My Nigerian Tummy; Ogbono Soup

 

Hello again.

My kitchen activities have been majorly interrupted in these past days. I’ve had so many things on my hands – designing my website(never knew I could do that!), drawing up business plans, having meetings with my lawyers, I’m just really stretched! It’s all for good anyway, I’ll be making a big reveal when all the plans are put together.

Okay, to the business of today. I’m not sure how many of you are familiar with Nigerian soups but if you are, you’d know that Ogbono(Igbo name) or Apon(Yoruba name) soup is one of the favorites. Ogbono is the seed of the African/Wild mango but its ground to a powdery form before it can be used for the soup. It’s commonly called draw soup because of it’s stretchy characteristics.

Here’s the recipe below:

  • Palm oil (1 cup)
  • Ground Habanero peppers(to taste)
  • Dry Fish/Fish/Meat/Snails
  • Stock Cubes (I used 2 Maggi Chicken cubes)
  • Ogbono Powder (3/4 cup)
  • Crayfish (3 tsp)
  • Red onion (half, chopped)
  • Bitterleaf/Water leaves/Pumpkin Leaves/Spinach [All thoroughly washed and chopped] (100g)
  • Periwinkles (optional)
  • Salt to taste

Note: when using bitter leaves, endeavor to properly wash and squeeze to remove the bitter taste. You can put it in boiling water for 3 minutes, and then wash out in cool water. You don’t want your soup to be a struggle to eat.

Procedure:

Heat the palm oil in your saucepan, and add the onions, stirring until they get soft.

Add your ground pepper and let fry till it mixes with the oil, then put in your fish/snails/parboiled meat, stock cubes, and stir till all ingredients are well combined. Add about 3 cups of water and cover to boil.

When it’s fully boiling, pour in the Ogbono powder slowly in a circular motion so it doesn’t form a clump on one spot, then stir properly and leave to boil. Don’t cover the pot after the Ogbono has been put in, as it reduces its stretchy ability. Once the soup starts to thicken, you can add your crayfish powder, periwinkles, salt and leaves. Leave for about a minute, then turn of the heat.

Serves 5 – 6.

Enjoy with semovita or any “swallow” of your choice!

Naija Couscous & Beans with Shrimp Sauce

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It has been ages since I made couscous, and I hadn’t properly integrated some form of Naijatitude into any CC dish before this. So after a very long day, and a lot of struggle with laziness, I got to work.

This dish has a lot of essential nutrients. Protein in the beans, carbohydrate in the couscous, vegetables packed full of vitamins – especially as they’re not overcooked, the generous amount of copper in the shrimp! However, it’s good to also note that if you’re trying to reduce your daily cholesterol intake, shrimp should probably not be on any of your daily menus too.

Here is the recipe for the dish:

INGREDIENTS

(For the Couscous)

I cup couscous

1/2 cup black eyed beans

1 tsp curry powder

1/2 tsp black pepper

chicken stock

3 tbsp vegetable oil

METHOD:

Boil beans till soft. Then heat some vegetable oil in a pan, put the beans, curry and black pepper, stir till properly mixed (you can add a little salt).

Pour Couscous into a pan of boiling water -I used boiling chicken stock for better flavor- and leave it till the water is absorbed and Couscous is soft & fluffy. Don’t boil Couscous!

Mix together the beans and Couscous completely.

(For the shrimp sauce)

1 pack deveined shrimps

1 yellow bell pepper, cut into big cubes

1 green bell pepper, cut into big cubes

3 hard tomatoes, cut into big cubes

1 bottle chili sauce

1/4 Clove garlic

1 small red onion, diced

5 tbsp olive oil

1 Maggi chicken seasoning

salt and pepper to taste

METHOD

Heat the oil in a pan and stir in the garlic, onions & shrimps for about a minute. Add the chili sauce and stir till it’s starts to slowly bubble. Add the seasoning and leave covered for about 4 minutes. Stir in the vegetables, and salt/pepper to taste, then reduce heat and leave covered for a few seconds. Turn of heat and serve.

Bon apetit! Stay tuned for more.

The Best Ways To Impress a Nigerian Dad…

…when his daughter is your girlfriend.
I’m going to list out most of the important things to note and all the factors that relate to them. Most of them may be familiar to you, others may not. Learn anyway, and enjoy the read!

…when his daughter is your girlfriend.

Dad’s the world over react the same way, feel the same and guard the same when it comes to their (forever) little girls. However, because of the differences in cultures, the way you impress (for instance) an American dad could be similar to that of a Nigerian that but has some key additions that should be noted.

I’m going to list out most of the important things to note and all the factors that relate to them. Most of them may be familiar to you, others may not. Learn anyway, and enjoy the read!

  1. NEVER OVERLOOK THE IMPORTANCE OF THE FIRST IMPRESSION

Please, take this very seriously! Most dads are already suspicious of the guy their sweet little girl is with before meeting him, so they would be on the lookout for any turn-off that they can point out and use as a yardstick in their future defense – against you.

2. SHOW HIM RESPECT

This may seem easy to do, but it’s quite different with most Nigerian dads. We have various tribes in Nigeria, the most prominent being Yoruba, Hausa and Ibo. There are TONS more. Each tribe has distinctly varying cultures, all  mostly marked by different actions showing respect. Learn your lady’s tribe, learn her cultures, and learn what’s respectful to fathers in those cultures. You might regret it if you don’t.

3. APPEARANCE MATTERS!

Whether or not your bride comes from a rich home, her father wants to see that a man who can take care of himself can also take care of his daughter. This goes hand-in-hand with  the first point, and may be influenced by the next.

For instance, try as hard as possible to avoid:

  • sagging your pants/trousers,
  • wearing colors that are too bright,
  • wearing tee shirts with offensive visible slogans,
  • wearing makeup/loud accessories (if you have any visible piercing, please take the accessory off just for that day!)
  • wearing too-casual footwear

…etc. You can dress like you’re going to a semi-casual dinner just to be on the safe side. Still don’t overdo it.

4. HAVE A STEADY SOURCE OF INCOME…

…because he’ll ask you, and if it’s not satisfactory, that’s an instant NO on his end. You don’t have to be earning in millions annually, just have a set goal for your life you’re working hard towards, it’s hard to hide it if you do. (This inspirational talk is for another day anyway)

5. COME BEARING GIFTS

This is just a way to soften the man towards you so he can give you a chance, it doesn’t mean he’ll accept you immediately, but it means he’ll hear you out (lol).

Get gifts for your lady’s mum as well, the man would be happy you made his wife happy.

6. LEARN ALL YOU CAN ABOUT HIS INTERESTS

Research! Research! Research! Know something about everything and everything about something. Never be the cause of any awkward silences. Be able to offer meaningful opinions about topics brought up and if you have opposing views, don’t argue violently like an areaboy at a bar (a riffraff), have a constructive argument. However, if you notice her old man is one that hates to be wrong, know when to stop and don’t always want to have the final say. Find out his likes and dislikes and have conversations with them in mind.

7. LEARN HOW TO COMPLIMENT GENUINELY

Yes, this goes for both the mother and the father. GENUINELY compliment some things around him; the house, his clothing choices, etc. This boosts a man’s ego and informs him that his efforts have not gone unnoticed. But, note that insincere compliments cannot go unnoticed.

8. LET HIM SEE EVIDENCE OF YOUR LOVE

Every guy can tell when another guy genuinely loves a woman; from his little actions, the way he looks at her, the way he talks to her, the attention he gives her. A father wants to know that he’s leaving his baby in equally loving hands that aren’t gentle only in the bedroom but also with her heart. Don’t be ashamed to show him this, however, please do not bring on the PDA strongly, avoid intimate physical contacts, he really doesn’t want to see that.

9. BE A MAN

You’re a man, don’t be any less. Nobody leaves a precious artifact in the care of a boy, he’ll break it. So, showing him respect or giving him his authority is not a reason to be cowardly with him. Never cower, never accept derogatory statements about your person (but don’t be violent when refusing them), and never be easily manipulated or pushed around.

10. BE RELAXED

Enjoy the meeting, keeping all these things at the back of your mind. Fear not, he’s only human, and he just wants the best for his girl. It’s like trying a new product you’re initially uncertain about and then getting comfortable with it. Relax. You may really get along with her dad eventually.


If you want more information about Nigerian cultures or parents or anything else related, feel free to contact me privately

or comment (also if you have contributions). Let’s gist.

Cat-rearing in Nigeria

In the more rural areas of the different states of Nigeria, you can hardly find a home with a cat as a pet. This could be an understatement – you’d probably see a few strays at night, skulking around almost stealthily in search of food or probably just stretching; something they can’t do during the day.

In the more rural areas of the different states of Nigeria, you can hardly find a home with a cat as a pet. This could be an understatement – you’d probably see a few strays at night, skulking around almost stealthily in search of food or probably just stretching; something they can’t do during the day.

Actually, you can see a few cats during the day…smashed on main roads in very public view.

The reason for this is mainly the fact that most diabolic practices in Nigeria involving therianthropy (shapeshifting) have always involved cats. It’s kind of a known fact that witches are generally associated with cats. Therefore, we were mostly brought up being informed that the majority of cats are witches.

So, 2 days ago, I found a stray right outside my house, curled up and in plain sight – in danger. She’s a two-week-old mackerel tabby and she was quite pathetic when I saw her. I said, “Little girl, what the hell are you thinking just balancing in public in broad day light like this. You want to get killed? Your head could be smashed so easily!” Then I wondered where her mother was… Probably dead.

So I took her in. I have had a lot of experience with my friends’cats but I’ve never raised one.

First of all, I had to keep her in a very dusty, unused room outside the main house building because my mom would freak out if she saw a cat in the house, and also because one of my brothers can’t stand her (the cat). When finally introduced to others, my other brother suggested feeding her noodles, and one of my big dogs almost crushed her (out of excitement though, I don’t raise killers).

I had to go to work (I was on my way actually when I saw her) so Ieft her in a huge basket in the dusty room and hurriedly put a light cloth at the base, and a small bowl of milk in there as well. I was told that she shrieked all day.

The days following have been easier, with Google and a few other helpful websites, and my very helpful closest friend, Jemima. Having raised 5 stray siblings on her own, I call her the Cat Whisperer and take her advice very seriously.

I christened the cat Xena, and am currently in search of a suitable home for her. I have 2 dogs and one is quite big; my house is not an option.

image

Above is my dog curiously sniffing at the door of the dusty room.

It’s Your Life, Noone Else’s

Why be stuck trying to live up to other people’s expectations? Why shape your life around things that other people think you should do?

I discovered this really great App; Periscope. I realize that not so many people have embraced it yet, but I recommend! It’s fantastic because you get to learn things about people from everywhere in the world(if you follow the right people), and others get the privilege (it’s nothing other than that) to have a feel of what your life is like.

So yesterday, I was viewing some broadcasts and there was one that really interested me, so I decided to share.

This guy is like a backpacker – without the backpack. He spoke about how he is in debt (of about 300 dollars), is practically broke, owns only one complete outfit – minus the bathrobe he was clad in, and has burgers (or any other calorie-congested meal he desires) for breakfast.  Where most of us struggle every day at work and only dream of that island we really want to vacation at, or force ourselves to stick to cabbage and other plant foods (no offence meant, vegans) just to stay in shape, this young man is doing only exactly what he wants to do.

Why be stuck trying to live up to other people’s expectations? Why shape your life around things that other people think you should do?

This guy (I can’t, for the life of me, remember his name) is broke, lacking and in debt, but he’s deliriously happy – and he’s living his life. I’m absolutely not saying you should quit your job and sell your clothes and eat fatty foods all day long because you want to rebel, you’ll just get overweight, really poor and hungry, and you’d hate yourself -or me. I don’t want that. I just think that everybody who has the opportunity to be alive should be happy while doing it.

Test yourself:

  • If you are very reluctant or unenthusiastic every Monday morning when it’s time to get ready for work, that’s not the job for you. It means you don’t like what you do and you don’t enjoy it. If that’s the case, you’d NEVER succeed maximally in that job. Change it. (Take a cue from Claire in the movie “The Boss” if you want to make your exit extra-dramatic).
  • If you only think of ways to promote your business or new ideas for improvement during work hours, means you don’t like your job. The truth is, anything you love, you’d want to see grow. So quit.
  • Ask yourself, “What made me start this job?” If your reason has less to do with yourself than it has to do with money or someone else, then you’re in it for the wrong reasons and you should get out.

Try as much as possible to create a Win-Win situation in every endeavor of your life, never forfeit fulfillment for someone else’s satisfaction. Do what you love, everytime, and you’d be great doing it!

Do you really control your life? Or does your life control you…

Bedroom Happenings Nobody Talks About.

I have a problem with blowjobs. Not that I do not give them(albeit reluctantly), or I don’t envy the women that really make their men happy with a good blow, or that I think they’re stupid. It’s more like it’s more difficult for me to know if he’s being satisfied by it.

Am I the only one who finds some How-To websites a little bit pretentious? There’s a list of methods and things to do right to achieve what you want -in this case,in the bedroom- but the difficulty in achieving those things and the varying results aren’t really discussed.

unhappy

I’m in a great relationship, my partner is really good to me, and I’m so grateful to have him in my life. Every single day, I think of ways to let him know that I care about him a lot, to get him useful things that I can afford to buy, to benefit his life in some way, to satisfy  him. Then he comes home after a tiring day and here he gives me an opportunity to satisfy him. “Can you give me a blowjob?” In my mind, I go, “Shit.” The one thing I find really hard to do. Nevertheless, I try. Using all my knowledge from the How-To websites, I get to work. He has grunted and groaned quite a few times, so I know he’s feeling it, but what should I do right? Does going faster or slower feel better? If I go faster, that means I have to suck less, does he like it? If I go slower, does it bore him? And then, when exactly will he come so I know I  did a good job?

Most times, experience teaches a few things about these activities, but I’m not ready to cheat on my partner and I have quite limited experience. I know a lot of women have thought about this but don’t talk about it. It’s time to actually get solutions.

Got contributions? Do you have similar thoughts? Comment below, let’s gist.

Get your ingredients right- Pina Colada.

I decided to give pointers on how to make a tasty glass of PC – without mistakes – and an easy peasy recipe to go with it.

pina

On Friday, a friend and I were at a really nice bar that we frequently visit together – it is one of our many spots. While discussing my blog and how lazy I’ve been to get it going and how specific the content should be, we ordered drinks. His Beach Bum cocktail looked absolutely delicious, but my Pina Colada looked even more tempting. My excitement was short-lived however after I tasted it! To cut the story short, my glass was still more than half-full when I left. I forgive them though, the mixologist probably had a bad day or he was watching How To Get Away With Murder and got distracted…

These are what prevented me from enjoying my drink:

  1. It was SO bitter! It felt like I was drinking rum with just a little cream added to it. I couldn’t deal.
  2. There was not even a tinge of fruity flavour in it.
  3. My glass was plain, no pineapple wedge for decoration, no cherries, nothing…ugh. It was definitely How To Get Away With Murder.

So I decided to just give pointers on how to make a tasty glass of PC and an easy peasy recipe to go with it.

The main ingredients are Rum, Coconut Cream and Pineapple Juice.

Rum: Using White Rum when making Pina Colada allows the Pineapple and Coconut to dominate. Also, a combination of light and dark rum makes for a really rich flavour. I personally prefer White rum, as the dominant Coconut and pineapple flavours make my drink taste more tropical.

Coconut Cream:You can either get already made coconut cream, or you can use a combination of Coconut milk and double cream; the latter is so rich and delicious, it can be ordered as part of dessert.

Pineapple Juice: Some people use blended fresh pineapple, but I think the juice from that is acidic and could be slightly tangy or even fibrous; if you decide to use fresh pineapples, be sure to make a very good selection. However, good Pineapple juice is just right.

The amounts of the ingredients should be measured according to their parts, to avoid something too bitter or too sweet or just plain nasty. There are different variations of Pina Colada, for example,when making the Virgin Pina Colada, rum is left out, some other PC’s are flavoured with other fruits. Check out the recipe for a Basic Pina Colada below:

YOU NEED:

  • 1 oz. (30 ml) white rum (for ight and dark, half parts of each)
  • 1 oz. (30 ml) coconut cream
  • 2 oz. (60 ml) pineapple juice
  • 1 cup crushed ice
  • 1 pineapple slice

Method:

  • Put your crushed ice, rum, coconut cream and pineapple juice in a blender (you can add a dash of lime juice or sweetener if you desire) and blend all till it’s smooth.
  • Pour into a glass and serve with your pineapple wedge.

It’s that simple.

Got any additions or observations? Did something go wrong? Is there a great method you have for it? Comment and let’s gist.