SCENTED GHANAIAN PINEAPPLE WITH WAGASHI (GHANAIAN CHEESE)

SCENTED GHANAIAN PINEAPPLE WITH WAGASHI (GHANAIAN CHEESE)
The Fulani’s (from the Northern part of Ghana) first introduced Wagashi (The only Ghanaian Cheese) into Ghana.
The Cheese is made from Cows milk and it’s naturally delicate in taste or salty depending on the amount of salt used.
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Milk is mixed with the pounded bark of a Sodom Plant tree, Salted, drained and boiled till it solidifies to make Wagashi.
The Salt acts as a preservative and in some cases the cheese is soaked into a Millet leaf brine for a pinkish colour.
Unlike most Cheeses, Wagashi does not melt at high temperatures, however when fried it has a soft and fluffy texture.
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Wagashi is readily available to purchase in Nima (a suburb of Accra) which is inhabited my most Northerners of Ghana.
Wagashi can be fried or grilled and added to Stews, Soups , Jollof rice etc
I decided to experiment with flavours by combining a sweet and salty taste together. With that in mind I opted for the ever green and intensely sweet Fanti Pineapple (as Mum calls it) and topped it up with a scented Ghanaian Basil leaves and Olive oil.
For that added play on textures and temperatures, the Pineapple is chilled with the Wagashi served warm.
This simple and tasty recipe plays on ones sensory taste buds with an enhanced sweet and salty flavour;

 

INGREDIENTS

1 medium sized, peeled and sliced Fanti Pineapple (slice it length ways)

3 tablespoonful of Extra Virgin Oil

10g of scented Ghanaian Basil leaves (Koklo Gbe~) (Akoko Mesa)
3 tablespoonful of Coconut oil
200g of Wagashi Cheese
2 fresh finely diced Green chillies
Salt to taste
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METHOD
Place a sliced Pineapple to a bowl and refrigerate
Slice the Wagashi lengthways and set aside
Add the Coconut oil to a frying pan and place on a medium heat.
After 1 minute add the Wagashi and fry for about 2 minutes on each side.
Whilst the Wagashi is frying, add the chopped Ghanaian Basil to a bowl with the green Chillies, Olive oil and salt to taste.
Tip
Be mindful of the amount of Salt you use, as Wagashi can be very salty
To serve
Take the Pineapple out of the fridge and place the warm Wagashi on top of the cold Pineapple.
Drizzle it with your slightly spiced Ghanaian Basil dressing and serve immediately.
This works as a perfect starter for any occasion, event, restaurant or better still a perfect way to treat yourself.
This is a must try recipe and I’ll love to hear your feedback. Watch how to incorporate new flavours to your dish and how to match the types of flavours.

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

 

 

10 WEST AFRICAN PICNIC IDEAS

10 WEST AFRICAN PICNIC IDEAS

The smoky smell of barbecues, the chats, laughter, the odd loud drunks scream, the happy music and general ‘feel good’ atmosphere across the country is intoxicating to say the least. The walk through parks, trying to find a secluded place for a picnic can be challenging to say the least, however it’s a great opportunity to make new friends or better still invite a few friends over for a West African barbecue experience.

I’ve carefully selected 10 unique recipes of West African origin or influence  for your next picnic. Most ingredients are readily available across the UK in either independent grocers or supermarkets.

 

 

 

 

 

Jollof rice cannot be omitted from a West African picnic basket. It’s an identity badge saying ‘I’m West African’, however be warned, you might be addicted to this dish or better still caught up in the ongoing dispute of ‘Which West African country makes the best Jollof’. Best way to win that argument is to say ‘Shh!  Jollof originated from the Wolof tribe of SeneGambia’. How can you beat the originators of the dish?😜 Watch how to create this Jollof rice recipe infused with Corned Beef above.

 

 

 

 

The next dish which should be included is the ultimate  Ghanaian Meat Pie. It’s best served with a bottle of chilled Coca Cola, Muscatela, Mirinda, Fanta (you know where I’m going with this). This dish is filled with nostalgia as it was and still is a favourite served at most parties. Ensure your pies are packed with a good amount of filling (no stinginess) and a crumbly crust by the following the recipe above.

 

 

Moinmoin (a gluten free steamed pudding) is made from deskinned black eyed beans mixed with Peppers, Tomatoes and Spices. Include smoked Mackerel, Prawns or Eggs for that added flavour. this classic Nigerian dish, I fell in love with it. I’ve included it to the list as it’s nutritious, packed with flavours and filling. It can be eaten hot or cold and works perfectly with any grilled Meat or Vegetable.

 

 

 

Now what’s Agbeli Kaklo (Cassava Fritters) doing here? Agbeli Kaklo is made from grated Cassava/Yuca/Manioc that’s spiced, fried and enjoyed with Coconut.

Do you want to see the remaining recipes that made this list?

Watch the video  below for the full list and more.

 

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CABBAGE & CORNED BEEF STEW

CABBAGE & CORNED BEEF STEW

This dish fills me with nostalgia, as it was my Mums favourite dish to make on Fridays. The dish is usually paired with a mixture of boiled ripened Plantain and Yam thinly sliced.

The best part of the dish was sharing it with my cousins, as we all ate from the same bowl. Yes! We ate from the same bowl with our fingers. My mum was very strict with hygiene and especially when one had to eat with their fingers.  Actually I’ll do a separate write up about eating with your fingers in my next blog.

When I finished preparing and filming the dish, I called one of my cousins to relive the nostalgia of eating together. She quickly advised she had some Yam (I didn’t have any, as I served it with rice) and I should drive 45 minutes to her to relive this memory. Sadly I had to decline the offer and arrange it for  another day; as I had to edit the video and write this piece  for Friday.

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This recipe is somewhat of a ‘topsy turvy’ one, as I made it after filming the ‘The Ghanaian Fried Chicken’ recipe. I used the stock from the Chicken to prepare this, hence I didn’t add anymore spices. I loved the simplicity and quick way I created this. Watch how I made it on my YouTube channel, ‘Ndudu by Fafa’ and don’t forget to subscribe.

Traditionally this dish is prepared by making the GHANAIAN STEW of frying the Onions first, adding the tomatoes, then the cabbage and Corned Beef, however enjoy the ‘twisted version’.

Enough of my chit chats let’s start cooking.

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INGREDIENTS 

250g of Tomatoes

50g of Tomato Purée

30g of Ginger

1 clove of Garlic

1 large Onion

1 Habanero chilli

10ml of oil (optional)

200g of sliced and washed Cabbage

340g of Corned beef

100ml of Chicken stock

20g of Spring Onions

Half a teaspoon of salt

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METHOD

Blend the Tomatoes, Onions, Garlic, Ginger & Chilli into a smooth paste.

Warm the Chicken stock up and add the Tomato purée

Add the optional oil (if the sauce requires it).

Cook gently for 5 minutes and add the spicy Tomato blend.

On a medium heat cook for 15 minutes and set aside.

TIP

Avoid adding any salt at this stage, as the Corned Beef is salty.

In a Wok or Saucepan, add 500ml of water and place it on a medium heat.

Slice the Cabbage into medium sizes and boil for 7 minutes.

Strain the water from the Cabbage by using a colander and add it to the Tomatoes sauce.

Divide the Corned Beef into sizeable chunks and add it to  the Cabbage and Tomato stew.

TIP

The Corned Beef should be the last but one ingredient you add to the sauce; if you want the Corned Beef chunks to retain the their shape.

Reduce the heat to its lowest setting, cover the Saucepan with its lid and cook the stew for 6 minutes.

Taste the stew and if it requires salt , add no more than half a teaspoon to salt. Stir gently without breaking the Corned Beef chunks and serve with your favourite carbohydrate.

I served mine with some boiled rice and also ripened Plantain.

Watch the full video on my YouTube channel, ‘Ndudu by Fafa’ and don’t forget to subscribe.

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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I love to hear your feedback about trialling the recipes by leaving comments below. Don’t forget to subscribe (to receive recipes via email) and share.

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

 

 

 

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 🚫