Thursday, 27 December 2018

Hangouts with Mai Koose; The Food Hut Pict-ionary: 'K' is for Koose

To this I can totally relate. Whilst studying in Zaria, northern Nigeria, the Mai Koose or Mai Shai joint was a regular feature in the social life of most students.

It is comparable to an English man stopping over at the 'Fish and Chips' joint and sitting down to the savour the nice hot meal with a sprinkling of vinegar and or salt, whilst eating it straight from the paper.

Back to Koose. It is commonly made from blended black eyed beans and served as a fritter. Mai Shai, (i.e. The local Tea Man), serves it up hot into paper and 'yaji' if required. Yaji, is a nutty blend of spices that can be dipped into while eating and can be extremely hot!🔥. For those who want a may more filling meal, fried yam (doya) is never far. Mai Shai also serves up fried egg and bread and tea on demand.

So, you can imagine Student life, when sometimes on a reading break or on your way back to the hostel and no cooking plans. Mai Shai always comes in handy and for the typical young African, a spicy snack always goes down better than a sweet treat. Koose has long been a valuable stop gap snack. 

I can recall, often, friends using the time to catch up with others while waiting for their order to come off the fryer. If Mai Koose, has tables, even better. You buy a cold bottled drink and chat with your friends via the light of Mai Koose's stick fire and watch the world go by. A little respite, chill out time and when all is done, you go back to your work.

P.S. some used their Koose as literal 'burgers' between hard dough or sweet bread to go. No time to wait, so  much to catch up with and the need for a filling warm tasty meal is met on the go. 😃. Fast Food 😆

Good job Mai Koose, keep it up. 

Koose is making appearances at some get togethers these days, so remember this blog and have a taste if you have never tried it before. 😊

Till next blog, I remain;

Fally Jay

Thursday, 1 November 2018

Fally's Food Hut Pict-ionary, Letter J; J is for Jollof!

Jollof Rice Medley

And the beat goes on....
My love for Jollof; never ending.

Jollof for breakfast, stir fried with egg, 
maybe even frankfurters too
Jollof pan fried with salt fish, baobab seed 
and crayfish to taste
a nice way to eat 
my leftover rice

Jollof rice with moin moin, 
boiled egg and chicken.

Jollof rice with stewed fish, turkey or beef,
topped with some salad and a cold soft drink

The music is playing and all heads are swaying
Hey! there was gizdodo too?!
Let me go get some to finish my rice

Nice Party, Auntie, Many Happy Returns!
This Jollof is so yummy, now I am going to dance it off.
Thanks for the invite and for the great food.

Any takeaway?

See Jollof inspired creativity 😂😆

With love from Ghana, 
Sierra Leone, 
Cameroon and more
Join us soon,at an African party near you.

Fally Jay, for The Food Hut.

Friday, 26 October 2018

'I' is for Injera. Let us celebrate with Ethiopia!

Hip hip hip hooray!

There seems to be no end to the good and exciting news coming out of Ethiopia.
So many progressive moves following a period of great turbulence.
We at The Food Hut are definitely happy for them.

First, their newly elected Prime Minister Abiy Ahmed has made many reforms for good since being elected in April. Half of his cabinet are women including the 'defence minister'!

Next, we just heard today that they have nominated a 'female President' in the person of Ms Sahle-Work Zewde. What a landmark event. We hope she gets every necessary support to really get down to 'Work'. 😊.

This week, our food in focus happens to be 'Injera', made from grains that are unique to Ethiopians and Eritreans, called Teff'. 

Why don't we all make the healthy choice and at the same time help Ethiopia progress and celebrate by buying into their economy.

Let us eat Injera or even use Teff flour for our flour based recipes too.

Here's a clip of an Ethiopian Vegan Food Stall often found at Greenwich Market near The Cutty Sark.
They were adding colour to our recently concluded Woolwich Carnival

Congratulations Ethiopia!

Saturday, 29 September 2018

Fally's Food Hut Pict-ionary; Letter H, H is for Hibiscus Flower Drink (?)

I have actually made a blog about this drink before.
This time it features as the letter 'H' in our ongoing Pict-ionary where we try to highlight some interesting facets of our African and Caribbean Foods and Drinks in picture cards.

My first encounter with these 'leaves' as I would call them, was in Zaria, Northern Nigeria. It was used to make a really lovely drink with cloves, ginger and a sweetener or none depending on one's choice. It was truly refreshing. It wasn't like one of those drinks you would be looking for something to wash off the after taste. (Some comumunities use the green versions to make soup too)

Follow the link to my earlier blog to see how Imma of Immaculate bites makes this drink. (

You can make your own version and as suggested in the picture card, you could add it warm, to your Christmas Dinner this year.

How about it?

Thanks for joining us at The Food Hut today.
 See you soon.😃

Fally Jay

Saturday, 15 September 2018

Garri intervention - Fally's Food Hut Pictionary, 'Letter G', G is for Garri

'Junior!....' a voice rang through the dormitory. Chima groaned and wondered what those 'seniors' wanted again. 'Ah! I am too hungry to do anything right now,' he thought to himself. 'Junior this, Junior that. You would think that they didn't have hands or feet to do anything themselves. I wonder if I can escape this call'.
.Chima is in Junior Secondary School Class 1, and happens to be in the Boarding house. By this time of the month, his provisions have run out and Parent's visiting day is still four days away at least.
'Oh bother, I do hope my parents got my message. Sometimes, school dinner is not enough and we are always working so hard for these Seniors of ours'...
'Junior!', the call rang out again. No one else seemed to be available to answer and Chima knows that if he is caught ignoring the call it could end up worse for him.
'Yes senior, you called'. The Senior looks at him with a scowl, 'What took you so long or were you trying to dodge?' Chima replied shaking his head, ' No senior, why would I do that?'.
 'Alright', the senior said, 'I want you to collect my food from the dining hall. The Food Prefect will be expecting you with my bowl. Don't fail or else! Collect for my bunk mate and neighbour while you are at it. Now take these bowls and wash them ready!'
'If only my parents knew how hard we work here, they would give us more pocket money' he thought as he got ready.
'Gbagam, gbagam, gbagam' the bell rang! Time for dinner! Chima grabs his bowl as he must see The Food Prefect to sort out his Seniors' food before he can sit to eat his. His stomach definitely was growling by this time. Wait a minute! he had forgotten! Dinner was 'Beans and Garri! Excellent! If he had remembered, he would have asked for some Nido milk powder to drink his garri. Anyway he thought, if he can't settle down to enjoy his meal, he will just pour the garri on the beans and add sugar, then top it with water.
He finally sat down to enjoy his beans and garri smiling, as he heard Table 5 start  that familiar song;

'Ewa and Garri, our famous food
O we are proud of Ewa and Garri
When we eat Ewa and Garri
Our belle swell
O yes, we love Ewa and Garri'

He thought to himself, 'Now I know why I like this song, I had nearly died of hunger. This food na life saver o. Thank God for garri'. 'Please pass me the water', Chima said to his friend.
He ate as fast as he could and ran to collect the Seniors' food as he daren't miss picking it up and he didn't want to be late for Evening studies either. Double Wahala for junior boy.

He bundled the Seniors' portion of garri and beans to them and as he was about to run off he was called back, ' Junior! What is all this?!'.  Chima answered, 'It is your dinner, senior. That is what I was given for you'. 'Really?', the senior said, .'Okay, take away this garri, I don't want it messing up my locker'. Chima who was rushing off to class didn't hesitate to collect it, 'thank you senior'. He ran and put it in his locker; 'me, I don't mind it in my locker' he thought, as he shut his locker door.
'Wao! This is timely, soakies* for a couple of days, I may even get some groundnuts or geisha to escort it,' he dreams...

'Hey! Junior! Why are you still here? the dorm prefect shouted. Chima grabbed his books and ran but he was happy; he had received 'Garri intervention'. See you on Saturday, parents.

Soakies: a slang used to describe taking Garri with cold water and it can be eaten with other sweet or savoury accompaniments such as sugar, salt, peanuts, fish, grilled or fried meats.

Garri Intervention: a fictional article to show the place garri occupies in our African community. 
It is a staple meal in many homes and prepared for eating using either cold or hot water. 
Follow the link for more details. 
Garri is readily available in local Afrocaribbean Cash and Carry Stores.

Friday, 14 September 2018

Fally's Food Hut Pictionary; Letter F. 'F' is for Fufu.

Where I come from,

is largely known to be a meal made from fermented cassava and is commonly eaten in West Africa.
It is popular due to it's longevity or longer 'shelf' or 'table life'. It is also known to last longer in the tummy serving as a deterrent to 'hunger' during a long day's job.
Each tribe in all our African communities have different names for this type of food but another general term for it and any such variants  is  'Swallow'.
This tells us about the way in which the food is consumed, which is by

 simply 'using your fingers 👋 to part a morsel from the cooked dough, 
dipping it in the accompanying sauce or tasty soup serving as a lubricant,
then....swallow. 😁. Belly full. Job done.

Here is a video showing how typical Fufu is made.

You will also find a whole list of alternative sources of flour or 'batter' for making healthier versions of swallow here.

We love our Fufu (swallow) and you can't blame us for looking for other ways to enjoy our rich soups. Even 'Cauliflower' has joined the queue.

Never tried such before..? Think bangers and mash and no sticky fingers 😂.

Hey, 😄 join the fun and make your own Fufu or Swallow variants.

Thanks for keeping us company and thanks to ALL NIGERIAN RECIPES for being so resourceful.
Next down the line in our Food Hut Pict-ionary  would be the Letter G;

Till then,

Fally Jay.

Saturday, 11 August 2018

What do I sell?


'So why are you here then?', you may ask? I am here because I would like to make a living showing off
'What makes you African or Caribbean  (the latter by personal interest)'

'And that, in the way of your unique foods and the cultures behind them'

I also want
to direct people searching, people looking 
for a quick 'home food' fix or for longer term cooking, provision solutions
to your market doorstep.

In short,
 I am here for you
African and Caribbean Foodprenneurs! 

Scratch my back and I can help scratch yours.
Visit our various social media handles to see what we can offer you and I am sure, the more we are together, the merrier and happier we shall all be. 😁

DM us via Facebook or Instagram for coverage of your business or an advert slot in our website Let's see how we can be of help to each other. 

So take care 😀👍,  till the next blog.

Fally Jay

Thursday, 9 August 2018

Multicultural day: Good News Haven

RCCG Goodnews Haven is an average sized congregation with arms wide open to all and sundry.
It was their annual multi cultural day, and the several cultures of attending members were on display. The National Anthem featured with the Lady Pastor  (pictured with the parasol) representing where we now call home. 

Performances for the day can be seen here

There were Zimbabweans, Nigerians: Ibos, Yorubas, Northern Nigerians, Edo or Bini representations. It was a very colourful day.

Fally's Food Hut was there to capture the different types of food each culture had to display and  weren't disapointed. 

You can have a glimpse through my video compilations of the variety of foods available even from Nigeria alone. We have a rich culture indeed. 

Come explore with The Food Hut.Northern Nigeria foods

Edo state foods

 and much more.😁

So, see you around or when you call on us to cover your Afro Caribbean food event.

Fally Jay. 

Friday, 22 June 2018

Fally's Food Hut Pict-ionary: A is for alligator pepper

Alligator Pepper, nothing to do with alligators but definitely 'peppery.

I came across these as a child when we would go to my village in Delta State, Nigeria and my grandfather had to 'present Kola' to his guests, even if it was his cousin from down the street. Most especially, if there were serious issues to deliberate, there would be no discussion without it. It is taboo to have any major event without it.

The 'Kola' needs, a bottle of something, preferably gin, some money notes, and 'alligator pepper' grains. After the guest accepts the kola and prays for the well being of everyone present etc, conversations begin in earnest. It can go on for ages, as each tries to make his point. As for me, having no say but keeping my dad company, I would chew on the alligator pepper seeds. Kola nut tasted bitter and I didn't care much for it. The peppery taste, to me, is comparable to horseradish. It goes right to the brain. 😤

The aromatic flavouring of these seeds give our famed West African 'pepper soups' their unique taste and effect. This creates a very spicy broth and is especially good in helping to clear the sinuses.
(Picture yourself with a runny nose as you eat because along with chilies in the soup, the heat is turned up to the max)

Pepper soup in southern Nigeria is a delicacy often given to mothers of newly born babies and in some traditions, a new born baby has a dab of the ground seeds on its tongue supposedly to make them tough. Alligator pepper, definitely a prized possession in a West African's kitchen cupboard.

These lot were bought at Ades Cash and Carry store and may be found in your local Afro Caribbean grocery store. Why not take 'The Spicy Challenge' and add some ground Alligator Pepper seeds to your regular broth and let us know how it goes 😄.

(Black Cardamon and Grains of paradise come from the same generic family)

Fally Jay.

Saturday, 16 June 2018

Ades Cash & Carry, SE7

'Mama, welcome! How was your journey?' ...

'You brought......? Thank you ma, I have some from the shops'.

'Yes ma, I went to Ades'. Anyway, so you start on a good note, please eat Mummy's own first. LoL!

For a wide variety of your typical African foods, head down to Ades.

 You might be pleasantly surprised.

Those who know, have long been and done their shopping.

Don't be the last to get there.


Fally Jay

Wednesday, 13 June 2018

FFH Places to eat I go Chop Medium

I go Chop, a contemporary Nigerian food outfit in Camberwell, SE5.

A visit will leave you pleasantly surprised.

Friday, 4 May 2018

Korede's Africoal: a closer look

Yessss! 😎 Summer is settling in more and more and people tend to become more creative with their lunch and eating out ideas. Uh hmm...

So, I went out to discover indeed and I wasn't dissapointed
Easy to locate: the eatery name alone brought me straight here on my google maps navigation
Strategically placed by the Mill Road roundabout on Brook Street, a free parking lot is a few minutes walk across the road from it.

Food Style: African inspired BBQ grills of assorted meats and fish, side snacks, your regular sandwich rolls, burgers, chips etc. You are spolit for choice actually. There are nicely chilled drinks to accompny the food too.

Service:For a quick work lunch or Dinner at home, Korede's Africoal is the place to go. 
Orders can be taken online or over the phone, for delivery as far as Dartford and Abbeywood. 
Your 😋 tasty food is typically ready for collection or delivery 15 - 20 mins later unless advised differently beforehand and the 'spicyness or lessness' as you prefer, is taken into consideration. They are also mindful of any allergens you indicate that you have concerns about. 
Neat seating spaces are also available for you to eat as you watch Erith go by. 😎😌
Bulk orders can also be taken based on individual consultations.

Opening times; Monday to Saturday noon till 11pm and Sunday 1pm till 9pm

Testimonial: A man in the next shop came out as I was passing by to say, 'The best burgers and chips I have ever had come from Korede's Africoal. Every one should buy from here. It would knock your block off'  😆

You would probably have to buy yours to get a feel of what he meant or felt. 

I left with mine; 
The Fave rave - Jollof  Rice and Lamb Ribs Suya or Grilled Lamb Ribs as their customers call it and a cold drink escort. 🙋👍😍💣👏

Your turn now,off you go; for your choice meal from their menu and let us know how it goes. 

Don't forget to say you heard of them from Fally Jay of The Food Hut.

Saturday, 7 April 2018

Shopping in East Midlands or Buckinghamshire?

The place to go in Northampton for your Afro Caribbean Shopping

Stuck for ideas on what to get or what to eat this weekend?
Live in Northampton, Milton Keynes?
Get going...
Tell them Fally Jay of Fally's Food Hut sent you.
No worries, Thank me afterwards.

(Foodies) Mothers Arise! Your kitchen can make a difference

So many stories have been told, where families have gathered in kitchens.
Kitchens modern, kitchens suburban.
Kitchens with chairs and kitchens without.
Kitchens, where love has been dished into plates for the one who sits at the table.
For some, it might even have been during a visit to a friend's house after school.
Some may have enjoyed a silly fight over a piece of fish, shared in a common bowl of food.
For some, it might have been during a sumptuous feast.

(Foodies) Mothers Arise, let us show love to our young ones
Let's teach and show them 'that there is a better way still', all is not resolved by a stab in the chest or wherever. It only goes deeper into the can or trough of worms and takes the perpetrators along.

Don't despair, do the best you can but be there.
Be there to encourage
To show the right way and help pick up the pieces, when they are truly ready.

Start early, instilling those values. Don't leave them lonely, in your quest for the limelight.

The kitchen, is always a good place to start.

Let's start making plans.
I pray to God as I go along; for the best of plans can still fail.
 Would I give up? No, rather wake up hopeful for 'each day' brings a new beginning.

Be a mentor to one young person today so that we can begin to #bethechange in this nasty trend.
Dish up a plate filled with love and hope that he or she will remember in the future.
It may be the deterrent that comes at just the right time. 🙏.

What are YOU going to do?

Fally Jay.

Sunday, 1 April 2018

The way my mother used to cook it.......

Heard that phrase before?..
Under what circumstances I wonder. 😐.

Sometimes, it is the person who believes that his or her mother's ladle is as revered as a judge's gavel and they CAN NOT, ever ever accept anything different as good to eat.
We also know that some folks use that as a cop out to dodge anything new or some generally bad cooking too. 😄

Nonetheless, whilst some people's Mums are indeed legends at cooking, with such skills as need to be retained or passed on, we are coming to a time when new and improved styles of cooking helps to bring more folks round our dinner tables.
As people say for wedding preparations 'Something old and something new'; all in good stead.

If you stick your mum's recipe alone, you may have to stop eating it altogether due to lack of ingredients - you can find alternatives in your environment
Your family, may be the only one cooking and eating such meals as no one else appreciates it or the effort you have made -  you could adapt your meals sometimes to a semblance of what your 'seeker' friends are familiar with.
You could also be missing out on more interesting ways of having your wholesome staples. Such creativity comes in handy, especially when your children or wards grow up in a culture different from that of your ethnic background.

Such fusion or adapted meals could also work out cheaper as you use more available ingredients instead.

That is how fads are started or created. You never know, before long, someone could be 'swearing' by your own new recipe too. 😊

Check out this lady Fafa Gilbert; versatility must be her middle name. It may just surprise you what she has done with your mother's recipe. 😂

Here, she works a fusion of the popular Nigerian Ayamase and Ghanian Tomato stew. 

What's not to love, you tell me.

Happy Easter! Later...

Fally Jay for The Food Hut.