Saturday…a day to rest, wash, shop, sleep, eat, sleep…read my blog 🙂 .
I bought the cocoyam for this recipe a while ago but didn’t make the recipe because the recipe was still forming in my head, I lost two of the cocoyams in the process. I finally got the right oil mix when I cooked beans last week and decided to go all the way and make it the way I like by frying pepper and onions in palm oil before adding to the boiling beans. Halfway through frying the onions and fresh pepper, I tasted it and had an aha! moment. Tasted really good and local, the only thing that came to mind was sauce for the cocoyam. I have always used pepper and onions to make beans but what did I do differently? I crushed them instead of slicing or blending. Using a handheld grinder, I crushed both the pepper and onions releasing their natural juices…awesome natural flavours.
I knew project cocoyam was finally a go but what do I call it? I know somewhere this dish has some nice local name but I have no idea what it is so..I gave it my own name ojare. Please anyone out there that knows the local name can help us out 🙂 , but today-meet Cocoyam Delish!
Whenever we visit the village, roasted yam and ukpaka is a must eat! Now, after I figured out how I was going to prepare the onions and pepper, I didn’t know where to get Ukpaka from but then ugba is the same thing just cut differently. Ukpaka is cut in fat chunks and is used by Anambra peeps like mua in yam dishes while ugba is cut in thin slices and is used by Imo and Abia peeps in abacha, Ugba sauce with stockfish. For a long time I couldn’t use Ugba except in abacha because I just felt it wasn’t same as ukpaka even though they are made from the same oil bean seeds.
Living in Lagos didn’t leave me with much of a choice, I infact prefer Ugba now because it doesn’t ferment/rot as much as Ukpaka. So, now you know all my creative thought process that went into our dear cocoyam delish. It was a hit with hubby, I hope you enjoy it too! Now let’s go there!
Ingredients : ( serves 2 )
5 large cooking cocoyams (these are edible on their own, is different from the type used in thickening soups)
1 1/2 cooking spoons palm oil
1 medium onion
4 fresh scotch bonnets/atarodo
1/2 cup soft Ugba
1/2 cube of Maggi crayfish
1/4 teaspoon dry Cameroon pepper
1/4 teaspoon salt
Wash cocoyams and peel of excess hairs.
Boil with enough water to cover it.
Wash peppers, peel the onions and crush using the hand grinder, set aside.
Once cocoyam is soft, drain excess water and turn off heat.
Heat palm oil until slightly hot, pour in onions and pepper. Fry for about 2 minutes, add the 1/2 Maggi crayfish cube, Cameroon pepper and salt.
Stir and allow fry for another 2 minutes, turn off heat.
Add the Ugba, stir and serve immediately!
Enjoy the rest of your weekend!
Azu 🙂 .