Lately, I have been having this very stubborn nostalgic craving for some delicacies I enjoyed relishing while growing up in Ibadan, Oyo State. Well, you might think I should have simply prepare the dishes instead of whining here (but this is my blog after all!).
Unfortunately, the ingredients needed for preparing these particular meals are not conveniently available in Qatar. It’s either you have one or two items available and the other is conspicuously missing (which is necessary to truly achieve the taste) or you’ll have to pay through your nose to get all the items here (either through expensive cargo or from few individuals trading in the items here) as there is no single store offering Nigerian foodstuff in Qatar yet.
Moreover, I am not sure whether many people in my generation out here in diaspora (also back home in Nigeria too) even fancy eating such food anymore not to talk of sticking their necks out just to prepare these nice cuisines that I can say are very local to the core.
This is rightly so because majority of us nouveau riches or middle class new entrants now perceive eating such dishes as not been trendy and savvy.
But for gourmet loving people like me, I’ll always at any opportunity give life to our ‘local’ haute cuisine by cooking, eating and offering them to my children too (who are always happy to eat).
Ok, enough of the rants! I know you’re already wondering which particular delicacies I’m salivating about. They are actually peculiar to my tribe, Yoruba and mostly popular in Ibadan.
I can’t forget those days when my siblings and I used to await my father’s return from his workshop every night just to have a taste of ‘Alapa’ (did I hear you say what’s Alapa?) Yes, it’s called ‘Alapa’ made from beans and this particular one I’m referring to used to be specially grilled after cooked while wrapped in leaf just like ‘Moinmoin’
Neatly done Moinmoin (picture for illustration only)
I quite remember too eating ‘Ekuru’ (another leaf-wrapped delicacy also made out of beans) with hot chilly sauce and ‘Eko’. ‘Ekuru’ can be given white or brown colour, depending on your appetite palate.
‘Ewe’ wrapping leaf (picture for illustration only)
What about mashed corn ‘Egbo’ and cooked beans ‘Ewa’? You can serve both together in a plate with palm oil fried chilly pepper atop. It also goes down well with either fish, beef or the popular ‘ponmo’ (cow skin). I also recall eating this special meal with what we referred to then as ‘Jolo’ (that was practically beef’s or lamb’s ‘fat’!).
Eating this special meal is still not as frequent as I would have love to because in Ibadan, we eat it any time of the day and almost on a daily basis too! It is also the main menu at every function in the South-West.
There was also ‘Tuwo’. This particular dish from the Northern part of Nigeria found its way to the South-West during my growing years and we were gladly eating it with ‘Gbegiri’ and ‘Ewedu’ as against ‘Luru’ that it was known with then. My mama was an expert in this (I can boast she was even more expert than its originators – the Hausa-Fulanis!).
The persistent craving for ‘Dundu’ (palm oil fried yam ‘isu’) plus ‘Ewa’; ‘Isu and Ata dindin’ and the thought of ‘Suya’ (beef barbeque) has also kept me slobbering.
Yam and Stew (picture for illustration only)
Yam (picture for illustration only)
Suya – Nigeria’s popular barbeque (picture for illustration only)
‘Akara Seke’ (palm oil fried beans) and ‘Ewa Aganyi plus very fluffy ‘Agege’ bread (Agege is in Lagos State by the way), have equally been swirling my head!
Oh! there’s no place like home!
What yesteryear’s food are you dying to eat? Thoughts