My cooking champions “new African delicacies”, which, now greater than ever, is being outlined and elaborated on by black cooks. Oto, a traditional west African yam dish, is emblematic of latest beginnings, and my twist on it speaks to a hope for turning a web page for black illustration within the meals trade. Suya, a Nigerian spice mix, is historically the griot of the meat grill, however could be utilized to all types, comparable to right now’s greens. It uplifts on a regular basis produce and opens a door to west African flavour.
Mashed yam (oto) with eggs and scotch bonnet salsa
Most “traditional” variations of oto use yam, nevertheless it may also be made with mashed ripe plantain. Right here is considered one of my many takes on the dish to rejoice August’s coming New Yam Festival.
Prep 30 min
Prepare dinner 45 min
For the oto
1 medium yam (about 900g – I used puna yam)
1 tbsp brown sugar
25g unsalted butter
4 tbsp pink palm oil (substitute with 1 tbsp turmeric, for color and earthiness, nevertheless it’s no like-for-like swap)
1 tbsp cornflour
1 tbsp contemporary thyme leaves (or 2 tbsp dried thyme)
2 garlic cloves, minced
2 spring onions, trimmed and finely chopped
3½ tbsp rapeseed oil, plus additional for frying
For the salsa
½ medium pink onion, peeled and finely diced
4 spring onions, sliced on the angle
6-8 ripe plum or cherry vine tomatoes, diced
1 garlic clove, peeled and minced with a pinch of salt
½ pink scotch bonnet, deseeded
5-6 tbsp roughly chopped coriander
20ml additional virgin olive oil
¾ tbsp grains of paradise (or coarse floor black pepper)
4-6 soft-boiled eggs, peeled and quartered
1 avocado, stoned, peeled and sliced
50-75g roasted nuts of your alternative – I roast my very own groundnuts and cashews in suya spice
Flaky sea salt
Contemporary coriander or parsley leaves
For the oto, deliver a big pan of salted water to a boil. Fill a bowl with chilly water – that is for the yam as soon as minimize and peeled, to forestall oxidisation. Slice the yam into 1cm discs, then use a paring knife to peel off the thick bark. Cube the flesh into evenly sized cubes, and put within the bowl of water whilst you put together the remaining. As soon as all of the yam is minimize, drain and add it to the pan of now-boiling water. Add the brown sugar, then depart to simmer for 20-Half-hour, till smooth to a fork. Don’t let the yam overcook, or will probably be too mushy to form later.
Whereas the yam cooks, combine all of the salsa components collectively in a bowl.
Drain the yam, then mash with the butter whereas it’s nonetheless steaming. Working shortly now, steadily fold within the palm oil and stir in so the combination is evenly golden all through. Subsequent, sieve in half the cornflour and blend once more, then fold within the thyme, garlic and spring onions. Preserve mashing till the combination has a easy consistency and a good color.
Go away to chill slightly, then divide into eight to 12 even parts (80-100g every). Mould into patties, then mud every patty on each side with the remaining cornflour. When you like, you’ll be able to chill them now for cooking later – this may also assist the patties bind.
Warmth a drizzle of oil in a frying pan over a medium warmth. Prepare dinner the patties in batches for 4 to 5 minutes all sides, till crisp and golden. Preserve heat whilst you cook dinner the remaining.
Serve with soft-boiled eggs, sliced avocado, a sprinkle of crushed nuts, salt, and some coriander or parsley leaves and sliced chilli.
Roasted suya greens
Suya is the king of west African barbecue spices – potent, complicated and strong. When you’ve ever used cajun spice or harissa paste to enliven grilling or roasting, suya must be your good friend. I encourage you to be artistic within the methods you utilize it: this isn’t about attempting to make a “Nigerian dish”, however introducing west African flavour to your every day cooking. The spice combine makes 320-350g, so preserve the remaining in your spice cabinet.
Prep 15 min
Prepare dinner 25 min
Serves 4 as a aspect
For the greens
250-300g washed and trimmed greens (eg kale, spring greens, broccoli, courgette, aubergine, cauliflower), washed and trimmed
For the dry suya spice combine (makes 320-350g on your spice cabinet)
100g peanut powder (or finely floor chopped roasted cashew or peanuts)
4 tbsp floor sizzling pepper (or cayenne pepper)
4 tbsp smoked paprika
4 tbsp floor ginger
2 tbsp garlic powder
2 tbsp onion powder
5 floor nutmeg
1 tsp floor cloves
1 tsp floor grains of paradise (or floor black pepper)
1 tsp salt
For the suya marinade
2 tbsp dry suya spice combine (above)
Zest and juice of 1/2 lime
3 garlic cloves, peeled and minced
1 thumb-sized piece of ginger (about 5cm), peeled and grated
1 sprig contemporary thyme or oregano, leaves picked (non-obligatory)
1 tbsp groundnut or coconut oil
Flaky sea salt, to style
First, make the dry suya spice rub. Put the bottom nuts in a bowl with all the opposite components and stir to mix. Switch to a clear, hermetic container, seal and retailer in a cool, darkish place; it is going to preserve for as much as six months.
Warmth the oven to 190C (170C fan)/gasoline 5. In a bowl, mix all of the suya marinade components with a whisk, then style and alter for seasoning. Add the greens to the bowl and toss, ensuring they’re generously coated within the oily marinade. Tumble into an oven tin and roast for 20-25 minutes, till tender, crunchy and barely browned. Serve heat.