Alapa (Jogi)

Last night I made Alapa. I asked my husband what he would like to have it with. Bread, Pap or Garri and the following conversation happened:

Hubby- ‘are we having moin  moin?

Me- No it’s not moin moin, it’s Alapa.

Hubby- ‘Alapa? what’s that? Is it Sapala? ‘

Me- No it’s not sapala, It’s Alapa also known as Jogi.

Hubby- ‘hmmmm..I have never heard or eaten that. Interesting’

Lol…So I bet most of you haven’t heard or tasted Alapa before. It has been years i ate it myself. My memory of this recipe was of my mum making it during ramadan. It wasnt something she made regularly. She would make it in bulk and even fry some to preserve. I had totally forgotten about it untill my sister asked me to put recipe on the blog just before ramadan started but I was too busy to do it then. Few weeks ago my mum also reminded me that i had not put up the recipe. She refreshed my memory on how to make it and finally here i am posting the recipe. All thanks to my mum for this recipe. Let’s Cook:

Alapa

 

Preparation time: 20 minutes

Cooking time: 60 minutes

Total time; 80 minutes

INGREDIENTS (Serves 5)

2 cups peeled beans (For easy method of peeling beans click HERE)

2 cups whole Egusi

2 scotch bonnet

2 bell peppers

2 onion

3 stock cubes

Crayfish

Boiled egg (Optional)

Boiled fish (Optional)

DIRECTIONS

1) Dry roast the egusi seeds

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2) Blend together the roasted egusi, peeled beans, scotch bonnet, bell pepper and onions till smooth

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3) Pour blended mixture in a bowl and whip with hand mixer for 5-10 minutes

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4) Add in crayfish, stock cubes, salt to taste

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Tip: Dissolve stock cubes in hot water before adding to mixture

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5) Stir well and wrap in leaves, foil, ramekin or plastic container

Alapa

6) Arrange in  a pot and Steam cook for atleast 45 minutes or till it’s done

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7) Alapa is ready

Alapa

8) Looks just like moin moin but taste slightly different. It is delicious.

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9) I served it with two tone Eko (Agidi)

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It can be preserved by frying. Just heat oil and deep fry.

Alapa with Agidi

Why don’t you give this traditional recipe a try today? Don’t forget to leave feedback on the blog.

Alapa

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“Here are the values that I stand for: honesty, equality, kindness, compassion, treating people the way you want to be treated and helping those in need. To me, those are traditional values”- Ellen DeGeneres

 

 

Fried rice – Nigerian style

Many have been awaiting my fried rice recipe for a while now. I have had many opportunities to put it up as I’ve cooked fried rice lots of time in the past few months for parties and home cooking. However, one way or the other I ended up putting other recipes before it. I had even taken pictures which I had forgotten about till I checked all my food pictures for the blog and realised I had taken the step by step pictures at least two times! The good news is I am now posting the recipe and I also used different plating pictures 🙂 .

Fried rice like Jollof rice is a party favourite and it usually accompanies Jollof rice. Most times Nigerian party food is served as half portion fried rice and half portion jollof rice thereby giving people options to eat the one they prefer or have the best of both world. I personally like best of both world. I like Jollof rice and I like fried rice😊. Also if one is not to my taste the other might except for the few occasions where both were lipssealed

Growing up, I liked eating fried rice but cooking it was another matter. I hated the amount of time I used to spend in chopping the vegetables. That was really the hard work of the whole process of cooking fried rice. Thank God I now live where already chopped mixed vegetables and peppers are easily available although most times they come frozen.

Be aware that fresh vegetables best for fried rice but for those that can’t be bothered all the time with the cutting of the vegetables, the frozen ones works fine as well.

Here is my recipe for fried rice:

Preparation time: 10 minutes (more time required if you are using fresh vegetables)

Cooking time: (45 minutes)

INGREDIENTS (Serves 8-10)

7 cups rice (standard measuring cup)

3 cups mixed vegetables ( carrot, green peas, sweetcorn, green beans)

2.5 cups mixed peppers ( yellow, green, red)

200g liver (cooked, diced and fried)

300g prawns (peeled, cooked and fried)

2 Onions (chopped)

2-3 cooking spoons vegetable oil

4 maggi cubes

1 tablespoon thyme

1 tablespoon curry powder

Chicken stock

Spring onions (optional)

Cabbage (optional)

DIRECTIONS

1) If you are using fresh vegetables, wash and dice them ready. If frozen sliced vegetables, let it defrost.

Note: Fresh vegetables are best for fried rice but frozen ones works fine.

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2) Wash the rice very well, put in a sieve for water to drain and set aside

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3) Grease pot with a little vegetable oil and put on heat. Use just enough oil to grease the pot like you would grease a cake pan.

4) Pour rice into the greased pot and stir fry for 1-2 minutes

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5) Add maggi cubes, thyme and half of chopped onions and stir for another minute.

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6) Add Chicken broth and water then cover pot tightly and leave to cook on very low heat.

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Note:  I did not add curry to the rice at this stage. Curry determines the final colour of fried rice and the more you put, the more coloured your fried rice would be. Chicken broth is usually slightly coloured by the curry used in boiling it so what I do is wait to see the shade it gives the rice before adding any additional curry.

Tip: If your pot lid doesn’t cover the pot tightly, cover with a foil before putting the pot lid. You want to lock in steam to cook the rice and not dilute the taste by cooking with a lot of water.

7) While the rice is cooking, put a frying pan or pot on a burner and add the remaining vegetable oil. When the vegetable oil is heated, add the mixed peppers, the remaining  onions and mixed vegetables and let it fry. Season the vegetables with maggi, salt and curry powder.

Add curry to the vegetables as by now you would have noted the shade of the rice and adjust curry accordingly.

I let the vegetables be a little bit wet when going in the oil so the onions cook and fry and not just outright crunchy which I don’t personally like.

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8) When the mixture is fried, add the fried liver, prawns, butter and mix. Adjust salt and seasoning.

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9) By the time you’re done frying the vegetable mixture, the rice will almost be cooked.

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10) Add the vegetable mixture to the rice and mix evenly.

Tip: It’s easier to mix when the pot is halfway or 3/4 filled but if you have a full pot you can transfer to a bigger pot. If no bigger pot available, divide into two pots mix evenly and then transfer back into a pot.

fried rice

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11) Let the vegetables steam with the rice for about 5 minutes and fried rice is done.

Be careful not to overcook so you don’t end up with soggy fried rice and also don’t undercook. Rice tastes much better when it’s properly cooked. Not hard and not soggy is what you should aim for.

Fried rice can be served with plantain, moin moin, salad, Kelewele.

fried rice

fried rice

and more pictures….

fried rice

fried rice

Note: Unlike Jollof rice, fried rice doesn’t keep very well. It goes bad quickly and loses taste when it does. To minimise that, air it for a while. It’s also best eaten same day cooked but you can preserve in the fridge for up to 2 days.

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