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 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 like this Waakye recipe, 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. 


Wednesday, 3 May 2017

MAKE YOUR OWN SUYA SPICE MIX

I spent last night, thinking of ways to make, the best dry, natural Suya spice mix and decided to get some spices in the morning. After spending an hour  carefully selecting the best of ingredients, I left the shop empty handed as I'd left my purse at home. On my drive back home (as I made the decision not to return) I decided on improvising with the limited ingredients I had. 

 

Suya spice mix is a Peanut based spice mix which is popular in West Africa and used for most barbecues. It's best used with Goat meat or Beef, however it works with poultry and Vegetables as well.
When the Suya spice mix is used to marinate Meat, then chargrilled , it gives the dish a nutty and smoky taste; coupled with the added crunch from the Onions and Green peppers when added. 



Suya spice mix is readily available in most African grocers and online. 
 Find more creative ways of using Suya based recipes, here on my blog.

 
 
Suya spice mix originates from the Hausa's in both Ghana and Nigeria (known as Yaji in Hausa. Suya spice mix recipe varies from person to person, as the original recipe is fiercely guarded. This is my version which I created with the limited ingredients I had. I now have 2 different textured Suya spice mix, one for marinating and grilling and the other as a topping. Be inspired and try adding different herbs to your mix. 

Suya

Ingredients;
300g of roasted Peanuts
20g of organic powered Ginger 
20g of garlic powder 
20g of onion powder
1 teaspoon of blended red chilli
1 tablespoon of smoked paprika 
5 strands of negro peppers
2 African nutmegs
1 tablespoon of carom seeds (optional)
1 Bouillon cube (optional)


Method;


Watch how to make Suya 


Using a pestle and a mortar grind the peanuts into a crumbly texture (as shown below) making sure it doesn't turn into a paste.



In a clean kitchen towel, add your smoothly crushed peanuts and cover completely. 



The next step is to extract as much oil from the peanuts. In a frying pan, warm the peanuts to release some of the oils (this should take about 5 minutes on a medium heat). Pour the warmed peanuts into a kitchen towel.
Place a heavy item on the peanuts for the oil extraction ( you can use a chopping board, a cast iron pan or a stone mortar). 


Remove the heavy item after a few hours. Transfer the peanuts to another clean kitchen towel. 

Cover the peanut crumble in the kitchen towel and place a heavy item of your choice on top. 
Leave this for about 3 hours and you'll have a drier peanut crumble. 
Set the peanut aside until later. 

I had to make my own ginger and onion powder for the mix, as I decided to improvise (after my shopping disappointment), however it's easier to get them from the shops. 
I loved the smell of ginger permeating the house and not so about the onions. 


If you wish to make your own powdered onion and ginger, use a mandolin cutter and thinly slice your ginger and onions. 
Use a kitchen towel to squeeze the moist from your onions. Preheat your oven to 110*c and cook for an hour. Remove from the oven, leave to completely cool down and then blend into a powder.

From the top left, Peanut, Dry onions, Dry ginger, Paprika, Red chillies, Grains of selim, African nutmeg and garlic powder 

Toast your Grains of Selim, African nutmegs and Carom seeds (optional) for about 2 minutes. Remove the seeds from the Grains of Selim and discard and reserve it's stalk.  

From the top left, Peanut, Dry onions, Dry ginger, Carom seeds, Paprika, Red chillies, Grains of selim, African nutmeg and Garlic powder 

Add everything apart from the peanuts into a blender and mix to a smooth powder. Add 200g of the peanut crumble and pulse till well combined. 


Divide your Suya spice mix in two and add the remaining 100g of peanut crumble to one part. The smooth Suya mix is idle for grilling etc and the other works perfectly as a topping. 
Reserve in an airtight container or mason jar and it should keep for 6 months. 


Suya is best with Meat, Chicken and Vegetables. A great marinade and rub for your barbecues and grills. 

 

There are recipes on this blog and YouTube channel, 'Ndudu by Fafa' ,where Suya has been used. 
Beef fried rice , Suya Fillet of Beef, Suya & Thyme Chicken Wings

Watch how I made Suya curry, on ITV, This Morning.

Be inspired to try the recipe and leave comments with your feedback.
All photos are by the owner of this blog. 
















Monday, 1 May 2017

HAUSA KOKO RECIPE

 

Sugar? I declined the offer as the beautiful lady begun filling a small plastic bag with the silky and creamy porridge 'Hausa Koko'.  She span the tip of the bag and made a tight knot, as she placed the porridge and freshly fried Koose wrapped in paper into a carrier bag. She handed me over my purchases whilst asking the next customer, how much they wanted to purchase? 
This is a normal occurrence when purchasing 'Hausa Koko' in Ghana, as it's a communal affair. You'll find most mornings (just like in most cities), people rushing to work and their demand for a quicker service; hence when one requests a big order, it does cause irritation and there's no room for indecisiveness. 
In most places, you'll find customers enjoying their bowl of the porridge in a Calabash, as they bite into the fried spiced bean fritters, 'Koose' or 'Akara' that accompanies the porridge.

 
Most Ghanaian dishes are gluten free, alkaline and Hausa Koko is no exception. 
Hausa Koko is a popular Ghanaian, street food porridge made from Millet (Bajra seeds) and spices. As the name suggests, it's synonymous with the Hausa's of Ghana and it's readily available across the country. Achieving the perfect consistency, texture and creaminess of the porridge can be daunting and it puts people off from making it at home. This recipe will inspire you to make it at home. 

Traditionally, the porridge is made using indirect heat, available on my YouTube channel, 'Ndudu by Fafa'. The recipe omitted the African Nutmeg and included a few red chillies, as I used what I had available. 



Another recipe requires hot boiling water, been added to the smooth Millet paste and stired till thickened. I find that process delivers a somewhat raw taste to the porridge , which isn't pleasant. 
I prefer this recipe as it's quicker , takes the raw taste away and you achieve the silky, smooth and creamy consistency of Hausa Koko without the use of cream or milk.

 

Millet (Bajra seeds) are 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. 
You can find Millet seeds from most African and Asian grocers across the U.K. 


 

The spices used for the porridge gives the porridge its distinctive flavour. The inclusion of the said spices adds warmth and an aromatic flavour to the dish. In the absence of Guinea Peppers, Grains of Selim and the African Nutmeg, use 1 red chilli, 10 Cloves and Ginger instead. Let's start cooking...


Ingredients 
200g of Millet soaked overnight 
20g of peeled Ginger
8 Cloves
1 teaspoonful of Black Peppercorns 
2 African Nutmegs
1 teaspoonful of Guinea Peppers or 2 small Red Chillies 
400ml of water
Half a teaspoon of salt


 

Method 
Wash the Millet under cold water in a colander and transfer it into a blender.

Add the Cloves, Ginger, Guinea peppers, African Nutmeg, Black Peppercorns and Water  to the Millet.  Blend everything into a silky smooth consistency.

Using a colander, strain the chaff out of the Millet smoothie into a bowl. Rinse the chaff with an extra 50ml of water into the bowl.

Leave the Millet juice to settle in the bowl for a minimum of an hour or preferably overnight for a slight fermentation. 

 

Carefully strain the water off the settled Millet juice into a saucepan, leaving the Millet paste aside. 

Bring the Millet water to a rigorous boil and set the heat to the lowest setting. 

Using a wooden spatula, stir the Millet water gently and add the Millet paste. Stir vigorously for 2 minutes and take the saucepan off the heat.

REPEATED TIP
The porridge traditionally is made using indirect heat, which you can find on my YouTube channel, 'Ndudu by Fafa'. 
Another recipe only requires hot boiling water added to the smooth Millet paste, which sometimes has a raw taste. 
I prefer this recipe as it's quicker and you achieve the silky, smooth and creamy nature of Hausa Koko. 

 

For a lighter consistency, add about 70ml of hot water and continue to stir further. 
Cover the saucepan with its lid to trap in the heat for about 5 minutes. Stir the porridge which should have thicken up by this stage and serve immediately with Koose or Pinkaso

 

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.