Tis the season to be jolly, fa la la la la … You know the rest.
Per the norm, jollying this season involves food, drinks, and spending quality time with friends and family. Although I’m not big on cooking, I sure love eating. But when it comes down to it and I have to cook, it’s always fun to try something new. This holiday, I implore you to move away from the norm, be it food or drinks. I’m pretty sure, everyone’s had enough Jollof and fried rice to last them a lifetime. And also the regular sodas and soft drinks too. Hence, you are encouraged to try these three recipes from the innovative chef, Kitchen Butterfly, below.
The African star apple, locally known as Agbalumo or Udara is currently in season, so why not spice things up with the popular orange fruit in the dessert department.
3/4 cup sugar – white & brown
2 cups plain (white) flour
2 teaspoons baking powder
1/2 teaspoon crushed cardamom/powder
1/2 teaspoon cinnamon powder
1/2 teaspoon salt
2 cups carrots, shredded
1/2 cup Agbalumo chunks
Zest of 1 orange
1/2 cup vegetable oil
1/4 cup yoghurt, plain
1/2 cup agbalumo puree
Preheat oven to 170 degrees C
Grease and flour a 9″ cake pan
In a large bowl, whisk sugar and eggs until combined
In a separate bowl, combine the flour, baking powder, cardamom, cinnamon and salt. Add carrots, agbalumo chunks and orange zest – toss to coat
Combine oil, yoghurt and agbalumo puree
You’ll alternate the flour and yoghurt-oil-puree mixture, beginning and ending with the flour. This gives the cake a good texture
Begin with flour mixture – add a third to the egg mixture. Stir. Add 1/2 the yoghurt and oil. Repeat with another 1/3 of flour, followed by the remaining yoghurt mixture. Stir and finish with the flour, stirring till just combined
Pour batter into the pan and bake until golden, about 45-50 minutes
The edges should pull away from the sides and a skewer set in the centre should come out clean
Allow cool and serve as you wish
We know rice is a staple in this country, but that does not mean we can’t come up with something other than Jollof this holiday.
4 cups basmati rice
3 – 4.5 cups stock
Par-cooked snails, cut into chunks
1/2 cup hard mixed veggies – onions, carrots; diced
1.5 cups soft mixed veggies – spring onions, bell peppers, green beans; diced
1/2 cup green tops of spring onions; sliced
1/2 cup sweetcorn
Aromatics – ginger & curry paste
Spices – curry powder, dried thyme
Yellow chilli peppers
Salt to taste
Soak basmati rice for at least 30 minutes
Drain away the soaking liquid
Add stock to rice
Season lightly with salt
Set to cook on medium heat, about 12 – 15 minutes till al dente, cooked but with bite
In a large pot, heat up 2 tablespoons of oil
Add aromatics and onions – let cook for a minute or two
Follow with snails and carrots, stirring the whole time
Add the soft mixed veggies and continue to stir-fry. Season with spices to taste but with a light hand
After a few minutes, begin adding the cooked rice and sweetcorn in batches of 2 – 3 cooking spoons, stirring well each time
Continue this way till you’ve added all the rice
Taste and adjust seasoning
Put the lid on the top, and let cook
After 5 minutes, with the lid on, shake the top with flipping motions. This way, the grains don’t become mushy from over-stirring
Taste and let cook until ready
Do away with excess soda this season and go for easy to make healthy drinks like the watermelon shandy.
Cut up your watermelon and refrigerate or freeze a day in advance
Juice your lime a few hours before
On the day, an hour or so to serving, juice or make a smoothie of the watermelon. Add lime juice and sweetener to taste, if you like.
Just before serving, add lager and lemon-lime soda (Sprite, 7up) to the watermelon and serve.
Cucumber works well as a garnish.