Aji Akokomi’s recipes for a west African barbecue: dibi lamb, joloff rice and fried plantain | Meals


Outdoor cooking over fireplace is prevalent in most west African houses, primarily, in fact, because of the heat local weather. So it’s not shocking that the most well-liked road meals within the area are additionally barbecue dishes, be it suya from Nigeria, domedo from Ghana or dibi from Senegal. The marinated leg of lamb is gorgeous with the jollof rice and fried plantains beneath.

Dibi leg of lamb

The phrase dibi means “barbecue” in Wolof, and it’s a massively sought-after dish that’s largely bought by road distributors and in small, fundamental eateries referred to as dibiteries, the place marinated lamb is roasted in massive wood-fired ovens and served with roast onions and mustard sauce.

Prep 15 min
Chill 3 hr
Prepare dinner 4 hr
Serves 8

1 leg of lamb (about 2½kg)
40g flaked sea salt
150g dijon mustard
200ml vegetable oil
1 tbsp freshly floor black pepper
1 complete head of garlic
(or about 15 cloves), peeled and crushed
1 tbsp scorching sauce
500ml hen inventory
10-15g contemporary thyme leaves, chopped
3 yellow onions, peeled and finely sliced

Trim the surplus fats off the lamb leg, then make 2cm-deep crisscross cuts throughout it. Salt the flesh, then rub it throughout with the mustard and marinate within the fridge for no less than three hours.

Take out the lamb no less than an hour earlier than you wish to cook dinner it, to present it time to come back as much as room temperature. Fireplace up a charcoal barbecue for which you’ve gotten a lid – goal for a temperature of about 160C – then put the lamb on the grill, cowl with the barbecue lid and depart to cook dinner for an hour and a half.

In the meantime, make the marinade: in a bowl, combine the oil, pepper, crushed garlic, scorching sauce, hen inventory and thyme.

When the lamb has been cooking for 90 minutes, carry it out on to a tray coated in a big sheet of foil, pour the marinade throughout it, then sprinkle the onions on high. Wrap up the lamb tightly – you’ll in all probability want a number of layers of foil – then return to the barbecue, cowl once more and cook dinner for an additional hour and a half.

Raise the lamb off the barbecue, depart it to relaxation, nonetheless in its foil wrapping, for half an hour, then carve and serve.

Jollof rice

Joloff rice.

Jollof rice doesn’t want any introduction today, as a consequence of its widespread reputation. There are various ways to cook dinner it, from easy strategies to way more advanced recipes, however, whichever strategy you’re taking, what makes it so particular are the wealthy, advanced flavours – a mix of candy, umami and spice – all packed into the one dish.

Prep 15 min
Prepare dinner 1 hr
Serves 8

500g basmati rice – we use the Golden Sella model

For the broth
3½ litres hen inventory – home made or shop-bought (we use True Foods)
2 tsp white peppercorns
25g curry powder
1 tbsp floor dried thyme leaves
1 thumb-sized piece
contemporary ginger, peeled and finely grated
2 bay leaves
75ml fish sauce

For the ata (or base sauce)
4 crimson bell peppers, stems, pith and seeds discarded, flesh roughly diced
100ml vegetable oil
2 crimson onions
, peeled and finely diced
20g flaked sea salt
12 garlic cloves
, peeled and crushed
6 tbsp tomato paste
2 tsp scorching sauce

Put the hen inventory in a saucepan with all the opposite broth elements, convey to a boil, then flip down the warmth and cook dinner for about half-hour, till lowered slightly.

In the meantime, make the ata: blitz the diced peppers in a blender till easy, then scrape right into a frying pan and dry-fry on a medium warmth, stirring often, for as much as about half-hour, till they cut back to a paste. Scrape the pepper paste right into a bowl and rinse out the pan.

Return the frying pan to a medium warmth, add the oil, then stir within the diced onion and salt, and cook dinner for 10-12 minutes, till the onions begin to caramelise. Add the crushed garlic and tomato paste, fry, stirring, for 5 minutes extra, then stir within the crimson pepper paste in batches. As soon as that’s all included, add the recent sauce, fry gently, stirring often to verify it doesn’t catch, for quarter-hour, then take off the warmth.

Pressure the inventory right into a heavy-based saucepan, convey to a boil, then flip right down to a simmer. Stir within the ata and depart to cook dinner for 5 minutes.

In the meantime, rinse the rice very effectively, and no less than 5 occasions, to get out all of the starch, then tip into the recent inventory, stir effectively, cowl and depart to cook dinner for quarter-hour.

Raise off the lid, stir once more, then style and add salt, if required. Cowl once more, flip down the warmth as little as it is going to go and depart to cook dinner undisturbed for an additional 20 minutes.

Take the pot off the warmth and relaxation, nonetheless coated, to steam for 20 minutes. Take away the lid, fluff up with a fork and serve.

Fried plantain

Plantains seem like massive bananas, which is why they’re also referred to as cooking bananas. They’re a staple of African, Caribbean and Latin American cuisines, not least as a result of they’re so versatile. It doesn’t matter what stage of ripeness they’re at – inexperienced, yellow and even black – they’re all the time prepared for cooking of some type. Unripe plantains have inexperienced skins, and are perfect for turning into plantain crisps. When simply ripe, with yellow skins and only a few black dots, they’re nice for frying, as right here. And after they’re totally ripe and nearly completely black, they’re good in desserts.

Prep 5 min
Prepare dinner 40 min
Serves 4 as a facet

2 massive medium-ripe plantains – ie, with yellow skins and just a few black spots
500ml vegetable oil, for frying, plus a glug further for coating
1 tsp salt

Peel the plantains, then thinly slice them and rub throughout in slightly oil and the salt. Warmth the oil in a deep-fat fryer or massive saucepan to 180C (to check, drop in a slice of plantain: it ought to sizzle instantly), then fry the plantains in batches for about quarter-hour. Take away with a slotted spoon, drain on a big plate or board lined with kitchen roll and hold heat in a low oven when you repeat with the remaining sliced plantains.

Serve scorching alongside the dibi and the joloff rice.

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