WATERMELON, MINT & FETA SALAD

WATERMELON, MINT & FETA SALAD

The recent weather in London  has been gloriously hot, which means more Salads, chilled juices, Sorbets, Picnics etc. I decided to make a quick salad with the Watermelon I had in the fridge.

Growing up in Ghana, the Watermelon and Mango season were my absolute favourite. I’ll confidently say, I became a self appointed connoisseur of the aforementioned fruits; much to the chagrin of the fruit sellers. I used to pick the Watermelon  to check its heaviness and for the creamy yellow patch at the bottom to ensure its ripeness.

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Moving to London, I quickly deduced the best Watermelon were from the local grocers. The closest to a perfectly ripened , deep coloured, sweet and crunchy Watermelon (which I enjoyed in Ghana) are available in most Asian grocers. The best part is, they’re mostly cut open, wrapped in cling film, making the decision process much easier.

As I picked the quartered perfectly ripened Watermelon, with a bunch of fresh Mint, I knew I had a choice of making Watermelon and Mint juice, Slushies  , Granita, Sorbet, Salads and even grill it. I placed the Watermelon in the fridge and enjoyed a few slices on its own.

I opted to make this simple sweet , crunchy and salty salad today and couldn’t wait to share the recipe . Salt has been omitted from this dish as the Feta is salty.

Enjoy this refreshing Salad. Don’t forget to subscribe, try the recipe, leave comments about your experience and share. Let’s start mixing..

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Ingredients

250g of  chilled Watermelon

10g of fresh Mint

50g of cubed Feta cheese

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Method

Deseed the Watermelon , separate the flesh from its rind and cut into sizeable cubes.

Transfer the Watermelon into a bowl and add the diced Feta.

Add the chopped fresh Mint and mix till well combined.

Refrigerate the salad for 20 minutes to allow the flavours to infuse.

Serve as a starter or enjoy it on a hot sunny day, as part of a picnic.

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If you don’t have access to Feta cheese, try using grilled Halloumi or the fried Wagashi (the Ghanaian cheese) and thank me later.

All recipes, videos and pictures are by owner of this blog. Unauthorised use of any of my images , recipes and content are strictly prohibited 🚫

 

 

 

PORTUGUESE RICE

PORTUGUESE RICE

The idea of driving through traffic on a Friday evening,  to satisfy my cravings for Nando’s inspired this dish, as I drove straight home to cook from scratch. Yes! I’ll rather cook from scratch , however long it takes, than to be stuck in traffic.

Staring at my larder, I quietly picked up the ingredients, using my taste buds as a point of reference with each decision I made. The rice always had a bite, a distinctive mustard colour, a tangy and slightly smoky taste . This was going to be a trial and error episode in my test Kitchen and one I was happy to tackle.

I decided to use Risotto rice (as it was the closest to a short grain rice I had available). I knew I had to reduce the starch content of the rice by washing it under lukewarm water, till the water run clear. I then soaked the rice in warm water for about 15-20 minutes, as I started cooking.

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During my trial and error effort, I ensured, when needed, to gently stir the mixture (to reduce activating the starch in the rice). In creating this recipe, I loved that I could easily turn this into a beautiful silky Risotto.

I marinated my Chicken in my homemade PiriPiri sauce and grilled for 30 minutes at 200*c. I’ll write up about my Piri Piri sauce later in another post.

I served my Rice with a coleslaw of Tomatoes, Shallots, Cucumber and the white part of a leftover Romaine Lettuce. Enough of me and let’s start cooking..

 

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Ingredients

240g of Risotto rice

200ml of Chicken stock

3 tablespoonful of Olive oil

1 large finely diced Onion

2 cloves of Garlic

1 deseeded and diced red peppers

1 teaspoon of Cumin powder

1 tablespoon of Mustard

1 teaspoon of Turmeric

1 teaspoon of smoky Papkrika

1 juice of 1 Lemon

100g of frozen Peas

1 teaspoon of Sea salt

Lemon wedges to serve

 

Method

Wash the rice till the water runs clear and set aside

Place a shallow pan on a low heat and add the Olive oil, diced Onions and red Peppers.

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Fry the mixture gently for 2 minutes, then add the grated Garlic and fry for 1 minute. Add the rice and stir fry for 2 minutes.

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Add the Mustard, Turmeric and stir the mixture together.

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Add the Cumin powder, mix well and add the Chicken stock.

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Add the smoky Paprika, Salt and stir gently till well combined.

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Bring the rice to a boil and reduce the heat to its lowest setting. Add the Lemon juice and stir gently till well combined. Cover the rice with a grease proof paper or foil (to trap in the steam) and the lid of the pan.

Cook for 25 minutes and discard the grease proof paper. Add the garden peas and cover with the lid of the saucepan. Turn the heat off, as the residual heat will cook the garden peas to perfection.

 

Serve immediately with Lemon wedges, grilled Piri Piri Chicken and Coleslaw.

For a vegetarian version, use Vegetarian stock and serve with grilled Halloumi. A perfect lunch box idea.

Don’t forget to subscribe, share and trial the recipe. Be kind to leave your comments with your feedback about the recipe.

All recipes, videos and pictures are by owner of this blog. Unauthorised use of any of my images , recipes and content are strictly prohibited 🚫

 

GHANA, NAIJA JOLLOF RICE

GHANA, NAIJA JOLLOF RICE

‘If you close your eyes to facts you’ll learn through accidents’ African proverb.

In recent times the healthy debate of who makes the best Jollof rice (without paying homage to the originators of Jollof, the Wollof tribe from SeneGambia) has dominated the media.

The debate has been between Ghanaians and Nigerians about who makes the best  Jollof rice? The main difference is the Nigerian recipe calls for par-boiled  rice, whereby the Ghanaian Jollof uses washed dry rice, which is slow cooked in the spiced Tomato stock.

The use of spices and herbs also differs but there are similarities of either using thyme, bay leaves and or curry powder amongst the two countries.

Ghanaians also add steamed vegetables to their Jollof which acts as a garnish, gives the dish a lovely texture and incredible flavour.

My first attempt in creating this stew was successful ,  hence I decided to document and share the recipe. I like that I managed to combine the best of both cultures in creating this recipe.

I’ve written about my opinion of who makes the best Jollof on my food blog  ‘NDUDU BY FAFA’. Click on the link to read more..

Anyway, I decided to create a unique tasting stew by combining the Ghanaian tomato stew with the Nigerian Ayamase stew. The results was an intense dark , perfectly spiced and glossy stew. The stew is the base for this Jollof rice recipe and I hope you enjoy it.

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INGREDIENTS

500g of Fafa’s Mutton stew 

300g of Basmati rice, Long grain rice or Thai fragrant rice.

3 bay leaves

Half a teaspoon of ground nutmeg

250ml of Beef or Chicken stock

I teaspoon of salt

 

Vegetable Medley

Thinly sliced Carrots

1 large quartered white Onion

50g of quartered Cabbage

30g of frozen peas

1 tablespoon of sugar

3 tablespoonful of White wine Vinegar

1 teaspoon of butter

70ml of water

Half a teaspoon of salt to taste

Method

Wash the rice under luke warm water till the water runs clear.

Transfer the Mutton stew into a heavy bottomed saucepan and place on a medium heat.

Once the stew has warmed up, add the washed rice and fry for 3 minutes. This allows the rice to absorb the flavours of the stew.

Add your preferred stock and nutmeg. Mix everything together till well combined.

Taste for salt and if needed add a teaspoonful of Sea salt. Add the bay leaves and cover the rice with a grease proof paper. Cover the saucepan with its lid to trap in the steam.

Reduce the heat to its lowest setting and cook the rice for 30 minutes.

Tip

Avoid opening the saucepan whilst  the rice is cooking (this prevents the steam from escaping).

10 minutes before the rice is done, start steaming your vegetables.

Place a saucepan with 70ml of water on a medium heat.

Add the Sugar, Vinegar, Salt, Carrots ,Cabbage and cover with its lid. Reduce the heat to the lowest setting to allow the steam to cook the Vegetables.

Cook for 5 minutes, then add the Onion, butter and frozen peas. Turn the heat off and leave the vegetables to steam further for a minute.

Strain the vegetables off its juices (I keep the tangy Vegetable stock for making Risotto).

Transfer the el dente vegetables to the Jollof rice and mix well.

Serve the Jollof rice  immediately with some green salad, Avocado, fried Plantain etc..

Enjoy this Jollof with a glass of chilled unoaked Chablis, Palm wine or a tangy juice of freshly squeezed Grapefruit.

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FAFA’S MUTTON STEW

FAFA’S MUTTON STEW

 

Most West African dishes can be time consuming when preparing  , however the sacrifice is worth the amazing flavourful dish at the end.

I love blending various cultures in my cooking, ending up with unique and inspiring recipes. This stew is a blend of the Nigerian Ayamase and Ghanaian Tomato stew, (it’s that Ndudu twist thing).

I picked various elements of each dish to create this delicious recipe. I attempted  amalgamating the names , however it was a mouthful, hence my choice of an apt description.

The Ayamase sauce is made with Green peppers, locust beans, Onions, Crayfish and Chillies etc and fried in Palm oil. The Ghanaian Tomato stew is a blend of Tomatoes, Ginger, Garlic ,Onions , spices etc…

The blend of these two cultures produces a darker , well spiced, sweeter and glossy looking stew.

It’s advisable to prepare this stew in large quantities (due to its time consuming nature) and freeze for when a recipe requires it.

The amount of oil required for this stew is more than usual, however it’s  needed to fry the mixture into the required texture. Scoop off any excess oil and reserve it in the fridge, until a recipe requires it; e.g. making an Omelette etc..

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Serves 6
Preparation time: 25 minutes
Cooking time: 2hrs 10 minutes
Marinating : 3-24 hrs

Mutton
Ingredients
600g of Mutton washed, cleaned and cut into sizeable chunks.                                              600ml of Beef or Chicken stock.

Marinade;                                                                                                                                 40ml of water
40g of Ginger
1 large Onion cut into chunks
1 teaspoon of Aniseed
3 cloves of peeled Garlic

Method
Place all the ingredients for the marinade in a blender.
Add about 40ml of water and blend to a smooth paste.

Mix half the marinade with the Mutton and fridge for a minimum of 3hrs.

The remaining marinade will be used for the stew.

Tip:
Marinating  the mutton overnight allows the spices to infuse perfectly into the meat.

Transfer the marinated Mutton to a saucepan and steam on a gentle heat for 25 minutes.

Tip

When adding stock or water, add a little bit at a time. This allows the meat to cook in its own steam and retains its flavour.

Add 100ml of  your preferred stock at a time and gently steam for another 30 minutes on a gentle heat. Once the meat is tender to taste it’s ready.

MUTTON STEW

INGREDIENTS

2 large Green Peppers

4 Green chillies

20g of Spring Onions

3 large sliced white Onions

60g of Tomato purée or paste

450g of blended plum tomatoes or tinned Tomatoes

The remaining marinade of Ginger , Onion, Aniseed and Garlic blend

30ml of Sunflower , Rapeseed or Coconut oil

1 large finely sliced Habanero chilli

1 shrimp stock cube (optional) or a tablespoonful of powdered shrimp or crayfish

Salt to taste

 

METHOD

Add your preferred oil to a Wok or Saucepan and place on a medium heat for 2 minutes.

Add the sliced Onions and fry for 3 minutes. Add the steamed Mutton and fry gently for 7 minutes or until the meat browns.

Add the remaining blended Ginger mix and fry for another 4 minutes.

Blend the green peppers, green chillies, spring Onions and shrimp cube to a smooth paste.

Tip

To cut the cooking time in half microwave the green pepper mixture  and your blended Tomatoes for 10-15 minutes

Add the blended green pepper and chilli mix to the Mutton and fry gently for 15 minutes. Ensure you stir the mixture, to avoid it from catching to the bottom of your pan.

Add the Tomato purée , mix and fry for 4 minutes.

Note;

If you’re using crayfish or shrimp powder (instead of the stock cube);

Blend your tomatoes and crayfish or shrimp powder  into a smooth consistency.

Tip                                                                                                      Either microwave the blended Tomatoes to reduce its water content or use plum tomatoes which has less water content.

Mix everything together and cook for 25 minutes. Ensure you stir to avoid any burns.

Taste your sauce and if it requires any more salt add no more than a teaspoon of Sea Salt.

The stew is ready when the oil settles at the top and you have a dark rich marmalade consistency.

Let the stew completely cool down, scoop it into a container with its lid and refrigerate it overnight

 

Tip                                                                                             Refrigerate the stew overnight to allow all the spices to infuse. The stew it at its best when enjoyed a day after. Freeze any excess stew for no more than 3 months, until a recipe requires it.

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This stew is perfect for making  Jollof rice , Spaghetti, Gari fortor, Gari Piñon etc

My next recipe will be using this Ghanaian & Nigerian fusion stew for Jollof Rice.

I guess the Jollof will be named GhanaNaija Jollof 😜

All recipes, videos  and pictures are by owner of this blog. Unauthorised use of any of my images , recipes and content are strictly prohibited 🚫

 

 

 

GHANAIAN CRUNCHY SALAD

GHANAIAN CRUNCHY SALAD

Just as I took a bite into my new creation, savouring each bite, appreciating  the crunchy and creamy texture , did I know I just perfected another recipe.

I chose to name my creation the Ghanaian crunchy salad (paying homage to the Ghanaian Plantain chips). If you’ve not tried the Ghanaian Plantain chips, they’re readily available in most African grocers across the U.K. Alternatively you can cut the Plantain into thin ring shapes or use a Potato slicer for thin strips and fry as per this recipe

Testing and creating new recipes is one of my favourite things to do, hence be ready for more creative recipes. Have you subscribed yet?

If you’re in Ghana, you can use the local Ghanaian cheese known as Wagashi in place of the Halloumi and sprinkle with Aniseed (Sukoni) if Cumin seeds aren’t readily available.

Please be mindful of the amount of salt you use for this recipe as the Halloumi or Wagashi are already salty. Personally I’ll say omit the salt altogether. The gooey poached egg will act as a dressing for the salad.

Alternatively you can make a quick dressing of mixing 1 teaspoon of honey, Lime or Lemon juice , milled black peppercorns and 2 tablespoonful of Olive oil.

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Crunchy Plantain salad

Serves 2

Preparation time: 8 minutes

Cooking time: 15 minutes

Ingredients

2 unripened Plantain

150g of diced Halloumi

1 large , peeled, de-hulled and sliced Avocado

20g of chopped Spring Onions

1 teaspoon of Cumin seeds.

500ml of Rapeseed / Coconut or Sunflower oil

Half a teaspoon of sea salt (Optional).

Poached Egg

300ml of water

4 large free range or Organic eggs

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Method

Using a mandolin, cut the Plantain into julienne slices. Transfer the julienne sliced Plantain into a bowl, sprinkle with half a teaspoon of sea salt and mix well. (Salt is optional).

Pour your preferred oil into a wok and place on a medium heat. Test the oil is hot by dropping a few Plantain slices. If you hear the sizzle sound, the oil is ready for frying.

Fry the Plantain till crispy (it’s ready when the sizzle sound subsides) this should take about 7-8 minutes.

Whilst the Plantain is frying, start  poaching the eggs to save time.

Poached Egg

POACHED EGG
Poached Egg with Guacamole on a sourdough bread toast.

Pour the water into a frying pan and place on a medium heat for 3 minutes and reduce the heat to its lowest setting.

Crack an egg into a bowl and gently add it to the simmering water, ensuring it’s intact. Repeat this process till you have all the eggs in the water.

Leave the eggs to cook gently for 2.5 minutes (for a perfect soft egg), remove with a slotted spoon and reserve for later.

Back to the Plantain

Using a slotted spoon, scoop the Plantain from the oil onto a clean kitchen paper napkin. Once you’ve drained any excess oil from the Plantain,  transfer it into a bowl or eathern clay bowl (Asanka).

Fry the Halloumi in the hot oil for 2 minutes . Scoop the fried Halloumi with the slotted spoon and add to the Plantain chips.

To serve

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Place the poached eggs on top of the Halloumi and serve the sliced Avocado on the side.

Quickly toast the Cumin seeds in a dry frying pan for 1 minute (to release its oils) and sprinkle over the salad. Serve this immediately with a chilled glass of homemade Lemonade.

Please try the recipe and leave comments with your feedback.

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.

 

 

 

 

SMOKY MACKEREL & GIANT COUSCOUS SALAD

SMOKY MACKEREL & GIANT COUSCOUS SALAD
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Mackerel with Giant Couscous salad

Biting into the pearl sized Couscous, savouring the smoky taste of the Mackerel, the aromatic flavour of the Basil, crunchy texture of the Onions and juicy texture of the Tomatoes, made me smile.

The flavours worked perfectly and the only thing I wished I had was, whole grain giant Couscous  (for its added nutritional benefit).

In a bid to use up ingredients in my larder, I had to use the giant Couscous I had and carefully selected  all the other ingredients for their respective nutritional content and flavour.

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Mackerel

Mackerel is a good source of Vitamin D, potassium and it’s  rich in anti inflammatory properties , which helps lower joint pain.The benefits of including oily fish to your diet , such as Mackerel, helps lower blood pressure and reduces fat build-up in the arteries.

Tomatoes, considered both as a vegetable and fruit contains a high amount of anti oxidants such as lycopene, which fights against different forms of cancer. Tomatoes are also rich in Vitamins A, C & K to mention but a few and should be included in your diet regularly.

The choice of adding the cheese to this recipe is about the added moorish flavour to the salad. The cheese can be omitted and whole grain giant Couscous used instead for a healthier salad.

This recipe is easy to prepare and can be made the night before, refrigerated and it’s perfect for a picnic or packed lunch. Wash this down with a glass of  refreshing Coconut water.

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GIANT COUSCOUS & SMOKY MACKEREL

Preparation: 6 minutes

Cooking Time: 10 minutes

Serves: 2

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Giant Couscous and Smoky Mackerel

Ingredients

2 raw smoky Mackerel fillets (From Sainsbury’s)

150g of Giant couscous

300ml of Water

60g of grated Cheddar or Feta cheese

3 tablespoonful of Olive oil

2 large deseeded and diced chillies

1 medium finely diced White  Onion

2 large diced Tomatoes

10g of Greek Basil or any Basil

A pinch of milled black peppercorns

1 levelled teaspoon of sea salt

1 Lime cut into wedges.

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Method

Preheat your grill to 180*c

Place the Mackerel fillets on a baking tray and drizzle with 1 tablespoonful of Olive oil.

Place the Mackerel in the grill for 8 minutes and start cooking the giant Couscous.

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Pour the giant couscous in a saucepan with 400ml of water and place on a medium heat. Cook the giant Couscous for 10 minutes and set aside.

Remove the Mackerel from the grill and leave it to rest for 2 minutes. Gently peel the skin off and ensure there aren’t any bones left in the Mackerel. Roughly shred the Mackerel into chunks and set aside.

Transfer the warm giant Couscous, your preferred Cheese, Onions, Tomatoes , Chillies, shredded Mackerel , the remaining Olive oil and the juice from the grilled Mackerel to a bowl.

Mix everything together and serve with a wedge of Lime or Lemon.

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Enjoy this with a chilled glass of freshly squeezed Watermelon juice.

Try the recipe, leave comments with your feedback , subscribe and share.

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

 

 

BAKED BEANS & POACHED EGGS

BAKED BEANS & POACHED EGGS

Whatever you do, trying this recipe is a must. I created this recipe by accident (using leftovers) and it was one of the best decisions I’ve made. The recipe is easy to follow, cost effective and equally delicious.

The smoky, tangy taste of the herb sauce compliments the sweet and moorish taste of the baked beans. This recipe works perfectly with Sour dough bread , as the slight sour taste of the bread compliments the smoky and tangy taste of the dish. Try this recipe and let me hear from you.

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Ingredients

250g of baked beans

4 free range or organic eggs

400ml of water

Herb sauce

20g of finely chopped Parsley

10g of fresh or dry Oregano

20g of chopped Spring Onions

2 tablespoonful of Olive oil

1 teaspoon of white Wine Vinegar

Half a teaspoon of smoked Paprika

A pinch of Salt & Pepper

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Method

Poached Eggs

Pour the water into a frying pan and place on a medium heat for 3 minutes and reduce the heat to its lowest setting.

Crack an egg into a bowl and gently add it to the simmering water, ensuring it’s intact. Repeat this process till you have all the eggs in the water.

Leave the eggs to cook gently for 2.5 minutes (for a perfect  soft egg), remove with a slotted spoon and reserve for later.

HOW TO COOK THE PERFECT POACHED EGG

Click the link above for the full poached egg recipe on my YouTube page.

Herby Sauce

Add all the ingredients of Spring Onions, Parsley, Oregano, Smoked Paprika, Olive oil, White Wine Vinegar, Salt and Pepper to a bowl and mix till well combined.

Baked Beans

Place the baked beans into a saucepan and heat through for 5 minutes.

To serve

Place a portion of the heated baked beans into a bowl, add 2 poached eggs and sprinkle with the herb sauce.

 

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You can serve this with toasted Sour dough bread or freshly baked baguette and a fresh Cucumber skin juice.

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Recipe for the Cucumber skin juice will be updated soon.

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