Nigerian cuisine offer great diversity, which is attractive to tourists. It’s rich, tasty exquisite, though all the components are quite simple and usual.
Nigerians widely use spices and herbs, which is typical for African cuisines, especially chili pepper. Spices make traditional dishes incredibly aromatic, tasty, and colorful. In addition to spices, Nigerian meals contain plenty of natural oils, especially palm oil and vegetable oil or groundnut oil.
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There are numerous appetizers, which are extremely diverse. Meat is one of the most important parts of the Nigerian cuisine together with ikokore and other types of yam, cassava, and vegetables.
Ikokore Recipe: one of the Many
Ikokore is sort of yam porridge but it requires a specific type, which is called water yam (Isu Ewura). This yam has a lot of hair on the skin and it is extremely slimy when you cut it.
The Ikokore Ijebu has one specific requirement: if you want it to be tasty and nourishing, you should add as much fish or meat as you can get. You are free to choose whatever you like: chicken, turkey (optionally, smoked), goat meat, veal, or smoked fish. It’s supposed to go all together in one and the same dish.
In the traditional authentic ikokore Nigerian dish, they use the hot Scotch Bonnet pepper (which is called Ata rodo) and sometimes, add ground Ata Gungun (which is Cayenne pepper).
So, let’s get down to cooking Ikokore.
Details of the Ikokore Preparation
We’ll need the following ingredients:
- Water yam – 1 small tuber
- Palm oil – 2 cooking spoons
- Chicken, beef or fish stock – 3 cups of water)
- Ata Gungun – 3 tablespoons
- Scotch bonnet pepper – 5-6
- Smoked fish – 1 or 2, depending on the size (optionally chopped)
- Dried fish – 1 or 2, depending on the size (optionally chopped)
- Cooked meat (chopped) – 2 cups
- Grated crayfish– 3 tablespoons
- Smoked prawns flesh (optional) – ½ cup
- Ogiri Ijebu (fermented locust beans) – 1 teaspoon
- Slice the water yam tuber finely. Remove the hairy peel and grate the piece as finely as possible into a bowl.
- get a pot, clean the beef, if you want to use beef, add some water into the pot and pour the beef into the pot also. Add seasoning cubes, salt and spices. Once the beef is tender put the pot aside.
- Once finished, add salt and 1 tablespoon of crayfish.
- Then, if you have chosen to cook with pepper, add pepper, too, and set the bowl aside.
- If you are using Scotch Bonnet pepper, blend it finely and mix with the rest of the pepper (or pepper sorts) that you have.
- After this, take a pot and heat it up on a medium fire. When hot enough, pour out the palm oil and add locust beans. Sauté them for a minute, add the pepper blend and salt. In case you use fish or meat stock, don’t add salt.
- Now add the stock (or, if you have none, simply add the same amount of water) and keep on cooking for 2 minutes more.
- After this, add the dried fish, prawns, add seasoning cubes and cook for 5 mins.
- Reduce the heat to the smallest possible and start adding the grated yam. The main idea is in adding both big and small lumps of the grated mass. The smaller ones will blend with the stew, creating the smooth pleasant mass, while bigger ones will retain their form and size, creating the necessary Ikokore Ijebu consistency. Now, don’t stir the stew but let it boil for 8 to 10 minutes.
- After this time, stir the stew slightly and break the biggest lumps if you think they are too big or leave them be as they are if you don’t mind. Try the stew for salt and add if necessary, add the rest of the crayfish and accurately mix the ingredients, keeping the yam lumps whole.
- You can serve it with beef, fish or any other protein you prefer.
- Well, it’s the final part of the cooking the Ikokore food. It will take 3 to 5 minutes, and you can enjoy it.
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