Some of my fondest memories as a child in Nigeria is centered around good food. I grew up with my grandparents and my grandma was an exceptional cook. Breakfast, lunch and dinner was always amazing. On special occasions like birthdays, Christmas and New Year, we always had a feast. Grandma will prepare a variety of amazing dishes and this was always something to look forward to.
The savory smell of jellof rice, mixed with the tangy goodness of gently diced ripe plantains with some chunks of goat meat. Lunch time memories of roasted ripe plantain and fish with some pepper sauce or vegetable soup and fufu. I can go on and on. In high school, I took a class on food and nutrition for three years. I can say that it is all paying off today, because I prepare and eat mostly home cooked meals. My daughter Atarah, has a great appetite and is also a foodie like her mama.
She started eating solid food at 5 months. She is now 18 months old, and she eats jellof rice, a lot of goat meat, chicken, vegetable soup, okra soup, fufu, beans, akara, moi moi, amala and a lot more. Here’s a recipe for Atarah’s favorite Nigerian soup!
- 1.5 lb Okra half minced and half sliced
- 1 red bell pepper
- Smoked Turkey or chicken or goat meat
- 1 Small onion minced
- 1 habanero pepper
- 3 Tbsp crayfish
- 1/2 lb Spinach
- 1 lb shrimps
- 1 Dry Fish large
- 1/2 to 3/4 Palm oil
- 1 Tsp Seasoning powder
- 4 to 5 cups water
Boil the meat with salt, seasoning powder and minced Onions. Cook till tender.
While the meat is boiling, mince half of the onions in a food processor or a chopper and slice the other half. Set aside
Mince the red bell pepper and habanero pepper in the chopper and set aside
When the meat becomes tender, add the minced pepper, crayfish, and leave to cook for about 10 minutes.
Shred and add the washed dry fish and any other seafood. leave to soften for about five minutes.
Add the palm oil, shrimps and the minced and sliced okro. Leave to cook for about 3 to 5 minutes.
Stir in the spinach and mix until wilted.
Remove from heat immediately and serve
The protein used is first boiled the idea behind this is to create a base and stock for the soup.It’s advisable to boil meat till it’s tender also season moderately.
It is essential to not overcook any vegetable in this case the Okro is cooked on medium heat to retain the nutrients and not burn it off with heat.