Tuesday, March 01, 2011

A culinary tour around the world - seventh and last stop: Nigeria

A German saying describes mixed feelings as 'one eye smiling and one eye crying'. That's exactly how Joan's culinary tour around the world is going to end. One eye is crying because I tremendously enjoyed wandering around in different cultures and trying out different spices, ways of preparation and so on. The other eye is smiling since, as Joan put it so appropriately

"...my tastebuds are longing to return to my more familiar FOODalogue fare."
Especially M will be glad that he will be having a bit more tradtional food again. He was hit hardest, or at least he believes he had to suffer most. He isn't very fond of Asian food nor does he like vey spicy dishes. But I did enjoy it from the first to the last second.

But for now let us turn to our last stop on this tour: Nigeria. I have never been to sub-saharan Africa and so it was difficult to imagine how traditional food would be in these countries. Do African people have easily access to a variety of dishes? Do they have fast food? I read that Nigeria is so productive that they export a large amount of vegetables, fruits and processed food to other countries. So this is probably not a really adequate picture of Nigerian food production.

Although the Portuguese arrived in Nigeria in the 15th century there seems to be not too much influence on the traditonal cuisine. So the internet became a huge asset again. Bypassing ox heart, tripe, and goat's heads I decided on something not too time consuming, since I just returned from England and are already packing suitcases again to attend a conference in Halle, Germany.

In the end I decided on bean patties with peanut sauce, accompanied by a cauliflower salad with Nigerian curry sauce.

The bean patties (recipe from http://www.theofel.de/plog-archives/2010/06/bohnenbaellchen-mit-chilisauce-rezept-aus-nigeria.html)  were very tasty, I would use more chili next time though. Although I have never been very fond of peanuts, this sauce was really lovely (even if it looked a bit like puke; Richard Hammond from Bitish 'Top Gear' calls something like this 'refried sick' but he would certainly love to eat it, since he doesn't like goat's head either).

It is from Chefkoch.de (http://www.chefkoch.de/rezepte/658951167725747/Erdnuss-Suppe-aus-Nigeria.html). Here is a translation with my adaptions to make it a proper and vegan sauce (the original recipe was meant to be a soup):

Peanut Sauce

1tablespoon olive oil
1 onion, finely chopped
2 tomatoes, choppped
1 tablespoon flour
1 cup vegetable stock
1 cup unsalted peanuts (husked), finely chopped (the finer you chop, the less it looks like p*** )
1 cup almond milk or unsweetened soy milk
salt and pepper

Heat oil in a pot, fry onions until translucent, add tomatoes and stir until coverd in oil. Add flour and stir for a roux. Pour stock and bring to boil while stirring until mixture start to thiken. Add peanuts and let simmer for about 10-15 minutes. Add almond or soy milk. Heat up the sauce but don't let it cook anymore. Especially soy milk will curdle if cooked.

This was my favourite: a very spicy currysauce that harmonised beautifully with the blanched cauliflower (http://www.kochmeister.com/r/31111-currysauce-aus-nigeria.html).

Nigerian Currysauce

1 small onion
1 garlic clove
1 tablespoon vegan Worcestershire sauce
1 cup vegan mayonnaise
2 tablespoons curry powder
1 tablespoon hot pepper sauce (adjust to taste; you can use more, the original added 3 tbs)
salt and pepper to taste

Chop the onion finely, add pressed garlic clove, mix wll with the rest of the ingredients. Drizzle over blanched cauliflower.

It was a splendid virtual tour. Thank you so much Joan for taking us on this trip. But we should never forget
Dream-dinners aren't any good; and we can't share them (from Tolkien's 'The Hobbit')
the most important thing about cooking delicious food is sharing it with others. So, friends, cook good food from your comfort zone or from any country you fancy. Just remember, sharing it is the most important thing about it.

1 comment:

  1. Well-done and well-expressed (except for the reference to the peanut sauce which I was rather fancying). :)

    Thank you so much for your company and contributions!!