During the week, we were informed of the unfortunate passing of Chef Emeka. As his friends and family mourn his loss, we thought to celebrate his life by sharing an exquisite recipe that he worked on with BusinessDay. Chef Emeka was a bright light, his has been taken way to soon. We are praying for his family and ask that you do the same.
It was at the tender age of 8 that Chef Emeka started cooking in his mother’s kitchen. Over the past twenty-plus years, the experience he garnered at a young age, has turned into an international journey of culinary entrepreneurship. Drawing from his Nigerian heritage with influence from all the places he has lived, such as London, Nottingham, Kano, Port Harcourt and Paris, Chef Emeka, a Cordon Blue Paris grand diploma holder, has cooked in kitchens around the world. He was the Executive Chef at Hélène’s; a Gourmet Food Company located in Abuja Nigeria. He is also the author of the cookbook titled 35 Easy Recipes For You To Cook.
Get ready to learn how to make Ihe n’dori which means “something to enjoy” in Igbo. Chef Emeka fondly remembers his mother making this dish and he wants the world to be able to enjoy it too. Ihe N’dori is a traditional dish from the South East of Nigeria and is eaten with roasted or boiled yam.
Follow Chef Emeka’s ingredients:
Okra Ugwu (Pumpkin leaves)
Crayfish Palm Oil Atarodo Maggi Naija Pot (Seasoning Cubes)
Salt Oporo (Dried Prawns)
Roasted Tomato Sauce *(a medley of tomatoes, onions
Scotch bonnets roasted and blended together until smooth
Read also: Chicken avocado salad
According to Chef Emeka, Ihe N’dori is a forgiving recipe and something you can’t easily mess up. His tip is that you have to just go with your gut.
Follow Chef Emeka’s instructions:
Pound your crayfish with your atarodo
Crayfish and Atorodo
Soak your Oporo in hot water to cover it
Make sure not to throw this steeping water away as it comes in handy in the cooking of the dish. You need to chop up your Okra into large rounds. You want them to be quite large as our aim to avoid them getting slimy in the sauce.
Chop up the Ugwu
Once you are done your prep, roast your tomato sauce
Heat up the palm oil in a pot and add the Atarodo and crayfish.
Add the rehydrated Oporo and sauté for a minute.
Add the roasted tomato sauce and crumble the Maggi Naija cubes.
Remember the hot water we steeped the Oporo in earlier? That goes in next! I love to keep all the flavour in the dish when I cook. You can’t afford to waste all that concentrated juice!
Ugwu goes in next and then simmers for 2 minutes.
The last thing to go in is the Okra. This is an important step. Make sure not to stir vigorously as you must be careful not to break them down or let them become too slimy.
Please try this recipe at home and let us know how it turns out. We want to see your pictures and videos and we want to see how you make this delicious meal from scratch.