10 Minutes With Daniel Nwosu. Aka ThatsDax

Meet Mr. Daniel Nwosu Aka Thatsdax. A musician and college student with a love for basket ball who happens to be a Nigerian American; with a humility so humbling. Yes oh! We are proud of this young man. With his hit “I Want” making waves, Daniel has more 100k followers on Instagram, but he is more than an Instagram sensation and his music is being played beyond the shores of the United States.

I first heard of Daniel on Facebook. I fell in love with his music and pretty much said to myself “This guy is going to dine with kings.”Then I saw him on Instagram and listened to his music again and for obvious reasons, he reminded me of Pac. His cover of the shape of you done by Ed Sheeran is my favorite of his music. He mostly talks about real life’s issues and with the type of rap music being played out there, Daniel is the truth! That goes to say that to the American and Nigerian music industry, Daniel is the reincarnation of Tupac. The real Jollof of West Africa.

 

Once in a while, I like to talk to Nigerian celebrities who are also foodies. I’m sure that there are little things we would love to know about them; like what they eat, if they make their own food, if they eat eba with their fingers…I know celebs are humans too, but let me tell you, it’s quite fascinating to know little things about them. It sort of gives you the feeling that you know them. So officially, I know Daniel oh! he’s my friend *tongue out…Not everyday recipe abi? You’re in for a treat with this one 🙂

Continue reading →

Santi For Jollof.

The joy that we derive at the sight of food. One which makes us dance. I remember making jollof rice; knowing that I didn’t make any meat sauce. I used some local seasonings and at first taste I was dancing with all my heart and soul. The Hausa people call this behavior of dancing at the sight of good food Santi.

The first time I fried plantains…as easy as those things are to do, it’s easy to get the cooking process wrong. The temperature of the oil has to be just right for the insides of the plantains to cook. I fried the plantains and at first taste, I danced my heart away.
The Hausa people call this behavior Santi…
How many of you dance when you eat a very delicious meal or at the sight of golden fried puffpuff?

Like the lady in the video below, there is something good food does to you. It’s like orgasm after good sex. The way she speaks the Igbo as she scoops the Okra into her mouth is what we  call foodgasm 🙂

Even Mr Jollof  knows that where there is good jollof; there is no competition. Jollof is Jollof! Make it delicious, fry that stew, mix those spices and in the words of the bang master bangdadadang baby!

Even Kokun knows that food is right for everyone. By the way guys, please follow @kokunfoundation. He is doing amazing things to eliminate hunger in Nigeria.

Or is it when your crush dances at the sight of food?

My friends had somethings to say about food and santi:

 

Whenever I eat a delicious meal I don’t dance, it is my soul that betrays me. It does the Micheal Jackson backslide ??. Chukwuemeka Ilo

I think it’s natural to me to dance at the sight of fried rice and salad. Me I dance o. No shy. Chimee Adioha

I don’t dance. There is however a sound I make when the food tastes so nice. My siblings have dubbed it santin Nana and they mimick it when they are eating something they like, in an attempt to tease me.
(I’m called Nana at home and by people who know me well, pronounced like cooking).

Santi is evidence that what someone’s EATING is delicious. It’s an expression of excitement.

For example when you give Modees Usman a taste of Rubywoo flavoured jollof and while eating, he begins to sing and bob his head, or he asks you how the food was made.

In hausaland, he’ll be seen to be making “santi” and anyone around will put a wedge behind him (which could be anything ranging from a pillow, a bag or a chair; especially when he is sitting without a back support) to prevent him from falling over due to santi.

About a couple of years back, a damsel from my neighbourhood came to my house at night. It was during the fasting month you see, so I offered her iced tea. At first she declined, saying she was okay, but then I insisted and so she agreed. One of my younger brothers was around, hence I gave him a glass to give to her.

After tasting, her response was: “wane flavour ne? Sorry” (what flavour is it? Sorry).

My brother still laughs over it, saying that she did “santi“, after declining the drink in the first place.

Zaniab Bonomi

Kitchen is my dancing place. I dance well well. I made plantain chips once on the spur of the moment. You would think I found the way to world peace. I ate one. I danced. I ate again, danced some more. Then I phoned my friend to say I made plantain chips. I was dancing and eating at the same time. My mum sings a special song when she makes her Ijebu dish, Ikokore! Something about enjoying it and it’s the devil that uses the yam for Gari. Kemi adeniyi Kale

There’s an Igbo song ọ that I know. Egwu nni ite sili n’ọkụ… You repeat it as you dance or hover round the pot. Munoyedi Freda Athena Ogbolumani

I sing that song too,lol.sweet memories. Ochiabutor Ifunanya

I nod my head while eating o and dance after the eating the food. Anything Rice is bae. Chinwuba Kosi Linda

I dey dance Azonto. Laura Njoku

That excitement I feel at the sight of food is exactly why I cant be slim. ?? I make noises. Depending on how delicious the food is, sometimes inappropriate noises. Even when I am describing food a friend of mine tells me I get a gleam and a faraway look in my eye ??. Yemisi sawyerr

I don’t dance. I rub my hands with glee and my face lights up; according to those who have seen it first hand. Chidimma Nene Kayla Ezenduka-Ezike

I would like you to share your Santi with us by commenting below 🙂

Images on this post were gotten from Instagram @Mrjollof, @thatyorubaguy,  @kokunfoundation

 

Nigerian Gluten-Free

A year ago, my son was diagnosed with some food allergies and it broke my heart into pieces. Melodramatic much? No; I’d say.  I felt lost. What was I supposed to do? I wasn’t even used to eating gluten free foods. How was I to make meat pies, puffies (puffpuff) and African cookies (ChinChin)? Let me tell you, as much as we all love to be healthy, meat pies, puffpuff and chinchin are a huge part of our diet; especially when you’re Nigerian and your son loves meat pies and chinchin. Eep me to cry 🙁

A few weeks ago, I took my son for a check up after an allergic reaction. after conversing with the doctor and running a test, the Dr told me my son didn’t have celiac disease but just has a sensitivity to gluten. Meaning, his reaction to gluten is pretty much different from that of a person with Celiac disease. Praise God? Yes! Hallelujah!
Apart from our fried and baked snacks, Nigerian food is very healthy and mostly gluten free. It’s actually easy to live a gluten free life in Nigeria than it is in any other parts of the world. I don’t have facts, just speaking from experience. I remember living in Nigeria and making fresh meals with tons of vegetables for my father. You can go into the open market and get freshly butchered meats and freshly harvested vegetables and spices. Our local foods are gluten/wheat free except maybe the locally made breads; with which corn meal can be substituted.

When it comes to Nigerian swallows, there are various kinds which can absolutely be eaten safely by anyone with celiac disease or gluten sensitivity. there are various types from, Garri to Akpu; which are made from cassava root. There is also the corn swallow made from maize. Or is it the one gotten for cocoyam? Nigerian diet can safely be enjoyed by anyone at all. It’s actually healthier.

I received an email from Sally and below is the article she sent me about African food and gluten as it goes for Nigerian foods…

Gluten-free Nigerian Ingredients
People on gluten-free diets often feel dismayed by the apparent lack of choice available to them. Lots of tasty dishes are suddenly off the menu, all because they happen to contain wheat, barley or other gluten-heavy grains. Luckily, many typical Nigerian ingredients are naturally free from gluten. You can go on enjoying a delicious range of healthy, scrumptious meals without the misery of gluten sensitivity or celiac symptoms.
Yam flour
You already know that yams are a traditional staple food, but did you know that they’re also free from gluten? Therefore, yam flour makes an ideal substitute for wheat or barley flours. Some recipes will have to be altered a little, but yam flour can be used to make all kinds of tasty baked treats and time-honored recipes.
As well as being free from gluten, yams are rich in dietary fiber and complex carbohydrates. They are also full of vitamins, including vitamin B6 — something that people on gluten-free diets may struggle to obtain.
Plantain flour 

Plantains are a naturally gluten-free food. Plantain flour is delicious, and can be incorporated into lots of different recipes. Plantains are high in vitamins, especially B vitamins and vitamin C.
Coconut flour
Coconut is one of those classic ingredients that everyone loves, but not everyone’s tried cooking with coconut flour. With its light texture and mild sweetness, coconut flour is a delicious alternative to grain flour. It’s the ideal ingredient for sweet dishes such as pancakes, or can be stirred into sauces and soups. Coconut flour is also a good substitute for nut flours if you have a tree nut allergy.
Other benefits of coconut flour include its high dietary fiber and the important proteins it contains. If you’re looking for low-carb ingredients, coconut flour is a great option — it’s very low in carbohydrates and in calories, too. You can safely use coconut flour in many diabetic recipes, or for low-carb/high-protein diets.

Ogbono
Ogbono is a great ingredient for those on a gluten-free diet. You’ll be relieved to know that draw soup can be made completely free from gluten, just so long as you don’t add any gluten-containing ingredients. Ogbono is also nourishing and high in fiber, and helps regulate your appetite.
As you can see, it’s easy to adapt traditional Nigerian cooking to your gluten-free diet without sacrificing any of your favorite foods.

 

 

 

 

 

Wife, Not cook. #PepperdemEggs

A few months ago, there was a trending hashtag #wifenotcook amongst Nigerians  on social media. The hashtag was said to have been created by a Nigerian man on Twitter who wanted everyone to know that his wife was more than a cook and as usual, this got a lot of Nigerians arguing…Then another hashtag #husbandnotatm was created.

If only we knew what our priorities were, these hashtags wouldn’t have been an issue. Me when never eat belle full na me wan come follow people wen eat belle full argue. For why na?

When it comes to the African woman, I don’t think we relish enough in our strengths. The ability to multi task mostly 🙂
Before the dawn of Christianity, the African woman has always worked.  Not only have we always worked both inside and outside of the home, we have also cooked in addition; even before the arrival of feminism. Our roles have never changed.
In the early days, the men were always put first and “seen” as stronger. They were left to do the hunting and most of the farming. Sometimes, the women also went farming too and with their babies on their backs. When they got home in the evenings, the woman would still have her baby on her back and still prepare dinner for her family. Now ask yourselves “why was the life expectancy of the male lower in the early days as opposed to the womens’?”
Looking at this from a medical point of view as regards our health. It made the African woman live longer. We moved around a lot more than our male counter parts, we went to the farm, we cooked, we took care of our children and lookingat the benefits of exercising, it was more beneficial to us.
 I grew up watching my mother build her career as a Chef and she was also a mother, a wife to my father and a “cook” to us. The African woman is one of the strongest specie on the planet. We are known to juggle child birth, mothering, wifing(for lack of a better word) and a successful career.

Continue reading →

My Igbotic Plantain Pottage…

“Mommy what do I do with the stretchy chicken?” That was my ajebutter2. Every kind of meat is chicken to him and his sister 🙂 I had served him a bowl of very soft plantain pottage and cow skin (ponmo) and it was his first time. I was a little afraid that he wouldn’t like it, but he ended up loving it. He actually said in these words to his sister “it’s amazing!”

I grew up in Warri, Nigeria and in warri there is a dish called Ukodo. It’s a mixture of plantains, meats and pepper soup spices. Ukodo is very delicious. I call it “thick plantain pepper soup.”

There is also a dish known to the Efiks as Ukang Ukom. It’s simply plantain pottage whipped into a thick sauce with different aromatics and Pumpkin(Ugu) leaves.

My personal favorite is the one made by the Igbos. I love the sweet smell of the Ehuru mixed with dry fish; then add the softness of the cooked plantains all stirred in palm oil. I  cannot forget the scent leaves. To me, the scent leaf makes this dish. For a substitute, basil may be used.

Continue reading →

Food Is Bae and Family Is Everything…A Short story

I grew up in the midst of brothers, some who knew how to cook and some who did not. Even my father was an awesome cook, but for some reason they relied on me to cook for them. Funny thing is, I found cooking annoying. Funny how I’m a food blogger now. Below is a story written by Zainab Bonomi and I’m proudly her friend.

“My entire body was on fire, I was aching. My feet were numb; my back felt like it was going to break in two. Yet, I had to keep going, because they were hungry…

I had been away from the house for a few days. I had travelled for work and there was no one in my section of the house. You know what that meant…. There was going to be a lot of cleaning; dusting, sweeping, mopping and more cleaning to be done. The living room, bedroom, kitchen and bathroom all needed cleaning. Did I mention I travelled for work? Okay so you get the jist, yeah? I had been busy throughout.

One of my younger brothers had driven me to and fro, thankfully. Even though driving for me is a stress reliever and mind refresher. I did not sleep a wink during the trip, a five hour journey. On getting home, I changed into “housework friendly” clothes and began with the cleaning. I did not even bother about food. Who could eat in that chaotic environment? It was dusty all over; a sort of indoor Sahara. I was done in just under two hours, but mehn I was aching all over. I could barely talk. I still didn’t bother about food. I just lay down on the couch, too tired for sleep or anything for that matter. That was when it started…

My two younger brothers came in, extremely hungry. The one that had driven me, well I think he went out to meet a client when we returned; he is an architect you see. I don’t remember if he cleaned out his room that evening, or he left it for the next day. His older brother leaves home quite early and returns late. That was the nature of his job, he is a site engineer for some company and his work was demanding. At first they were complaining between themselves. I heard them, I ignored them. They began complaining to me, I still ignored, I was too exhausted to even talk. They couldn’t stand it any longer, so they called me by name; a pet name they coined for me and by which those close to me call me by. The older one called that name and said: “we are hungry, please do something”. I could understand his situation, his younger brother’s too. How couldn’t I? They are my flesh and blood afterall… and they were hungry!

To be honest I still can’t tell where I got the strength, but I sprang to my feet immediately, forgetting my own predicament and rushed to the kitchen. I had no idea what I was going to prepare, there wasn’t much in the house. I had to do something, my babies were hungry. It’s not that they don’t know how to cook, they both possess culinary skills, but I suppose they forgot it all, probably due to the hunger and exhaustion dealing with them, or perhaps because there weren’t any vegetables in the house. All we had were raw foodstuff and perhaps vegetable oil.

Well I’m a woman, one who has inherited culinary creativity from the best, my mother. I put those skills to use that day, to save us all from starving to further exhaustion.

I pre-boiled some rice, got little oil in the pan and then remembered I had dry fish stashed somewhere, hidden far from sight so Alvin the cat couldn’t get to it. We never run out of spices in the house…. well our mum is a mistress in the art of spice mix. A little cardamom, a little cinnamon and mummy’s specially made curry powder spiced up our meal of rice stir fry… I’ll call it that, because I’m not sure if it qualifies for fried rice. I still don’t know how I managed to come up with that recipe, I wonder how I wasn’t too tired to think. Looking back however, I’m glad of what I did because of love. Love for my family. Those are little sacrifices we make to put smiles on the faces of our loved ones.

Continue reading →

Ayamase Roti…The Versatility Of Nigerian Food

If there was any recipe I wanted to share so bad, it is this one. When you hear Ayamase Roti what comes to mind?

This is just simply Ayamase loaded with deliciously cooked, tender meat and soft potatoes wrapped in a flat bread.

when you think of a Roti, you’re probably thinking Indian food. When I first heard of this recipe from my friend Remmy (@elimavenue on Instagram), I was like “hmmm Ayamase sauce in a Roti? I thought about how I was going to slather a Roti with stew and meat; only for her to say the word “add potatoes!” Crazy right? Well, crazy good! Imagine all your soft and tender meat with Iru in tow; all in a Roti. In fact this Roti will replace white rice in my life :).

One thing I want to do for this world, is to introduce as many people as I can to Nigerian food. I can confidently say you have not really lived until you have had Nigerian food. Not to talk of fusing Nigerian food with dishes from other countries? Epic!

I like the idea of using a Roti in this recipe, but if you cannot find or make any, you may use a burrito/taco wrap. same difference?

Gone are the days of Shwarma and ice cream. We are moving on to hip stuff like Ayamase Roti and ice cream. The deliciousness that this meal actually is.

Continue reading →

Size Matters: That damb Fried Red Snapper at Bukom Café, DC

I haven’t written anything in a while. I guess I fell into a rot and couldn’t muster any energy to write. Doing this is my passion, it’s basically my life and not being able to even share any stories or recipes was a little difficult on me.

The sun’s began peeking through, and so has some extra greenbacks…therefore a well-deserved break was on the cards, and of course it had to be a visit to the historic city that is Washington DC, home of the President and his side boo Olivia Pope…did you think I meant… moving on!
So DC it was, and of course I had to do a couple of restaurant reviews too, otherwise my taste buds, blog and you guys would not forgive me!

In Africa we say: “you eat with your eyes, before your hands.” But the current version of that is “you eat with our cursor before your hands,” so while planning my trip, I did a search on the Internet, and found Bukom Café. From the pictures alone online and on to their Instagram page? I ate a few thousand calories with my eyes before the day came to try their food with these lips!

Bukom, sits right in the heart of Adams Morgan, and is owned by a Nigerian/Ghanaian couple with a bar pretty much ran by their two older sons. Bukom offers a variety of West African food along with live music; which I didn’t stay long enough to listen to. Because it is best to relapse into a post-food coma in bed, with Wizkid’s Pakurumo playing loudly. Ahhh…where was I?

So truth be told? My first impression about Bukom was not so pleasant. I had just gotten off a two-hour flight, I was too tired and congested to even bother with the pretzels and soft drinks being served in the plane. My seat neighbor seemed very unprepared for a conversation, so was I. So leaned back, secretly rejoiced, opened my book and dozed off; only to be awoken by the plane landing almost directly on water…Beautiful as it may seem, fear nearly make me piss for body. My mother always says “we don’t have any river or stream in our village, so stay away from water.” That one advice replayed in my head as we made to land. Ike gwuru!

Fast forward to 3pm in the afternoon, I made a call out to Bukom, but there was no answer. On checking their website, it said they opened at 4pm. We got to the restaurant well past 4pm and in the biting cold, we had to stand outside and keep knocking the door.  Lo and behold, these people were not open. The first thing that came to my mind was “these people dun carry their Nigerian selves come show for here.” For a popular restaurant especially in the area where it’s located, opening at the time mentioned should be P.R.I.O.RI.T.Y!

Finally, the restaurant opened. On walking into the restaurant, the bartender/server just acted like nothing just happened and it took my tour guide to say something for us to get an “oh by the way…sorry for opening late.” It was as if it was the usual.

At first blush, Bukom looks pretty much like a regular Nigerian Buka. The only things that stood out to me were the photos of Mariam Makeba and Fela on the wall, nicely complemented with Asa blasting from the speakers. Although the pictures looked beautiful, they looked a little out of place, it would have gone with a more upscale look.

The bar was unique; not your  usual bar, as the drinks were all on display, but some what tastefully done, I’ll have to say.

Some things Africans restaurateurs fail to pay attention to is the ambience, furniture and bathrooms in their establishment. Gosh, that is like a pretty girl with great make up, nice hair but bad breath. How are people expected to get close enough for a kiss? How are diners expected to remain patrons? Seriously…we treat our restaurants like a regular road side, make shift shack. Nothing wrong with shacks oh! In fact, na their food dey sweet pass so they more than make up for it! But if you’re going to open a restaurant in the heart of the a beautiful city, let it look like you put some effort into it. Or else let the food be so good I disown my “standards” and keep going back like Rob Kardashian keeps going back to Black Chyna! On this note, I actually started humming “Bokum better have some great food” to the tune of Rihanna’s BBHM at this point.

Luckily,  the bartender/server warmed up to us pretty quickly and took our orders politely while engaging us in very informative conversations. For me, I love me some Mojitos, but due to the lack of it,  I ordered a “sex on the beach.” Please get your various minds out of the gutter! You said? Well…yeah it’s a drink that actually tastes and feels like sex on the beach…Not that I’ve ever tried it…Ahem!
My tour guide ordered a bottle of red wine, and all this was served promptly.
For my plate, I ordered the fried Red Snapper and some jollof rice, golden fried plantains and a side salad. My tour guide got the Aflao Salmon, jollof rice and plantains. The Aflao Salmon was described as “Chunks of fresh cut salmon mixed with spinach and African spices to give the utmost taste and satisfaction. Served with your choice of pounded yam, fufu or rice.” The food came promptly too and let’s say it was gone fast and not due to hunger, more like my tour guide enjoyed every bit.
 For my plate, I probably had an orgasm at the sight of the size of the fish…Not that size matters here, but that fish was huge and well fried. It was crispy on the outside and oh-so-moist on the inside. The fish came with a pepper sauce but, I really didn’t need it. I ate every bit and if I could have eaten the bones, I really would have. Eating that fish was like good sex…gosh! For the jollof rice, hmmm what can I say. It really looked like Ghana Jollof(oya sorry!) But that was not Nigerian jollof rice. I tasted good, but it wasn’t “The Jollof.”

We loved the first meal that we followed this with some Stewed Goat Meat and I really liked it. The meat was so soft they melded well with the well-cooked tomato stew.

For the plantains, my only issue with it was that it was not enough. I had to dip my fork into my tour guide’s plate just to have more. Don’t judge me; a girl can never have too many shoes, fried plantains and handbags. The plantains though fried, were soft and cooked through on the inside. I love soft dodo!  🙂

My favorite parts were the drinks, plantains and fish. And that sex on the beach was  a party in my mouth!

But the fish was the main draw…because I did a second visit to Bukom the very next day because of that fish y’all! The fish was smaller this time, but still good.  My meal the next day was very simple. I ordered the fried red snapper, a side of stew and I swapped my salad for more plantains. My tour guide had Jollof Rice, some Egusi and spinach stew laced with goat meat and oh dear! I really liked the sauce.

The only thing I didn’t like about my second visit was the insistence of the tip. The server already had the tip included in the check. It would have been nice if this was just left for us to decide on how much to pay as a tip.

Overall, it would be nice to find an upscale African restaurant; okay middle scale. Because though the food was good, the prices did not match the environment. When you walk into a restaurant, you’re not just paying for the food and that should be taken into consideration.

Bukom caters to people from all walks of life. A gold mine I’d say. Change the ambience, get a bigger stage for the live music, replace the furniture and leave the tip to the tippers abeg!

meanwhile…let’s Just say if Bukom were a guy? He’d be that rough-looking but actually sweet-natured dude who errrm feeds you so well you’d keep going back for more. 😉

The Biafran War and The Act Of Survival

Working on this post was one of the most emotional things I have ever had to do and I am not a very emotional person per say. I love to build relationships and I am usually attached to the people close to me…oh I digress.
The Biafran war was a civil war fought between the Nigerian soldiers and the Igbo(eastern) soldiers led by Odimegwu Ojukwu in order to prevent the secession of Biafra from Nigeria. This war lasted from the year 1967-1970…And this is me not wanting to go into the whole sad tale. Although we can pretend that Biafra never happened, it’s just story for another day.

Odimegwu Ojukwu in Nigerian military uniform.

During the war, there was severe starvation due to food supply being cut off to the eastern states. People became hungry, children became very malnourished and parents had to find a solution to their dilemma. Hunger became a usual affair…from the 9 year old clutching on to an empty corned beef can to the starving child holding on to nothing but an empty plate with the mother struggling to breastfeed her child; even with very little breast milk being produced. Those were the dark times…

image gotten from africafederation.net

image gotten from africafederation.net

My father was a prisoner of war. He was imprisoned by the Biafran soldiers as a result of an accusation made against him. My father was accused of supplying the Nigerian soldiers oil/fuel. Come to think of it, my late father had always worked in the oil and gas industry. Before his passing, he was a Petrochemical engr. As a matter of fact, he had a master’s degree in Petrchemical engineering. And folks when I say oil and gas, I don’t mean the non existent ones that them Yoruba demons deceive girls with…I kid ?

Continue reading →

Valentine Special…Aphrodisiacs and Peppered Snails

February 14th! It’s that time of the year again and love is in the air (tongue out, back in cheek). Not only is it Valentine’s, but it’s also my second bloggoversary. Yep! This means my blog – Nigerianlazychef.com is two years old.

I am so so grateful for this path – one which chose me, and continues to choose me, one meal at a time. So, for as long as I am able to eat, I will continue to cook, write and talk about food in the “funnest” way possible. To be repeatedly recognised by CNN, Ventures Africa and people from all walks of life is an added privilege that always leaves me…erm…can you tell that I am short of words? Yes, I am.

Okay… *cuts the lone violin strings churning sob stories and…*

Fast forward to my main purpose for today…Aphrodisiacs, peppered snails and erm congo shining!

An aphrodisiac is any food, drink, or even a fruit that stimulates sexual desire or libido in men or women.

It’s almost a taboo amongst Africans to talk about sex and libidos; even more so when one tries to converse about “shining the congo,” aka the very act of intercourse.

There’s this belief that bedroom issues or talk, must remain in the bedroom and between married couples.

But all is fair in love and food so…on this post, I’ll be touching lightly on some staples in the typical African pantry that can help stimulate sexual excitement.

Continue reading →