Welcome to another edition of Culinary Delights. I am excited to announce BusinessDay’s collaboration with Maggi. We have decided to collaborate with Maggi to expand this column from restaurant reviews to also bring you the most delicious easy-to-make recipes out of the diverse regions of Nigeria. Maggi is that resourceful ally that allows you to cook and enjoy the fresh food you love and believe in daily. Get ready to immerse yourself into the diversity of Nigerian cuisine and recipes, sprinkled with a little spice, culture, and everything nice.
We have an array of surprises, giveaways and much more in store for readers of Culinary Delights. Make sure to pick up a copy of BusinessDay every Friday to read the column or visit our website for the recipes and learn about Nigeria’s rich culinary history.
Our guest chef this week is Zoey Umeokeke also known as Chef Zoey Blaq. She is originally from Anambra State but grew up in Warri. She loves cooking and the science behind it. To her, every dish she makes is art – a combination of visual appeal and complimenting taste. The motivation behind what she does is passion. She is very passionate about her work and the details that go into preparing each dish intricately. As a chef, she believes that what makes her stand out is the love of her profession which is evident with each bite.
Ofe akwu is a palm nut stew that is native to the southeastern (Igbo tribe) and Niger Delta areas of Nigeria. It’s common to see Ofe Akwu served as a sauce for boiled rice or yam, but you can also enjoy it with boiled plantain and a lot more. It is known as Nigerian Banga soup in the Niger Delta and commonly eaten with various fufu recipes: starch, pounded yam, semolina, garri, and cassava fufu. In the South-Eastern parts of Nigeria, banga soup is referred to as Ofe Akwu; Ofe means soup/stew and akwu means palm fruit.
Here is a quick and easy recipe courtesy of Chef Zoey.
OFE AKWU (BANGA STEW)
One “paint” measure palm fruits aka Banga
One medium dried fish
Half a cup of ground dried crayfish
2kg assorted beef
One cup of blended pepper (yellow/red)
Two cups of shredded scent leaves
Maggi Naija Pot seasoning cubes
1 large onion
Salt to taste
Wash and boil palm nut/Banga till it becomes soft
Clean and cook assorted beef with Maggi Naija Pot seasoning, salt and half the onions (cook till stock dries up)
Pound the palm nut in a mortar
Extract oil from the ground palm nut with hot water
Pour extracted palm nut oil into a pot and boil until it thickens (this can take up 40-50 minutes)
Add cooked assorted beef
Add blended crayfish, dry fish and pepper
Taste for seasoning and add more if required
Add sliced onions & scent leaf
Serve with boiled white rice
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.
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