So many of my favourite Nigerian treats are deep-fried: chin chin, puff puff, and dodo. I’ve wanted to try broiling dodo instead of frying it for a long time so I finally decided to do it last night.
I started with two plantains (shocking!).
I washed them (my mom always washes plantains before peeling them).
I peeled them. Before you think I’m a poor plantain peeler (try saying that three times fast!), this batch of plantain that I bought had this weird “bark” (like tree bark) thing on it so it didn’t peel nicely. Has anyone ever had that happen to them before?
I added some olive oil to a bowl…
…added the sliced plantain to the oil, sprinkled them with a tiny bit of salt, and tossed them to coat the plantains with oil.
Then I broiled them.
I set the oven to 400Â°F at first and broiled them for 7 minutes. They didn’t really brown. I flipped them and increased the oven temperature to 450Â°F. After 7 minutes they were browning a bit more. I flipped them again and browned the first side for a couple minutes longer.
The final product:
My verdict? They’re pretty tasty, but they ended up a bit mushy. They also stuck to the foil so I think I have to spray the foil with that non-stick spray next time. I prefer the fried version though! I’m thinking as long as you don’t let the plantains get too mushy before frying them, the oil probably doesn’t get into the plantains so maybe the fried version isn’t too bad for you. That being said, I will try the broiled version again, with a few tweaks (firmer plantains, non-stick cooking spray, and 425Â°F-450Â°F to start).
I’m amazed that putting:
a can of plum tomatoes
one and a half onions
a couple of garlic cloves
two ata rodo
one and a half sweet red peppers
into a blender, pureeing it smooth, pouring it into a pot, adding some olive oil, and simmering for some time can create a fairly tasty stew! You don’t even have to add any seasoning to it! If you feel like sneering at my lameness I can only conclude that you’re new to this blog. :)
My mom is temporarily unable to use her right hand so about two weeks ago she asked me to help her to prepare this basic stew (under her watchful eye) and I assisted with ogbono stew as well. I was a decent student so I was able to recreate the basic stew at home. Ogbono is still beyond me (not that I’ve tried it yet). However, if you’re in the mood for dodo* and white rice topped with a basic spicy stew, I’m your girl!
*For my non-Nigerian readers, dodo is fried plantains
Thank you for your comments on my first attempt to make jollof rice on my own. Growing up,
wemy mom always prepared jollof rice with meat in it. Ground beef is the meat of choice most times, and whole pieces of chicken (drumsticks, thigh or breast) are used sometimes. However, thinking back to all the times I enjoyed jollof rice in Nigeria, jollof was cooked without meat, and a piece of chicken or goat meat or beef would added to the rice when serving it. The jollof I ate in Nigeria had a special taste to it that I LOVE but could never dream of being able to recreate here. Maybe the secret to that taste is cooking it over a fire? I bet that’s it! I’m not saying all Nigerians in Nigeria cook over a fire, just that my family does when cooking jollof rice for a whole bunch of people (dozens, hundreds).
I think the way they make jollof in Nigeria (and how most of the commenters make it) uses tomato paste or sort of tomato base to give the rice more of a red colour. If you have your recipe handy, or know how I can get that kind of scorched taste that the jollof I had in Nigeria has, do feel free to share it in the comments.
One of my colleagues who reads this blog (Hi Gen!) was kind enough to answer my question about why rice is not dirty. Apparently it’s not dirt per se that I’m washing off; it’s starch. If you like your rice sticky, don’t rinse it so much.