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Gizdodo, jollof pasta, efo riro…it’s a Lagos feast!

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Plates of gizdodo and spaghetti

Hustle is one word commonly associated with Lagos.  No one describes this fast-paced city without speaking of the frenetic rush the city is perpetually in and the near-restlessness of its residents. Most Lagosians party as hard as they work and half of this reason is because they like to eat. A Lagos party is always bursting at the seams with lots and lots of food and especially jollof rice; but this story isn’t about jollof rice. In this week’s episode of Delicious Naija, Bunmi invites us into the home of Lagos-based comedian MC Abbey (real name, Abiodun Olopade), as his beautiful wife, Jumoke, introduces us to Jollof Pasta and Giz-do-do!  

Before Gizdodo, Bunmi stops at a popular Lagos food and art hangout – Terrakulture. Here, the chef on duty sizzles with a 20-minute prep time of efo riro (steamed vegetable sprinkled with peppers and assorted meat parts) and yam pottage (popularly called asaro). It is Lagos where everyone is in a hurry, and so it is very important for businesses to keep up by having quick turn-around time.

Do you know the car in which Gen Murtala Muhammed, Nigeria’s then head of state, was assassinated in 1976 is still being preserved at the National Museum in Lagos? Oh yes, it is! And Bunmi does a good job of showing us around it and other historical monuments being preserved at the Onikan museum. She visits the famous Isale Eko and shows off Madam Efunroye Tinubu’s statue – an industrious business woman and rights’ activist, who became the first female to buy a car.

The Ajah market is where the ladies go in search of ingredients for this plantain and pasta delight. They shop; runner beans, spring onions, carrots, spaghetti, peppers, cabbage, gizzard, ripe plantain, parsley, Maggi chicken and Maggi Mixpy (ginger & garlic).  By the time they return to the Olopades’ home, Jumoke shares tips on how she keeps her career and home going in the hectic city of Lagos. Her secret: buy in bulk and cook in batches.

After cutting and washing the vegetables, Jumoke opens her fridge to reveal carefully packed and labelled bowls of different food items, all with dates. This is the way she is able to shorten cooking time, especially dinner, when she returns late from work courtesy of Lagos traffic. She pulls out her soup base bowl which contains a mix of atarodo, tatashe, fresh tomatoes and onion blended into a smooth paste and fried in vegetable oil without seasoning. This forms the pepper base for the Jollof pasta and gizdodo, that the ladies eventually cook.    

Why are tomatoes a fruit and not vegetable? Because of the presence of seeds in them! When buying green (or runner) beans, look for the stalks that aren’t raised, are firm and snap when bent. This kind will usually contain beans that aren’t mature and so will soften quickly and satisfactorily when you cook. For spring onions, stay away from yellow leaves and slimy roots – they are signs that the vegetables aren’t fresh. Green beans are great bone food, rich in Calcium and Magnesium. Spring onion, like carrots, has antioxidant properties that helps to protect your body from free radicals that cause damage to the cells.  

Do you know that thawing and refreezing food can expose you to food poisoning? This is why you are encouraged to portion food per meal when storing away in the freezer. There’s a lot of tips in this week’s episode of Delicious Naija and you can catch the food journeys at 7.30 pm Saturday on Africa Magic (Family), at 5.00 pm Sunday on NTA and at 5.30 pm Friday on Arewa24.

But if you can’t get to these, there’s always  Facebook & Instagram to keep you updated!

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