Sunday, December 4, 2011

Eights & Weights Recipe: Egusi and Oatmeal



You expected egusi and pounded yam, didn’t you? You’ve probably seen oatmeal on the menus of some Nigerian restaurants as a “swallow”. But if you’ve never tried it, you won’t have any idea what it looks like or how it’s made.

Oatmeal is a good healthy substitute for pounded yam or garri, because the oat is a natural unprocessed grain that lowers cholesterol, is high in fiber, and is low in calories. And since you make it yourself, well, you know every single ingredient.

Now, you can buy oat flour in stores, but an even better way to make sure you’re keeping it natural is to make the oat flour yourself. All you need is a dry blender, and some old fashioned oats. Old fashioned oats only please, not the flavored “cooks in one minute in the microwave” versions.

What you need:
1 cup of old fashioned oats
½ cup of egusi (melon seeds)
1 onion
¼ cup of palm oil
1 small can of tomato paste
2 fresh hot peppers (or 1 tablespoon hot dry pepper)
2 tablespoons of crayfish
2 seasoning cubes
1 teaspoon of salt
2 cuts of dried fish
Skinless chicken breast (amount depends on preference – I used 5 pieces)
1 bunch of spinach (depends on how much vegetables you want in your soup)

Instructions:
  • Chop the onions.
  • Wash the chicken, and place them in a pot. Put in the chopped onions, the seasoning cubes, the pepper, and about half a teaspoon of salt. Depending on how you like to cook your chicken, you could also include some thyme and some garlic. Add in about a cup of water, and bring the chicken to a boil.
  • While the chicken is cooking, let’s get to the oats. Blend the oats in a dry blender till it becomes a powder.
  • Boil about 2 cups of water. Soak the dried fish in the boiling water and the other half of the salt. Leave it soaking until you need to use it.
  • Before the chicken fully cooks, it would be a great time to blend up the crayfish and the egusi (separately), and chop up the spinach.
  • In a separate pan, pour in the palm oil and bring it to the stove. When it gets very hot, add in the tomato paste. Putting in thicker tomatoes allows you to use less oil. This is why just a ¼ cup of palm oil should do. However, if you decide the oil is not enough, it is okay to add in some more. But I would try not to go over a ½ cup.
  • Keep stirring the tomatoes as they fry so it doesn’t stick. Keep this going for about 15 minutes.
  • While the tomatoes are frying, mix the blended egusi with about ½ a cup of water until it is smooth.
  • When the tomatoes are done frying, pour in the meat and the meat stock into the tomato sauce. Stir and allow the sauce to cook for about 5 minutes. 
  • Add in the dried fish, which should be all soft now. And then add in the crayfish.
  • Pour the egusi into the tomato sauce and stir. This would be a great time to taste to see if the sauce needs some more salt, pepper, or seasoning cubes. If it does, add in some more to your liking. And then let the sauce cook up for about 5 minutes.
  • Add in the chopped spinach, mix it all in, and let the egusi soup simmer for about 10 minutes, stirring occasionally.
  • While the soup is simmering, boil about 2 cups of water. When the water is boiling, pour in the blended oats. Keep stirring like you would do with pounded yam, until it becomes a solid. Add water to get to your desired consistency.
  • Serve and you’re all done!
Unfortunately, I did not take a picture of this meal, so the picture above is just of some random egusi, but please try it and send me some pictures of yours. I’d like to see how it turns out for everyone.

Now we can eat classic Nigerian food and not feel so guilty!

Cheers Eights & Weights!

Photo credit: Houstonpress.com

3 comments:

  1. Oatmeal as swallow? that seems interesting

    Adiya
    Muse Origins

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  2. Thanks for this post, using oatmeal for 'swallow' has now become a staple for me thanks to your recipe. I never knew it was an option but it tastes great and is so much lighter than some of the alternatives. Thank you!

    I make my egusi with just about a tablespoon of olive oil and no palm oil, and it still comes out pretty yummy. My standard recipe starts with frying onions in the tbsp of olive oil, adding blended tomatoes and pepper, then adding seasoned fish (I like mackerel), then adding the egusi, seasoning the dish, and then finishing it off with lots of spinach.

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  3. TRUMAN HEALTH FOODS LTDMarch 5, 2015 at 9:09 AM

    Hi everyone, oat flour is now in Nigeria. It’s called HOMADE OAT FLOUR. Oat has so much benefit. It’s reduces cholesterol, rich In fiber, helps in weight loss, very good for people living with diabetic, heart problems and disease, no sugar, etc. I can go on and on. It’s very light and you don’t feel heavy after each meal. A good supplement for healthy living. You have to try it to be convinced. If you haven’t yet, you have been missing out. No need to blend , we have done all the work for you. Just buy off the shelf, prepare as swallow then serve with any soup of your choice. HOMADE OAT FLOUR can be found anywhere in Nigeria or you can contact us on the above email or tel no.. 07055553035. Don’t waste anymore time. START LIVING HEALTHY

    ReplyDelete

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