What makes a Food Porridge?

porridge:
por|ridge pronunciation: /ˈpɒrɪdʒ

noun
[mass noun]chiefly British A dish consisting of oatmeal or another meal or cereal boiled in water or milk.

 Why am I writing a post on porridge? Don’t ask me because I don’t know. Where did I get the super incredible idea for this post? I know the answer to this one. Well, here is what happened…
I was late for work that morning so I packed something which I would eat when I got to the office. When I got to the office, I started munching away as soon as I could. The earlier I eat it, the lesser the risk of my colleagues seeing me and asking to share. Yes I think like a child when it comes to food. Don’t blame me, blame my tongue, throat and that guy called stomach.
While I was eating this plate of sweet something, my boss walked in. He looked at me and smiled. Half way into his office he asks me, “are you eating kekefa?” I’m like, “sorry?” He rephrases and says, “are you eating porridge plantain?” I was like, “yes o!” He was like “can you cook?” I was like, “I can cook food that you’ll eat to survive, you know nothing too special.” You all know how office small talk is.
That was when it hit me, why did he call “kekefa” porridge plantian? Okay, yes I didn’t know that “kekefa” was the name Bayelsans call this kind of food but this was not in anyway a porridge [check definition above]. I remembered an episode of Barney and Friends where they re-enacted the story of the 3 bears and that little white girl who missed her way. You know the story right? Well, what they called porridge was oats, ugly looking white coloured oats.
So what makes a Nigerian dish Porridge?
For those of  you who don’t know. We have a few types of porridge that I can remember:
 * Plantain Porridge
* Yam Porridge
 * Beans Porridge
 * Cocoyam Porridge
If you have invented a new one, do let me know.
porridge plantain, yam and beans

I took the time to create a table of the similar ingredients used in making Nigerian porridges. Yes I am bored at work. Yes I TOOK TIME to create this horrible table.  All I’m saying is that these foods have almost the same type of ingredients. But it still doesn’t answer the question of why we call them porridge. Honestly I don’t know why, maybe its because we mash them up after they are done. Maybe it is just British influence and the need to have an English name for everything. I don’t know. What do you think?

Should we just say it is Nigerian English?

 p.s: I had to use the oxford online dictionary version because I wasn’t trained to use that woman’s dictionary. You know, that Marriam lady. Why should I use hers when I was punished in secondary school any day I forgot to carry my super heavy OXFORD ADVANCED LEARNERS DICTIONARY to school? Thank you British people.

WAR – War Against Rats

I remember in the days of old, when my chest was still flat and I didn’t know how babies were made. Yes, those are the days I speak of. That was when I had my first experience of WAR.

I remember it so vividly because it is never easy to forget the first time a person experiences something as ravaging as a WAR.

I was in the kitchen, doing my duty – washing dishes with all honour and glandeur. Not knowing I would be called up to battle at any moment.

I heard screams,

“Where e dey?”

“Daddy, e dey under the chair.”

“No allow am run o, check that side! Check that side!” Those were the orders given to my brother by my father.

“Daddy, see am! See am eh! E don enter the kitchen!” Screamed brother.

After I heard brother say “kitchen”, I became alert. This was my territory. The ball was in my court. I had to prove my honour. I had to do something. I picked up a broom and took the posture of a woman ready for battle.

Father entered the kitchen and gave the following speech –

“Daughter, guard the main door. Son, guard the door to the store room and I shall guard the door to the backyard.

Remember, today is the day you prove how authentic of a Nigerian you are. You cannot be a good wife or husband if you don’t know how to kill a rat.”

And then he gave the final command, “Do not let the rat out of your sight.”

Now, the rat was under the freezer which was close to the main door which is the door I happened to be guarding. How convenient.

The rat hunt began. All three of us, sticking our brooms underneath the freezer, in every which way. Just to make this rat come out.

It was not an easy battle for me. If a man tells people he killed a rat, everybody would believe him. Whether it was true or not. If I told people I killed a rat, my statement would be followed by a series of “hahas”. I had to prove myself in front of these men so as to have allies. I had to prove that whatever a man could do, a woman could do it better.

As you can imagine, I had never been so alert in my life. Adrenaline pumping, soapy greasy hands holding my broom and then the rat came out.

The grayish black, 3kg weighing rat came out and I ran.

This was not your average white people mouse or mice. I repeat, it was not a white cute mouse with a pink pretty round nose and tail.

It was a rat. A black people’s rat. The kind of which you hear tales about. Tales of rats who conquered cats in their kingdoms. These are the kind of rats that made cat owners throw their cats away. It was this kind.

There was no where to run to. But boy did I run. I ran away from the freezer to my assigned post. But something weird was happening.

As I ran, it seemed as if the voices of father and brother kept following me. It was strange. If the rat was out, father and brother were supposed to chase after the rat and not me. Except, the rat was behind me and chasing me. Which would make father and brother come after it and that would make it seem like they were coming after me. Right?

Right. After I got to my post, I turned around and saw my soon to be allies running towards me. They kept hitting their brooms on the floor with strength and aim but it seemed like the more they hit the ground, the closer they got to me. What it seemed, was what it was.

I was starting to panic and then a command came from father, “daughter! Hit it! Hit it!” I lifted up my broom and it was the worst mistake of my life. Because just as I was about to do that, the enemy ran up my feet, went past my stomach and headed straight for my chest.

I’m Nigerian, if not, I would have fainted.

I threw the broom away. Struggled with the 3kg weighing enemy who was now tangled in my shirt buttons and I just decided to die.

I didn’t die.

There was no where to run to. Every door was shut. I know it was shut because while I was trying to de tangle myself from the enemy, I stepped back and tried to push the main door open. Now that I remember it, I should have just pulled the door. By this time, I was half naked and technically crazy.

Children, when I tell you that battles won in the kitchen are great battles, believe me.

I have told you stories of battles of how mother caught me stealing meat from the pot because it was too hot and not easy to chew. I blame sister for bringing it down from the stove too soon.

I have also told you the story of how mother caught me, again, stealing peak milk because she asked me to spell ‘crook’. But nothing compares to the War Against Rats.

Cashewy Experience

Pardon me if the title of this post sounds weird or just plain stupid but I had absolutely no idea of what it should be called.

Well, I’m gonna start by saying every body loves cheap things. My father is not the president of an African nation, so whenever I get a good deal I just dive in.

How much is it?

Rs20

I’ll give you Rs10

Ok, koi batne, no problem yaar, you are my customer

Achaa, dhanivaad(thank you).

That’s just how I roll. I’m from Nigeria, the art of haggling is passed down from mother to daughter, so I haggle over anything before I buy it, if not for the price stamps on provisions in the supermarket, I know I would’ve haggled over the price of that packet of tide detergent.

Now, back to the main point, I saw this pack of “cashew nuts” at a friends place…

Pack of Cashew nuts

Pack of Cashew nuts, supposedly

Now, without thinking twice I screamed, “cashew nuts!”. I got really excited, it looked like a big pack, with lots of cashews in it, so I asked my friend if I could have some. He said I could have all of it if I wanted to, that he didn’t like the way it tasted. I asked him if it was the masala, he said it wasn’t the masala, it was just something else. I told him I didn’t care and I wanted it. So he gave me the full pack on one condition, I could only open it when I get home. I didn’t care, I would have a full pack(400grams) of cashew nuts all to my self. Yes, I can get a little bit selfish with yummy goodies.

I got home, opened the pack with all excitement and this was what I saw…

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baked masala biscuits shaped in the form of cashews

I didn’t get angry at the fact that it was biscuits(I mean, it did taste nice), I was angry because it didn’t look anything like this….

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When the anger subsided, it was then I decided to read the pack in which the cashews came in. First, I read this…

D5100 059

And then I went on to read this…

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cheap cashew nuts are never a good bargain

Alas! It was the price that attracted my Nigerian friend. Usually, a 100grams of cashew nuts is like Rs120 or thereabout, I’m not sure right now, but this was Rs50 for 400grams, it was a price he could not believe or resist. Sorry for the picture quality.

I still didn’t find anything to say it wasn’t real nuts until I read this again…

D5100 059 - Copy

“Biscuits” is written in a very very tiny font, while cashew, for cheap people like me is written in the boldest font ever(hyperbole)

So, from now on, I’m not going to buy cheap cashew nuts in India, except I can see that its real or I’m told its cultivated in a farmland close by.

 

 

 

HAPPY INDEPENDENCE; NIGERIA @ 52

Today, is the only today in an entire year where I can say, “The only thing we have achieved as a Nation is FREEDOM from British administration(the reason why I spell honor as honour). Nothing else. Zero. Naught. Nada.”

There is poverty, there are bad roads, no infrastructure, internet service is expensive and slow, there are so many problems.

My dear government is this what you envisioned for your people? The rich get richer and the poor, poorer? A nation where getting a VISA to another country is a prayer point in church that we have to fast and pray for? I urge you to take a step towards change. Let the youths, the leaders of tomorrow, be the change we seek. Please, your people are suffering.

So yeah, we do have some good things which I would love to share about my country.

We have beautiful women, e.g, moi

bride dancing

A woman of the Edo tribe beautifully dressed in traditional jewelry

Idanre Hills. Yes, we have something like this.

We have beaches and not all children are suffering from kwashiorkor.

kainji dam, don’t know why I put it here but it was always an important part of social studies in Primary school.

Yes, we have carnivals.

This is the Abuja Carnival


City of Kano

Most popular street food is suya. Its beef roasted and seasoned with Nigerian spices.

Suya or Barbequed beef.

made with melon seeds and vegetables, its called Egusi soup. Delicious!

Egusi soup

Nigerians are mostly non-vegetarians.

Being Nigerian is not an easy task. There is a stereotype people create in their head when you say “I’m Nigerian”. Nevertheless, I’m Proudly Nigerian, and believe me the good ones are still out there.

God Bless our great Nation.

 

pictures are not mine.

PICTURE OF THE DAY.

PIZZA

Living in India as a Nigerian non- vegetarian is one of the hardest things to experience in life. I mean  like, you eat but you never feel full, why? there was no meat in your food.This is hard.

Today’s picture is a vegetarian pan pizza. I have no idea of what they put in it, all I know is, it tasted like pizza without a chewy lump of meat. I kept longing for the chewy lump of meat *sigh*.

After being here for 3 years, I think I can pass as a vegetarian if I meet a guy I really like *smile* and he happens to be veg. Another reason I’m going the veg way is because its easier to get a hold of. I don’t know about miles or kilometres, but, to get a veg pizza will cost Rs50 whereas to get a non-veg pizza would cost Rs100, this is just for transportation costs.

Enjoy your Wednesday; I heard its the most productive day of the week.