Friday, 24 February 2017

.A quick Egusi soup, student style.

When a typical Nigerian is really hungry, you would likely hear them refer to having a 'proper meal' with 'swallow', for want of a better word.

In my blog of 19th November 2016, I referred to 'Swallow' as Carb based meals made into a mouldable supple form. I guess, they sit well in the tummy for a longer time and keep one going. A similar thing is said of Oat porridge.

So, as a student, Nigerian, you have had serious swotting to do and you don't want sweet oats but spicy and enduring feeding. You miss your Mum 😢,( at least)

You can't go home, just yet and you wish you had paid attention when Mum asked you to.
                 Let's do a quick lesson here.

That is 'swallow' made from ... yes, Oatmeal with Egusi soup supporting. See the criss cross there between English and African diets or cultures ? 😆.

Things you need

Plain shop brand Oats and a dry blender to grind it into a fine powder

a small Onion, chopped
some palm oil and or sunflower oil and a tin of chopped plum tomatoes
sliced Kale or Frozen packed Spinach
a chicken stock cube
powdered crayfish if you have any or prawns
salt to taste
1 Scotch bonnet or powdered chilli pepper
1 Bell or sweet pepper chopped
Chicken breast, frozen. Chop into dices.
Powdered egusi and some dried bitter leaf (which you might have remembered to pack in your suitcase when leaving home or you can buy from an Afro-Caribbean shop near you) The bitter leaf is optional. It simply adds an extra edge to the taste of the soup.

To make the soup

Heat whatever oil you have gently
Add the chopped onions, powdered crayfish and or prawns, the scotch bonnet, chopped bell pepper, a sprinkling of the dried bitter leaf and the chicken cube.
Add salt to taste.
Stir gently till you get a lovely distinct aroma. (Usually an indication of how your soup would taste)
Pour in the chopped tomatoes, you need this especially if you had no palm oil. Stir fry for a short time and add in the diced chicken continue frying at low heat till chicken and tomatoes are cooked. Add some water to make up the sauce and leave to simmer.

Put your ground egusi in a bowl, add hot water enough to cover it and microwave it for about 2 - 3mins. When done, pour it into the simmering tomato sauce and cook till the egusi is fully thickened. If it is too thick, add a little more water.

Finally, add in handfuls of washed sliced kale or frozen spinach and cook the soup further, stirring lightly, till the vegetable is tender.

To make a moderate sized 'Swallow' mould

Put about two cups of water in a small pot to boil.
Stir in gradually your blended oatmeal.
Keep mixing with a wooden spoon until it just comes together in a supple consistency.
Leave on low heat for about two minutes.
If too thick for your liking, add a bit of hot water and then mix in again after brief cooking, to a lighter consistency.

Serve on a plate and leave to cool. Dish your soup and food is ready!

Bon Appetit and don't forget to go back to your studies after eating. 😉

Fally Jay for The Food Hut. 

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