Nkwų akwu is palm tree, while nkpuru akwu is palm nut. From palm nut we get palm oil, palm kernel and then palm kernel oil. Wahoo! A lot of value in one tree. There is actually a saying in my town that everything in palm tree is of great value – nothing is trash.
Today’s delicacy – Ofe akwu is simply palm nut stew. It’s served with rice in Igbo land, and served with swallow in Delta state. Although the preparation is the same, the leaf used makes a difference in taste. Sent leaf is for the first, while bitter leaf is for the latter.
To prepare it, we need the following:
Cook the nut for 30 to 45min or till the flesh can easily peel off the kernel. When done pour into a mortar and pound till the fruit is off the kernel and oil off the chaff.
Done, transfer to a bowl. Add water a little at a time and wash off the kernel and chaff leaving thick oily paste.
Sieve the oil into a large pot.
Meanwhile you cook the assorted meat and the meat the same time the nut was cooking. Cook with onions, 2stock cubes and salt. Add dry fish 20min to end and fresh fish 10min to end.
Place the pot with oil on fire and cook with medium heat. When the oil thickens, add your onion, pepper, Efuru and 2 stock cube.
As it thickens further , transfer the meat into the oil and cook for extra 15min.
Lastly add your sent leaf, teast for salt and cook for 5min.
Done! Serve with rice.
That’s it. Enjoy!
Do you know that washing vegetable after cutting reduces it’s mineral and vitamin content.
Slice vegetable — wash it — wash away the nutrients.
The best practice is first wash and second slice.
“Cooking is all about people. Food is maybe the only universal thing that really has the power to bring everyone together. No matter what culture, everywhere around the world, people eat together.”
Guy Fieri .
To get rid of fat from meat, cook the meat long before using it. Freeze or set aside overnight. The fat will freeze/cake on top. Gently scoop the fat with a spoon (plastic spoon preferable).
That’s it. Enjoy your fat free meat.
“We all eat, and it would be a sad waste of opportunity to eat badly.” -Anna Thomas
Bean cake as the name suggests is made from black eye beans. Beans is legume considered nature’s health food. It is rich in B- vitamins, protein, fibre and other vitamins and minerals. The high protein makes it alternative to meat.
The health benefits include to — lower blood pressure, improve digestion, prevent Anaemia and for healthy eye and skin.
Akara is by far the best breakfast meal for all ages in Nigeria — north, south, East or west. It can be eating alone, or with pap or bread. Due to insignificant quantity of fat in beans, it is ideal meal for weight watchers.
Although the process of making akara reduces the fibre, it is still a healthy diet.
To prepare akara for four people you need :
You can peel beans in three different ways known to me.
Pour the beans in a bowl and add plenty water. The bad beans and chaff will float- sieve them out. Remove water completely and start immediately to peel off the beans coating. I don’t soak for long before peeling. It is the coating not the seed that needs softening and loosening and it doesn’t take time.
• Scrub hard between your palms if you are peeling with hand. This process take longer time — 7 to 10min
• Pour into a mortar and rub the pestle on the beans (no pounding). As if you are mashing, but not hard. This takes 4 to 5min if well done.
• If you opt for blender, pour a portion not all at once. For two cups of beans, you can divide into three portions. Add enough water to the portion of beans in the blender and blend every second for 5 to 6 seconds. So fast? Yes, but know it that there will be more broken pieces than in other methods.
After peeling, pour in a bowl and add plenty water, shake well and sieve. You repeat the above process again and again till the peels are gone.
You can soak/freeze to soften the beans before blending. Or you can blend outright.
Pour into blender and grind to paste.
Pour the paste into a bowl. Add the ingredients and mix thoroughly.
Now scoop the paste a little at a time and put into a preheated oil and fry with medium heat.. It is done when it browns.
Transfer to a sieve and serve hot.
That’s it! Enjoy!
“Pull up a chair. Take a taste. Come join us. Life is so endlessly delicious.”