Skip to main content

Posts

Latest Post

More Baked Akara!

After making a baked version of akara with yeast I experimented using baking powder instead. For the first attempt I only substituted the yeast (see previous post) with 1 tsp baking powder. The mixture baked well and was tasty but a little dry. So I decided to reduce the amount of water and add egg instead. It worked!

Since I was expecting a few guests I decided to make a double portion to surprise them. Here is the recipe which will yield two dozen beancakes:

INGREDIENTS
3 cups bean flour
2 cups water maximum
2 eggs
1 1/2 tsp salt
2 1/2 tsp baking powder
1 large onion
1 large tatase or 2 scotch bonnet peppers
4 Tbsp olive oil or any other good quality vegetable oil

PREPARATION
Grease 2 muffin tins lightly and set aside.
Preheat oven to 180C or gas 4
Finely chop onion and peppers, removing seeds. Heat oil in a small pan and saute onion and pepper for a few minutes on medium heat until onions become translucent and the oil turns red from the pepper. Turn off heat and allow to cool a li…
Recent posts

Baked Akara!

Akara in Yoruba and Kose in Hausa, these deep fried bean cakes are enjoyed all over Nigeria. Traditionally they are made from dried black-eyed beans or honey beans, soaked overnight and skins removed. Then they are put through a grinder with onion, salt, tatashe ( a large type of hot pepper) and maybe one or two other ingredients, depending on locality. Then oil is heated in a large basin and the mixture is dropped in by the spoonful, turned over once or twice and fried until golden brown. When done they are drained on newspaper which does take up the excess oil to a certain extent. Finally wrapped in fresh newspaper the akara are sold to the waiting customer.
For a long time I was racking my brain how to recreate the deliciousness of akara without the process of deep frying, because any food saturated with fat is an absolute taboo for anyone with heart problems, high cholesterol and/or diabetes. So a healthy version was needed, especially since beans are highly recommended for anyon…

Make Your Own Yoghurt!

Many years ago a friend of mine in Kano told me how to make my own yoghurt which I have done off and on with good results. After a while flavoured yoghurt in little pots became fashionable and of course, the children preferred that. Later still real fruit was added, fruit which was not easily available in Nigeria and does not even grow here. Naturally one wants the best for the kids and I bought those as weekly treats.
Looking back I now know that this was foolish, expensive and quite unnecessary! So I want to encourage the younger generation to always provide the very best they can which in my opinion is always made at home.
Homemade, because one is totally in control of what goes into the product. In this case it is yoghurt, full fat, rich and creamy!
Just buy a pot of natural yoghurt without any added sugar and you are ready to start. You will need milk, a saucepan, a whisk, a jug for mixing, a container for maturing the yoghurt and a measuring gadget. A thermometer is not needed,…

It's Apple Compote This Time!

Instead of apple puree for your pancakes you could make an apple compote instead. No additional sugar is used, which makes it quite healthy.




You will need 3 to 4 tasty apples for 6 to 8 small pancakes. Peel the apples, cut into quarters and remove the core. then cut into smaller pieces, about 2 cm square. Place in a suitable pan, then add

a handful of raisins or sultanas and a little cassia bark, or if you prefer use 1/2 stick of cinnamon.

Also add 1 tbsp of water and 1 tbsp of lemon juice plus a dollop of butter. Cover pan and bring to    boil. Remove cover and allow liquid to evaporate, by which time the apples should be soft. Now just   let the added butter do some caramelizing to give the apples a golden colour. Stir the fruit gently so  it wouldn't break up, making sure that all pieces are well caramelized.                                                      


Remove from heat and turn into bowl to cool. After cooling you might want to keep it in the fridge to chill until re…

Some Call It Applesauce!

After the pancakes I think you ought to have my own recipe for apple puree, which some people call applesauce. I have removed the sugar entirely so that anyone with sugar restrictions might enjoy this. But if you are not sure consult with your doctor or dietitian.

For a yummy puree choose eating apples, not cooking apples. For 1 to 2 portions take 3 medium sized apples , wash and cut into chunks. No need to peel or to remove core.

Put in a suitably sized pan adding 3 Tbsp water, 1 Tbsp lemon juice and a little star anise. Cover the pot and bring to boil, then reduce heat and simmer for 15 to 20 minutes until soft.



Place a nylon/plastic sieve over a bowl and pour in the cooked apples and allow to drain for a couple of minutes. Remove the star anise.

Transfer the sieve to another bowl and using a wooden spoon press and mash the apples through the sieve. Skins, seeds and core will be left behind in the sieve and can be discarded.

Check your apple puree if the consistency is to your liki…

Pancakes Another Way!

Last week I gave you coco yam pancakes which I hope you tried and enjoyed.Today I want to add a different recipe, again with reduced carbohydrates

For 8 medium sized pancakes you will need:

2 slightly heaped Tbsp plain flour
2 slightly heaped Tbsp wholewheat flour
2 well heaped Tbsp coconut flour (you can use desiccated coconut ground in a spice blender)
4 heaped tsp skimmed milk powder)    or use
200 - 250 ml water                           )   skimmed milk from bottle or carton
1 large egg
a pinch of salt
1/4 tsp ground cinnamon

Put all ingredients in  a fairly large bowl and whisk until smooth. Allow to rest for 1/2 hour and then check if more liquid is needed. The batter should be a little thicker than regular pancake batter because of the coconut content.


For frying use a frying pan not larger than 20 cm diameter, otherwise the pancakes will break when flipped over.

Heat pan until very hot, then wipe with kitchen paper dipped in vegetable oil, preferably cholesterol free.

Add a la…

Happy Healthy New Year!

Now we have left Christmas and overindulgence behind and are well into the new year, which we hope will be a prosperous and healthy one for everyone.

Unfortunately many have a health challenge like diabetes which puts serious restrictions on what to eat. Good cookbooks are available that make it a lot easier to plan meals, but to re-create favourite dishes of family members takes a lot of research and experimentation!

One of those favourites in our home is pancakes with all possible variations. Today I will show you one of them: Potato pancakes originally, now called coco yam pancakes. The change was necessary because coco yam is lower on the glycaemic index than potatoes, therefore better for diabetics but just as delicious!

You will need:
1 medium sized coco yam (malanga coco)
1 small onion
1 egg
1 heaped tbsp wholemeal flour ( wholewheat )
a pinch of salt
freshly ground black pepper
about 1/2 cup water
vegetable oil for frying

Method:
Peel and finely grate the coco yam and onion in…