Saturday, 19 October 2013

DIY Unripe Plantain Swallow (Plantain Amala) - From scratch under 20 mins



Unripe Plantain Swallow is also known as Plantain Amala or Plantain Fufu. I am accustomed to the old method of buying dried unripe plantains from my local market, grinding them to fine powder and cooking/turning it into a solid paste that looks like this picture below. The drying process of unripe plantains makes it look like (colour wise) the picture below.

Source: Wikipedia

Unripe plantain swallow is my favourite Nigeria swallow but to be frank it has one of the most unattractive food colour ever. 

However, with this method, colour is no longer a turn off. I am very new to this method of making unripe plantain swallow. My dad and mum told me to try it out (They weren't sure it will turn out great) and I gave it a go. 

Tools needed:
- Blender
- Turning Stick
- Knife
- Pot
- Packer/Large Serving Spoon
- 1/4 cup of boiled water


Turner. Packer, Knife and Blender

Ingredients:
- 3 unripe medium size plantains
- 3/4 cup of water


Serves: 2 (two) medium-hungry people
Total Time: 20 mins for fast cooks / 35 mins for beginners

How To Prepare

- Peel plantain bark off


My mum doing the work of peeling the bark off and chopping
- Chop peeled plantain into smaller pieces for easier blending


I put the chopped plantain in water while peeling the rest to allow it retain it's moisture and prevent it from getting discoloured

- Add the 2/3 cup of water and blend the plantain until it becomes a smooth puree


- Pour the plantain  puree into a pot and set on medium heat/fire to boil
Puree-like texture
- When the plantain puree begins to boil, take you turning stick and begin to turn carefully
Note: Take necessary breaks if needed when turning. Puree might appear lumpy when turning but don't worry about it. Continuous turning and mashing will eliminate the lumps eventually.


The lumps I mentioned that will eventually smoothen

- Turn until you achieve the smooth swallow/solid-like texture you desire


Turn till I get a solid paste
- Add 1/4 cup of boiled hot water and cover to steam for about 2-3 minutes
- Turn again 
- Food is ready to be served with soup of choice. 


Unripe Plantain Swallow with Fresh Vegetable Soup 


I prefer this method because
- It is a DIY that doesn't require a lot of processing/time to get your unripe plantain to your end result
- It tastes fresh and good
- It has a nice colour
- It doesn't pass through many unknown handlers, hands and markets

I haven't tried it with ripe plantain yet. This is because I think the sugar content will be high and the starch content will be lower, so it might not hold well but I might be wrong Although anyone can try it and tell me how it turned out.

Saturday, 5 October 2013

Taking a Break from Norms

A new era of my life has just arrived. This era involves me taking a break from my normal thought patterns and ''absorptions''. While I will still remain true to my fundamental beliefs and values, I need to appraise my priorities and needs, and determine new ways that will work out better for me in achieving my life-time purpose on this planet earth. 

Not intending to sound very Mother-Theresa-meets-Margaret-Thatcher-ish, this post is about taking a break from my normal vibrantly colourful nail polishes to a very neutral one. 

So here is my nail polish of the week 





Nail Polish 
L.A. Colors Base Coat 
L.A. Colors Nail lacquer  

Yes!!! This post is a very selfie one. The amazing things about these L.A. Color nail polishes are that they went for 99p (approximately N250) in a beautybase store and they dry super fast. So I got myself about 10 different colours.

Friday, 4 October 2013

The Adult I Wanted To Be

Source

As a child, I always wondered what type of adult I will be. I use to observe every aunt and adult females around me. I look for traits in them that I wanted to possess when I grow up.

I wondered if I was going to be the sister that goes to church with the big box-like net hat; or the aunt that is an embarrassment to the family; or the stylish aunt that has lots of pretty and stylish friends that all went to the best parties in town.

I wondered if I was going to be the man-eater and gold-diggers kind of sister; or the most intelligent that bagged so many degrees, successful achievements and trophies;

I wondered if I was going to be the “indifferent aunt” that felt satisfied with just being a “house-woman”, with no interesting life exposure, no enthusiasm to achieve anything great with her life. 
Just a living plain old boring life is perfect for her.

Even as an adult I don’t know what aunt/sister I turned out to be. However, I wonder what the younger ones see when they look at me.

Tuesday, 1 October 2013

HAPPY INDEPENDENCE DAY NIGERIANS


Freedom hand - Nigeria Flag

53 years of freedom is not beans oh… So we all know we had a tough and a good start to freedom (early 1960s). Then it got a bit tough and doubtful (military era), we miraculously got our footing back on the ground and kept pushing on (the 1980s and after Abacha’s death). We threatened each other to split up (Biafra war and even the recent boko-haram).  We are even sometimes tribalist to one another (inter-tribal marriage). Of course poverty rate, electricity supply, stable transportation system/channel, enforcement/judiciary system etc. is not what we hoped it will be. Many of our people’s minds are still a bit backward thinking. But the long and short of this independence matter is that we are here at 53, no going back to change things. Looking at all that is wrong with Nigeria has not helped the country anyway; I guess we should all take a different approach by looking at what we can put into Nigeria. Complaining about our leaders will not change them but if everyone plays their part first as responsible human beings, then as good citizens, the country will finally get on the pathway of betterment. Arise O’ Compatriot #AriseOcompatriots

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