.



Mix everything together and set aside.


 


Wash your face clean and using a glove, spread the mixture over your face (avoiding your eyes).


Leave the mask on for 5-10 minutes and wash it off with a facial wash. Wipe your face clean and moisturise with Coconut oil or Shea butter. Feel the sudden smoothness of your skin, the closed pores and see how nourished your skin looks. 



I'll love to hear about your experience by leaving comments below.


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




Read more

Sunday, 26 February 2017

AROMATIC MANGO CHUTNEY RECIPE

Making Mango Chutney wasn't part of my plan this weekend, however a chance conversation with a lovely lady at the Sri Lankan grocer I visited got me excited. 
I watched as she carefully selected some Green unripened Mangoes and I asked what she was going to make with them. She advised a Mango curry and said it can be used for Mango chutney as well. I told her about my experience of tasting some Sinhalese dishes (thanks to Ashanti) and she was more than happy to tell me more about some of the ingredients in the shop. 
Yes' I randomly speak to strangers.

 

I quickly purchased a few green Mangoes and got excited about making my own Mango chutney.

 

On my drive back from the grocers, I couldn't help but wonder why Ghana didn't have its own Mango chutney, considering we have the best Mango season and the excess are left rotten or thrown away. Hmm!
Anyway, after researching about Mango chutney I came to the conclusion there are varieties and it's open to interpretation.
The green Mangoes surprisingly were fragrant when I was peeling them, hence I decided to add Lemon grass to accentuate the aroma. Use the bottom part of the Lemongrass for this recipe and keep the stalk for tea. (The bottom part or bulging part of the Lemongrass is the most fragrant part).

 

I've used my store cupboard ingredients for this recipe, however try and be creative if you're missing some ingredients. Feel free to ask for alternatives. 

For the recipe 
 

Ingredients 
5 peeled unripened Mangoes cut into chunks 
1 large ripened Mango cut into chunks (which was a late addition to my recipe).
30g of freshly grated Ginger 
Grated 2 large cloves of Garlic 
4 Cardamom deseeded  pods (keep the skins for making tea)
3 finely diced Red Chillies 
1 teaspoon of Turmeric powder 
1 teaspoon of Nigella seeds
1 teaspoon of Cumin seeds
1 stalk of Lemon grass (use the bottom part)
1 medium sized shallot
1 teaspoon of Garam Masala
75g of Cane sugar or Coconut sugar
1 tablespoonful of Coconut oil
2 tablespoonful of Vinegar 
Half a teaspoon of Asafoetida 
Salt to taste

Method 

 

Place the Ginger, Cardamom seeds, Shallot, Lemon grass, Red chillies , Salt and Cumin seeds into a mortar. Grind with a pestle to a rough paste and set aside.

 

Place the Green Mango chunks (leave the ripened Mangoes for later), half the spicy Lemongrass mixture, Sugar , Asafoetida and Turmeric into a bowl and mix till well combined. Leave the mixture to marinade for at least 5 hours or better still overnight.

 

When you're ready to cook, take the Mango chunks out of the fridge and bring to room temperature.

Place a saucepan on a medium heat and melt the Coconut oil.

Add the remaining spicy Lemongrass paste , Garam Masala and fry gently for 5 minutes.

Add the Mango mixture and set the heat to the lowest settings. Cover the saucepan to cook the mixture  for 20 minutes in its steam (this enhances the natural flavours of the chutney). 

 

Please ensure you stir the mixture occasionally to prevent the bottom of the saucepan from catching the sauce. 

 

Add the ripened Mango chunks at this stage ( this refreshes the Mango flavour and Mango chunks to the Chutney).

Cook for a further 4 minutes and sprinkle with Nigella seeds.

 

Leave the Chutney to cool down and transfer it into a sterilised jar with a sealed lid.
This will keep for about 4 - 6 weeks in the fridge.
Best served with Meat, Vegetables, Fish or Cheese dishes.

I'll be using my Chutney to glaze my grilled Mutton later and more. See my Instagram page 'Ndudu_by_Fafa' for more inspiring photos.
I hope you're inspired to make your own Mango Chutney.
Enjoy!

Find inspiring recipes on my YouTube channel, 'Ndudu by Fafa'


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

Saturday, 25 February 2017

COCONUT SAMBAL

The invitation from Ashanti Omkar to join a food club of Chefs was met with a big 'Yes' and a decision I was proud of making. Dinner started at 7pm, however I knew I would be late as the journey was over an hour away from me (traffic). An email stating the restaurant had run out of 'Lump rice', filled me with intrigue as I wasn't familiar with the dish. It turns out this is a decadent dish made with rice, your preferred choice of protein, curry  sauce, Green Bananas etc) which is slow baked in Banana leaf.
I'll say it has similarities with the decadent Waakye from Ghana.

The drive to meet the members had me in a reflective mood as I drove past familiar territories and memories.
The warmth of the group and their enthusiasm to get me to taste most of the dishes, made the whole evening a memorable one.

I had brown crab cakes and a taste of a dry paste like accompaniment , which turned out to be Coconut Sambal. I couldn't stop eating the Sambal, it was in my view the most delicious thing I've ever tasted. I echoed my love for the Sambal by imagining serving it with a crispy fried Red Snapper, however I managed with Tilapia instead.

I ordered some Goat curry (which was incredible), had a few bites of the elusive (Lump rice) thanks to Ashanti sharing some of hers (she got the last one) and a few other dishes.
The Sambal has a sweet, tangy and spicy taste which lends itself well with most dishes.
Thanks Ashanti Omkar for the invite, an amazing evening and to The Gutless Chef for the recipe.
I've tweaked the recipe to my preference, without deviating from the flavour.
Enjoy my new found 'Party in the mouth' recipe.
Oya, go to the market, grab some fish, Prawns or Crab and enjoy it with this incredible side dish.

 

Ingredients 
100g of freshly grated Coconut 
1 teaspoonful of Red chilli paste
20g of finely diced shallots
2 large deseeded and cubed Tomatoes 
1 teaspoon of Coconut oil
Juice of 1 Lime
1 teaspoonful of Shrimp powder 
Salt to taste 

 

Method 
Place the diced Tomatoes and  Onions into a bowl.
 Add the Lime juice, mix well and set aside.

Place the grated fresh Coconut into a frying pan.
Dry fry the Coconut for about 2 minutes (stirring constantly) this intensifies the Coconut flavour.

Add the Coconut oil , Red Chilli paste, Shrimp powder, Salt and fry further 2 minutes .
Set it aside till it completely cools down.

Add the Tomatoes mixture and mix everything till well combined.

Best served with most Seafood dishes.
I served mine with a crispy fried Tilapia.
Enjoy 

 

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






Tuesday, 14 February 2017

YAM & CRAB CAKES

A call from my local grocer to say he had the best Yam available, which I could use for my recipe was a welcomed distraction from a rather busy week . 
He explained 'he insisted the wholesaler  cut through some of the Yams to ensure they were the yellow 'Pona' (a type of Yam described in a previous blogpost) that I liked. 
I felt great about the care taken in selecting the best Yam and purchased few tubers.
Use Yam as you would potatoes, by frying, baking, steaming etc 



Ingredients;

Yam cake
200g boiled Yam (preferably the middle to the tail part of the Yam). 
Yam can be purchased in some supermarkets, African or Asian grocers.

Click here for how to boil your Yam. 

4 stalks of chopped Spring onions
20g of chopped coriander
1 de seeded diced red chilli
1 teaspoon of Ginger
1 teaspoon of horseradish 
Half a teaspoon of 
350g of crab meat (source from your local fishmonger)
1 egg
Salt and pepper to taste

YAM


Frying;
1 tablespoon of coconut oil/ Groundnut oil / Sunglower oil


Method;

Crush your Yam (the crab cake needs to have a bite, hence don't mash the mixture till smooth).


Add all the ingredients for the Yam cake to a bowl and mix well. 


Using your clean hands, mold about a tablespoon of the mixture into individual disks (as shown below).


Cover with cling film and refrigerate for at least an hour. This will help the moulds hold their shape. 


Melt about 1 tablespoon of coconut oil or your preferred oil in a frying pan, on a medium heat. 


Fry the cakes on a low heat for 3 minutes on each side and set aside

To serve;
Serve with your preferred green salad (Watercress, Spinach, Rocket etc)
and drizzle with either balsamic glaze or a sweet chilli sauce. 

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

Find more inspiring recipes on my YouTube page and don't forget to subscribe. 






Monday, 13 February 2017

CRUNCHY KELEWELE

'Kelewele', a spiced and cubed fried ripened Plantain, is my idea of a romantic snack from 
Ghana. Why not try this crunchy version for your loved ones. Happy Valentines everyone.


It's imperative to use ripened Plantain for this recipe for the candy like texture



Ingredients; 
2 ripened Plantains
30g of chopped Ginger
3 Green chillies 
1 teaspoon of Mixed spice
Powdered red chilli
2 eggs
150g of Panko breadcrumbs
400ml of Sunflower or Groundnut oil

Method;
Cut the Plantain into cubes
Blend the Ginger, Chillies and Onion together into a smooth paste.
Add the blended Ginger mix, the mixed spice and powdered red chilli. 


Stir till well combined. 


Crack and beat the eggs in a bowl 
Place the breadcrumbs in a bowl. 
Pour the oil in a Wok / Saucepan and place on a medium heat. 



Tip;

Drop a cube of Plantain into the oil to test it's temperature. If it sizzles, the oil is ready. 

Using a ladle, scoop a portion of the spiced cubed Plantain into the beaten egg, then toss it in the breadcrumbs and fry till golden (about 5-6 minutes)
Repeat the process, till you have a golden crunchy Plantain. 

Tip;

When you add the plantain to the hot oil, please take all necessary precautions. 

Don't be tempted to stir the Plantain when you place it in the oil the first time. 

Let it fry for about a minute before you stir. This will enable the coating to stick. 


Best enjoyed with Palm wine or Pineapple and mint smoothie. 





Find more inspiring recipes on my YouTube channel, 'Ndudu by Fafa'. 
Don't forget to subscribe, try the recipe and leave comments about your feedback. 




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







ROCK BUNS, ROCK CAKES, ROCK ON!

Rock buns were firm favourites of my Mum for special occasions, particularly on my birthday. The Rock buns were served with a chilled glass bottle of Coca Cola, Muscatella or Fanta. 
The ones Mum made were firmer than this recipe, however that can be achieved by eliminating the Baking Soda and baking it a little longer. Mum also made ones with Coconut flour which I'll update my blog with the recipe soon.
Enjoy this childhood snack which is also an old English classic snack.
This recipe will give you a crunchy exterior and a fluffy texture within. Use a fork to pick the surfaces up, which accentuates the rock like look of this snack when baked.
Enjoy!
 
INGREDIENTS
450g of self raising flour.
200g of Green Raisins 
150g of caster sugar
125g of peeled and crushed Pistachios 
1 teaspoon of baking soda
250g of butter 
2 beaten eggs
2 tablespoonful of milk (if needed)
A pinch of ground Mace or Nutmeg
2 tablespoonful of Vanilla extract. 
Salt to taste

 

METHOD 
Place your butter in the fridge or freezer to it harden up.
Sift the flour, Mace / Nutmeg and baking soda into a bowl. 
Add the Sugar and grate the butter into the mixture.
Using both hands,  rub the mixture between your Palm till you have a bread crumb consistency.
Add the crushed Pistachios and raisins and mix till well combined.
Add the beaten egg and Vanilla extract and mix everything together into lumpy dough. (If the mixture is too dry add a little milk for a wet dough).
Preheat your oven to 180*c
Scoop a tablespoonful of the mixture onto a baking sheet (making sure you space them as they spread when baked). 
Bake for 18-20 minutes or until golden brown. 

 

Let the Rock buns cool down for a minute and transfer to a wire rack.
You can store it in an airtight container if any is left .

 


Enjoy this with my Alasa Mocktail drink which is available on my YouTube page. 
Don't forget to subscribe and try the recipe.



Don't forget to subscribe, try the recipe, leave comments with your feedback and share. 

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

OIL FREE SEAFOOD OKRO SOUP

 

Okra soup or Fetri detsi is one of the traditional dishes from the Ewe tribe in West Africa. There are various ways of making Okro soup including cooking it with Zomi (spiced Palm oil), Sunflower oil or an oil free option. 
One can choose to use either Beef, Goat meat, Lamb, Chicken, Fish , Seafood or a mixture of both Meat and Fish as their choice of protein. 

This dish is inspired by my Aunty Anna who lived in a town called Mpraeso in the Kwahu mountains of Ghana (where I attended boarding school). She made the Okra with smoked Tilapia and fresh ingredients she  picked from her farm earlier in the day.

 I watched in anticipation (with my ball of Banku ready) as she added the shredded , freshly picked Cocoyam leaves to the soup (knowing the soup would be ready soon) and not wasting time to extend my bowl of Banku for my share of the soup. 

On one occasion my cousins and I feasted on this delicacy, going for seconds till we couldn't stand up. 
We had to run to relieve our intentional discomfort which reeked of gluttony. Childhood shenanigans...

SMOKED TILAPIA
There was no stock cube in sight as the flavour of the smoked Tilapia gave the dish its needed flavour.
The fresh nature of her ingredients gave the dish a clean and smoky taste packed with bags of natural flavours.

 

You can purchase smoked Tilapia from most African grocers or alternatively slow grill a fresh one for 2 hours at 140*c.


CHILLIES
Chillies do play a pivotal role in most West African dishes.They provide the obvious heat to most dishes and also a unique aromatic taste. 

I've noticed most Chillies in the UK lack the aromatic smell and flavour I'm describing here. You're more likely to find the aromatic kind at an African grocer.


 

AKAUN / KAUN / POTASH
Akaun is a natural lake salt that forms during the rainy season and dries out into a firm grey rough like rock in the dry season. It's best used to tenderise meat, soften pulses when cooked and activates the mucilage of Okra, which works well with this recipe.
There are different types of Akaun which includes one made from unripened Plantain peels or Palm fruit ashes , which are a healthier alternatives. 

Akaun is used in this recipe to activate the Okra's viscosity but it can be omitted and pulsed in a food processor. 

Akaun is available in most African grocers , however you can use Bicarbonate Soda  in the absence of Akaun. 

 

OKRA / OKRO
Ladies fingers/ Gumbo / Bhindi
When choosing your Okra/ Okro, ensure it has an even green colour all over and the tip snaps easily with little pressure.
The Okra needs to be finely diced for this recipe or for an easier option, blend it with a little water in a food processor.
Let's start cooking!

 

INGREDIENTS 
400g of finely diced Okra
1 large smoked Tilapia 
250g of fresh Prawns
200g of Shitake Mushrooms 
1 large Onion
1 Habanero chilli
1 medium finely sliced Onion
30g of grated Ginger 
Half a teaspoon of Akaun (Optional).
2 cloves of grated Garlic 
350g of fresh Spinach 
500g of fresh dressed Crab
1 litre of Water or Vegetable stock

 

METHOD
Blend the Ginger, Aniseed, Garlic and Onion into a smooth paste.
Place the smoked Tilapia, a litre of water into a large saucepan and place on a medium heat. 

Add the sliced Onions and half of the Ginger mix and boil for about 30 minutes.
This process is to create your own stock for the soup.

Add the Crabs and cook further for 10 minutes. This will allow the flavour of the crab to infuse into the stock and vice versa.


 
At this stage add the chopped Okra, Akaun , the remaining Ginger mix and stir. 
I prefer to add the remaining Ginger mix at this stage , as it gives the soup a refreshing and spicy taste.

Cook for 4 minutes and add the Prawns.
It's best to add the Prawns and Spinach as the last thing (this ensures they aren't over cooked and retain their nutrients).

Cook the Prawns for 2 minutes and add the washed Spinach. 
 Mix everything together and turn the heat off.

Cover the soup with the lid of the saucepan and let it rest for 2 minutes. This will trap the steam and cook the Prawns and Spinach further.

 

Serve immediately and enjoy it on its own or with AmoKple.
Find the AmoKple recipe on my YouTube channel , 'Ndudu by Fafa'. 



I've written about a few different Okra recipes on my blog, do check it out. 

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


Sunday, 12 February 2017

HONEY GLAZED CARROTS

 

Ingredients 
300g of scraped and chopped Organic carrots
1 tablespoonful of Olive oil
2 tablespoonful of runny honey
Salt and Pepper to taste 

Method 
Preheat the oven to 200*c
Place the carrots into a baking tray, drizzle with the Olive oil, Salt and Pepper to taste. 
Cover the baking g tray with Kitchen foil and bake for 25 minutes.
After 25 minutes, remove the Carrot from the oven and drizzle with honey.
Place the Carrots back into the Oven (without the foil) and bake for another 20 minutes.
Sprinkle with Chilli flakes and serve immediately with your favourite Sunday roast . 

 

Enjoy this with your Roast Chicken , Lamb, Beef or Fish.
Find more inspiring recipes on my YouTube channel, 'Ndudu by Fafa', like this baked Fish.



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