TTIMES WORLD: Today's News Report

Sunday, April 21, 2024
Washington, DC, USA


Name
 

Contemporary African Cuisine
Nigerian Cuisine in Lagos - NIG

Image/Video

Contemporary Nigerian cuisine in Lagos


Lagos is an undeniably cosmopolitan town when it comes to its restaurant culture, but it doesn’t skimp on its own Nigerian cuisine. Often fused with European or ‘continental’ flavours, there are a number of outlets that cater to those with a passion for pepper. From traditional dishes such as ofada rice to local favourites like suya, the following are some of the best places to taste modern Nigerian food in Lagos.

Starting off in Victoria Island, the choice of places to sample Nigerian cuisine is pretty good. Hotels are often the best bests for high end dining, with most offering more than one restaurant under one roof. Inside the Intercontinental Hotel, the fifth floor Ariya Terrace restaurant has DJ nights, views over Lagos lagoon and cocktails that can be sipped as accompaniments to chicken suya, for a modern take on the Nigerian-style shish kebab.

The luxurious Federal Palace Hotel is another salubrious choice for African fare with the Explorer’s Restaurant offering traditional Nigerian cuisine alongside European dishes. Jollof rice and groundnut stew are often on the menu here, and the buffet style of service means you can try a little bit of everything, while savouring views out over the lagoon from the hotel terrace.

Contemporary Nigerian cuisine in Lagos | Explorer's RestaurantBuffet stir fry action station at Explorer’s Restaurant at Federal Palace Hotel © Sun International Photographic Library

Always popular for lunch, dinner or business meals is the Terra Kulture centre, where the ground floor Food Lounge is a must for anyone looking for generously sized, authentic Nigerian dishes. The all day buffet service features everything from snails, goat meat, beans and plantain and rice – either the plain white or spiced jollof variety – as well as the heavier ofada rice dish that comes topped with a spicy meat stew.

Well established, the Yellow Chilli Restaurant and Bar regularly has its praises sung for the food service at its Victoria Island branch, as well as at its outlet in suburban Ikeja. The Nigerian menu features some mouth-tingling specials including the seafood okro (a rich broth with a combination of fish, shrimps and prawns) obe dindin (fried stew with rice and assorted meat) and yam pottage (beef, snail and yam pieces cooked in palm oil). Lunchtimes are heaving with customers but the venue still manages to keep its service times quick enough to keep loyal customers coming back for more.

Contemporary Nigerian cuisine in Lagos | Otres RestaurantEdikiakong Soup and Pounded yam at Otres Restaurant © Orode Ryan-Okpu

The Grill Room at Ikoyi’s Wheatbaker Hotel heads to a different part of the continent for its menu, which includes South African as well as Nigerian dishes. Prime steaks as served alongside local staples of well-spiced meat or fish grills, while a long wine list and a selection of cigars make the Grill Room a great post-work and weekend hangout.

Bogobiri offers casual dining at its best at its atmospheric, upbeat restaurant. October’s Independence Day celebrations saw Bogobiri officially launching its Nigerian food menu to sit alongside its international options. Breakfast includes yam chips or plantain with egg stew, while combinations of main meals or starters feature snails or gizzard marinated in spicy hot sauce, spicy traditional goat meat in pepper sauce, hot and spicy “˜curry’ of chicken or the African dish of the day. There’s also a choice of Moroccan lamb cutlets as a nod to North Africa.

Otres Restaurant is a Lekki-based outlet with a discerning range of Nigerian dishes, its popular favourite being the heavyweight banga soup and starch for those with a serious appetite. Modern, comfortable and homely, Otres serves “˜great African meals made from the heart’, including dishes like stewed oxtail, chicken nkwobi (diced chicken in spicy African vegetable sauce), edikaikong pumpkin seed soup with meat or fish, plantain pottage and banga rice cooked in rich vegetable spices with shrimp and served with chicken or fish. Drinks also include the bright red and moorishly sweet Chapman cocktail.

Contemporary Nigerian cuisine in Lagos | Otres RestaurantTake a seat while you wait for you table at Otres Restaurant © Tobi of TCD Photography

Inside Freedom park on Lagos Island, Veggie Victory seems like a suitable name for Lagos’s first-ever vegan and vegetarian restaurant with an African flavour. Let’s not forget that Nigeria as a whole is a fiercely meat-eating nation, so culinary game changers are a big deal in this carnivorous town. Veggie Victory does have a “˜vegmeat’ concession, although naturally this is for tasty options of barbecue or stir-fried tofu, mushroom and eggplant stew and vegan pizza. Other edifying choices are the rich vegetable efo riro soup, the ogbono broth made from bitterleaf and okra, as well as the similar okra-based soup, ila alasepo.

The University of Suya was once a roadside outlet (bukka) but graduated to a bona fide storefront where passing trade numbers in the hundreds per day for the ginger and pepper-spiced meat kebabs. Also known as the “˜faculty of meatology’, specialising in outdoor services and fresh beef roasting, this outpost on Allen Avenue has become a popular and much talked about street food landmark.

Virgin Atlantic operates daily direct flights to Lagos from London Heathrow, bringing this delicious African cuisine within easy reach.

Written by Nana Ocran

20 Popular Nigerian Food
Great Giant of Africa!

Image/Video

Are you planning a trip to Nigeria or in Nigeria and looking for something to do this weekend?? One fun idea or activity you have to include in your itinerary without a doubt is to try out the food. As a multi-ethnic country, Nigeria is a fertile ground for fabulously delicious delicacies. From the east, west, north and south to virtually every corner in-between the country, there are a plethora of spice-rich flavourful dishes that tie Nigerians together–I suggest you try as many of them as you can. To make it easy for you, here’s a selection of 20 popular Nigerian food to get you started on this journey of tastes. Join us as we explore the deliciousness that abides in this great giant of Africa!

1. Pounded Yam

New Pounded Yam

Pounded yam is one of Nigeria’s most popular dishes that can be served with a variety of soups like Egusi, Ogbono, Vegetable and Okro soup. Yam, which is widely available, is boiled and pounded into a smooth mash. You’ll most likely find people eating pounded yam with Egusi, Banga, Ogbono or some other meal.

Mind you, Nigerians abroad prepare alternative pounded yam using yam flour, but it doesn’t taste like the original pounded yam. Although the Yoruba people are known to be fond of pounded yam, some other Nigerian Ethnic groups like the Ibos consume it especially during occasions such as the celebration of new yam festival.

2. Garri

eba

Garri would pass as the king in the land of Nigerian dishes, as it is a household food in almost all Nigerian homes. There is a popular joke in Nigeria that, though Garri has no advert placement, yet, it sells more than other food products that advertise.

Garri is prepared from cassava tubers that have been fermented, but the tubers must undergo peeling, washing and grating into a mash prior to being fermented. The product gotten from this is then locally dried (roasted) to form fine flour.

Garri when mixed with hot water, becomes ‘Eba’, and can be served with almost all kinds of stews and soups. It can also be eaten with beans or as a snack.

3. Egusi Soup

egusi

This soup is widely consumed in Nigeria. Ingredients used in preparing the soup include melon seeds, red or any desired meat, seafood, fermented beans, a variety of green vegetables and onions. Egusi soup can be served alongside Garri, Pounded yam and fufu.

4. Jollof Rice

jollof-featured-image

This colourful delicacy is food to many West African Countries, not just Nigeria. Ingredients of Jollof rice include rice, onions, tomatoes, chillies and a variety of spices. It can be served with vegetables and desired meat, chicken or fish. Jollof rice is commonly served on special occasions and at social events.

5. Efo Riro

Efo-riro4b

Efo Riro is a mix of pumpkin green leaves, meat, like chicken and offal or smoked fish. Efo Riro is a Yoruba delicacy originating from Western Nigeria. Green vegetables like water leaves or pumpkin leaves are used in preparing the stew, spinach, can also be added to the ingredients.

6. Akara/Kosai

akara.

Akara is fried been cakes. Its popularity in Nigeria is quite obvious as many Nigerians opt for it for their breakfast. In the south, it is known as Akara while in the North it is called Kosai. It can be gotten very cheap from roadside food vendors. It can also be prepared at home for family and friends.

7. Suya

Chicken Suya

Suya is a very popular delicacy in Nigeria. Conventionally eaten in the evenings, this snack is made with fish or meat doused with spices and then barbequed on a skewer. The spices comprise ginger, peanuts, pepper, dried onions and various stock flavours.

8. Afang Soup

Afang Soup

The soup is made with local Afang leaves and water leaves together with dried fish, meat and snails, as well as seasonings. Although it originated from South-southern Nigeria, Afang soup is now enjoyed across state borders in Nigeria and also in the diaspora. The meal takes about an hour to prepare, and is often served with Pounded yam, fufu and Garri.

9. Moi Moi

moi-moi

Moi Moi is a Nigerian steamed beans pudding which has its origin in South West Nigeria. It can be made with egg, crayfish, corned beef, onions, and sardine to give it that added taste. Moi Moi can be served with other Nigerian dishes or eaten alone as a snack.

10. Tuwo Shinkafa

Tuwo-2

Tuwo Shinkafa is translated from Hausa language meaning – Mashed Rice. It is the go-to-side-dish for many Northern soups such as Miyan Kuka, Miyan Karkashi and even Okra soup in many Hausa-speaking communities. It is usually served daily for lunch or dinner.

11.Pepper Soup

Nigerian Goat meat pepper soup 1

Nigerian pepper soup is among the nation’s favourite dishes due to its intensely spicy flavour and the variety of meat, fish or chicken that can be used to cook it. The broth is rich, with aromatic spices, pepper, ginger, garlic and onions to give it that unforgettable taste.

12. Nkwobi

Nkwobi

Nkwobi is a popular Ibo delicacy prepared from spiced cow leg marinated in a richly flavoured sauce of Utazi leaves and palm oil. For people looking to have a nice outing, a meal you can take as the African equivalent of an appetizer would either be – pepper soup and a dessert could be Nkwobi. You’ll likely find them well served at Igbo kitchens in major Nigerian cities.

13. Ewa Aganyin

Ewa Agoyin

Ewa Aganyin is made up of cooked beans and pepper sauce. It is a delicious beans dish, well known for its softness and tasty sauce. Every Nigerian beans lover is crazy about Ewa Aganyin and it can be served with bread or yam.

14. Amala and Ewedu

Amala

Amala and Ewedu soup is a classic Nigerian food, mostly eaten by the Yoruba people, especially people from Oyo state, but it is appreciated by other ethinc groups.

15. Abacha and Ugba

ugba7

Abacha and Ugba are known as African Salad and it can be eaten as a meal or snack. Many people eat it as a meal because it fills up your stomach just like any other meal. This meal is well-known and very popular in the Eastern part of Nigeria, among the Igbos, and they love it.

16. Ijebu Garri and Groundnut

Garri and groundnut

Funnily, nothing is as soothing as taking Garri and Groundnut with chilled water during a hot afternoon. The combination gives a kind of fulfilment that only a true Nigerian can understand. Ijebu garri can be enjoyed with groundnut or smoked fish.

17. Boli and Groundnut

Boli and Groundnut

I mentioned Garri and groundnut earlier, but this time around, it is Boli and groundnut. Boli is roasted ripe plantain and is very tasty when taken with groundnut, it is truly a delectable popular snack for Nigerians and that is why they miss it most when they travel abroad.

18. Ogbono Soup

Ogbono Soup

Ogbono soup is a popular Nigerian dish made with ground Ogbono seeds, with considerable local variation. The ground Ogbono seeds are used as a thickener and give the soup a brownish colouration. Besides the seeds, water and palm oil, it typically contains meat, seasonings such as chilli pepper, leafy vegetables and other vegetables. Typical leaf vegetables include bitter leaf and celosia. Typical other vegetables include tomatoes and okra. Some people add onions and iru. (Fermented locust beans) and this delicious soup can be eaten with pounded yam or with rice. In fact, I’m salivating already.

19. Ofada Rice 

Brown rice ofada

Ofada Rice is produced locally in Nigeria. What makes it special is its unique flavour and aroma. Most Nigerians will jump with excitement at the sight of Ofada rice and stew.

20. Adalu 

Adalu

Adalu is a combination of beans and corn, cooked together with various seasonings and spices. Most Nigerians ate lots of this delicious meal while growing up, and they have deep love for it.


30 brilliant storage hacks to keep food fresher for longer
Essential Tips For Storing Foods

Image/Video


In the cupboard: potatoes


Cold temperatures turn starch in potatoes into sugar, which can make them discolored and bland. Potatoes should be stored unwashed and in a well-ventilated spot well away from any sunlight. If possible, keep them in a burlap sack or a wicker basket.


In the cupboard: eggplants


Eggplants don't need to be kept in the refrigerator, but be careful not to leave them somewhere too warm, or they'll shrivel up. It's important to find a happy medium if you want to get the best from this ingredient: house them in a cool, dark place away from direct sunlight.


In the cupboard: pickled veg


So long as you’ve not contaminated the jar with a dirty spoon, the preservatives used in manufactured pickles mean they should last just fine in the cupboard, freeing up precious refrigerator space. Make sure the lid is tight and check the use-by date (and any specific instructions on the label). However, if you're storing fermented pickles or you've pickled your own veg, these are best kept in the refrigerator.


In the cupboard: soy sauce


Labels on bottles of soy sauce may state it should be refrigerated, but restaurants safely leave the condiment on tables all day. The truth? The high salt content means it can be stored at room temperature for up to six months.


In the cupboard: Champagne


If you’re not planning on opening a bottle of Champagne or sparkling wine within five days of putting it in the refrigerator, don’t keep it stored there as the fluctuating temperature of the door opening and closing will wreak havoc on it. Champagne is best stored on its side, away from light, in a room with a consistent temperature. Chill a couple of hours before you want to open it.


On the countertop: tomatoes


Refrigerator temperatures damage tomatoes' membranes, causing them to become watery and mealy. Storing them in the refrigerator will also permanently dampen their flavor. The best place to put tomatoes is out on a counter or worktop.


On the countertop: fresh soft herbs


Soft herbs like basil, cilantro, mint, parsley and dill should be treated like bunches of flowers – trim the stems and keep them in a glass with fresh water. If confined to the refrigerator, the leaves will wilt and quickly become soggy. However, hard herbs such as rosemary, thyme, sage and oregano should be wrapped in a paper towel and stored in an airtight container in the refrigerator crisper drawer.


On the countertop: butter


Butter is virtually unspreadable straight from the refrigerator and it’s perfectly safe to store a block (or stick) in a covered dish on a worktop for a day or two, says the USDA's FoodKeeper App. However, you don’t want it to melt or go rancid so transfer it somewhere cooler, out of direct sunlight in the hot summer months. If you don’t plan to use the butter within a few days, it’s best kept in the refrigerator.


On the countertop: peaches


Don’t be tempted to slip fresh peaches in the refrigerator if they’re not yet ripe and ready. Like many other stone fruits, cold temperatures hinder the ripening process, meaning you’ll be left waiting longer to dig in. They’re also at a higher risk of spoiling. Store them on the countertop instead and only chill to make them last a bit longer if they’re about ready to tuck into.


On the countertop: bananas


Warm temperatures, around 59–68°F (15–20°C), are needed for a banana to ripen correctly, and this process is halted when the fruit is put in the refrigerator. The skin may also eventually turn black in the refrigerator because of the impact the temperature has on a banana's cell walls.


Don't store together: onions and potatoes


With similar shelf life and storage requirements, you might be tempted to store potatoes and onions together, but it's a bad idea. Onions produce a small amount of ethylene, which has a very significant effect on potatoes. Spuds will start to sprout and can even grow a decay-causing fungus. Separate the two vegetables and they'll last up to a month in your pantry. It's worth noting that it's fine to store garlic with onions though.


Don't store together: pumpkin and fruit


Pumpkins and other types of squash might be hardy on the outside, but they're very susceptible to ethylene produced by fruit. Keep them apart and your pumpkins (as well as both summer and winter squashes) will keep for significantly longer – pumpkins can last as long as three months in the pantry, if stored on their own.


Store on its own: cucumbers


Cucumbers are especially sensitive to ethylene, so unless you want to see accelerated decay and yellowing, keep them as far away as possible from any other fruit or veg. They also won't last very long in the refrigerator – only up to six days – so make sure you only buy what you need and use it up quickly.


Store on its own: cauliflower and broccoli


More veg that will start to yellow prematurely in the presence of ethylene, broccoli and cauliflower are also highly sensitive to the gas. The leaves will start to detach from the stalks and go limp if they're kept close to apples, melons and tomatoes. These brassicas also have a relatively short shelf life so keep them in the refrigerator away from other produce and they'll keep for up to five days.


Store on its own: carrots


Carrots are also sensitive to ethylene. The popular root vegetable is quite hardy and will last up to three weeks if refrigerated, but if you keep them close to ethylene-producing foods like apples, potatoes or tomatoes, they'll start to develop a bitter taste rather quickly.


In the refrigerator: dates


You might be surprised to find out that dates are best stored in the refrigerator, despite the fact other dried fruit is fine the cupboard. This is because dates are not as dehydrated as other dried fruit, like cranberries or apricots. As they still hold a bit of moisture, it's best to keep them cool in an airtight container to preserve their flavor. If you store them outside the refrigerator, they will progressively become drier and lose their flavor


In the refrigerator: apples


One of the few fruits that benefit from refrigeration are apples. This is because apples release ethylene gas, which speeds up the ripening of any nearby fruit and veg. If kept in the refrigerator, the production of ethylene is slowed down, making them (and other fruit) last longer. Just make sure you don't keep the apples together with other vegetables, and cover them with a damp paper towel or store in a plastic bag with holes.


In the refrigerator: ketchup (but only after opening)


Whether ketchup should be stored in the refrigerator or in the pantry is somewhat of a contentious question. While it would be safe to assume that due to the ketchup's high vinegar, salt and sugar content it's safe to store at room temperature, it isn't exactly the case. Heinz has confirmed that thanks to its natural acidity, Heinz Ketchup is shelf-stable. However, as soon as you've opened your bottle, the storage conditions can affect that stability. "We recommend that this product, like any processed food, be refrigerated after opening," says Heinz.


In the refrigerator: eggs (but only in the US)


In the US, eggs are sterilized after production to kill bacteria, which also weakens the eggshell. This means they should be kept cool to prevent the bacteria from returning. In most of Europe, disinfecting eggs is illegal and the EU recommends that eggs are kept cool but not refrigerated.


In the refrigerator: pure maple syrup


Despite its high sugar content, pure syrup can and will spoil, if not refrigerated. There are no preservatives in pure maple syrup so over time it will develop a layer of mold on the surface, if kept at room temperature. For long-term storage, you're better off keeping it in the refrigerator. 

 


In the freezer: tomato or vegetable sauce


One way to preserve produce – especially watery vegetables such as tomatoes, zucchini and green beans that can go soggy – is to turn them into a healthy sauce which can be frozen, then defrosted and cooked when required. Ratatouille and vegetable-packed tomato sauce are two great options.


In the freezer: batter


Made too much batter? Don’t discard it – it can be kept in an airtight container in the freezer for up to a month. Alternatively, freeze in a zip-lock bag so it can lay flat and save space in the freezer. Defrost thoroughly before using.


In the freezer: dough and raw pastry


Similarly, any excess dough and raw pastry can be frozen if wrapped tightly in plastic wrap. It’s best to do this soon after preparation so it doesn’t dry out. This also applies to fresh yeast, and dough that contains yeast and has risen. Thaw overnight in the refrigerator.


In the freezer: scrambled egg


Scrambled eggs are one of the best ways to freeze eggs because the mixed-in yolk prevents the whites from becoming too rubbery. First cook so the eggs are slightly under, then allow to cool and freeze portions in a cupcake tin for no longer than half an hour. Remove and put into individual freezer bags, squeezing out any air before closing. Allow to defrost in the refrigerator overnight before reheating in the microwave or a frying pan.


In the freezer: pancakes


Cooked pancakes can also be frozen for a couple of months. To store, allow the pancakes to cool down then put parchment paper between each one before wrapping tightly in plastic wrap. You can reheat from frozen in a microwave, the oven or in a toaster – just keep an eye on them so they don't go too crispy or burn.


Never freeze: raw eggs in their shell


Eggs frozen in their shell will explode because liquid expands as it becomes solid. However, you can freeze raw egg white. Just add a sprinkle of salt or sugar to prevent the eggs from turning rubbery and ensure there’s enough space in the container for the eggs to expand slightly when frozen.


Never freeze: frosting


Frosting made with egg whites can separate if frozen and then defrosted. This can and will ruin a cake, so instead freeze the cake and make the frosting fresh.



Never freeze: cooked rice


Storing cooked rice in the refrigerator or freezer is the cause of much debate, but you have to be aware of the risks. Cooked rice left at room temperature is a breeding ground for bacillus cereus, a bacterium that causes food poisoning. If you do want to keep rice, make sure it cools quickly and keep in the refrigerator no longer than a day. When reheating it, make sure it’s heated through thoroughly and is piping hot.


Never freeze: raw potatoes


Potatoes have a high water content so if they're frozen, that water freezes, causing ice crystals to form which affects the taste and texture once thawed. One way around the problem is to part-cook or completely cook the potatoes before freezing, but it’s generally better to avoid.


Never freeze: salad and salad leaves


Cucumber, lettuce, radishes and salad greens have a high water content, which causes this produce to turn limp and mushy when defrosted. Buy and eat fresh is the only rule you should remember when it comes to salads.

 

Blood Pressure Control is Priority
What You Must Do

Image/Video
Controlling blood pressure has to be a priority.

Why is blood pressure control so important to health?

When your blood pressure is high:

You are 4 times more likely to die from a stroke
You are 3 times more likely to die from heart disease
Even blood pressure that is slightly high can put you at greater risk.

Most people with uncontrolled high blood pressure:

Know they have high blood pressure
See your doctor for control monitor
Take prescribed medicine
Each of these is important, but there is much more to do. What’s needed now is for doctors, nurses and their patients to pay regular and frequent attention to controlling blood pressure.

What is C. Difficile Infection
How the Infection is Growing in the US

Image/Video
C. difficile infections are at an all-time high.

C. difficile infections are linked to 14,000 deaths in the US each year.
Deaths related to C. difficile increased 400% between 2000 and 2007, due in part to a stronger germ strain.
Most C. difficile infections are connected with receiving medical care.
Almost half of infections occur in people younger than 65, but more than 90% of deaths occur in people 65 and older.
Infection risk generally increases with age; children are at lower risk.
About 25% of C. difficile infections first show symptoms in hospital patients; 75% first show in nursing home patients or in people recently cared for in doctors' offices and clinics.
C. difficile germs move with patients from one health care facility to another, infecting other patients.

Half of all hospital patients with C. difficile infections have the infection when admitted and may spread it within the facility.
The most dangerous source of spread to others is patients with diarrhea.
Unnecessary antibiotic use in patients at one facility may increase the spread of C. difficile in another facility when patients transfer.
When a patient transfers, health care providers are not always told that the patient has or recently had a C. difficile infection, so they may not take the right actions to prevent spread.
C. difficile infections can be prevented.

Early results from hospital prevention projects show 20% fewer C. difficile infections in less than 2 years with infection prevention and control measures.
England decreased C. difficile infection rates in hospitals by more than half in 3 years by using infection control recommendations and more careful antibiotic use.

Copyright © 2021 TTimes. All rights reserved. Reproduction in whole or in part without permission is prohibited