As part of our series of online ‘cultural cook-alongs’, Mellissa, one of our members showed us how to make Nigerian fried rice and dodo (fried plantains). Mellissa is from the Urhobo tribe in Nigeria, which she said are less patriarchal than many of the other tribes in Nigeria, with men also doing their share of the cooking! She explained that there are 500 different languages in Nigeria, due there being around 320 tribes. Mellissa’s husband is from one of the largest tribes (Yoruba). Each tribe has its own special dishes and soups. These celebratory rice and plantain dishes however transcend the tribes and are found in most parties across Nigeria. As a mother of 3, Mellissa said this is a great dish when you have a big family to feed and she says that it will save her cooking for a couple of days.
Nigerian fried rice
Soak 2 cups of rice in cold water (approximately 650ml /20 oz) to remove starch
Put 1 stock cube in a cup and add hot water to brim (325 ml/10oz)
Prepare your vegetables –
Dice 2 onions
Dice 2 carrots
1 cup of peas and/or runner peas (for carrots, peas and sweetcorn you can also use the frozen mix – approximately 1 cup)
Dice a handful of mushrooms (you can also use frozen version)
Place all the diced vegetables into a bowl – except onions
Dice 1 scotch bonnet (remove the seeds if you can’t handle the heat!), chop the ginger and garlic.
Wash the rice to remove starch and then boil for 5 minutes, rewash and then boil for 5 more minutes. Once part boiled, sieve water and leave to rest.
Heat the oil in a large wok or large frying pan. Once the oil is hot add the onions, ginger and garlic. Brown these for a while.
Once browned, add the other vegetables. Add above seasonings and mix.
After approximately 5 minutes, start adding rice – keep turning and also add stock. Turn for a short while then cover with foil and lower heat for about 10 minutes
Open and stir – if rice not to a preferred consistency, cover with foil again and leave for further 5-10 minutes.
Leave rice uncovered to cool slightly before serving.
Dodo recipe (fried plantain)
Peel your plantain and slice it into round discs.
Shallow fry and turn regularly for approximately 10 minutes.