Because Jollof rice is….


What does Jollof rice mean to you?

A good plate of Jollof rice sends me down memory lane to the road trips through Benin with my family. We always had to stop for a plate of smoked Jollof rice with all the extras. Plantain off course.

For this recipe, I used Jamie Oliver’s version and tailored the recipe to suit my taste. My addition was a little paprika and cayenne pepper. Very little goes a long way.

Caramelised Banana in Peanut Custard Tart

IMG-20160808-WA0016For my take on an African inspired dessert, try this Peanut custard tart made using Uwa Earth peanut butter, a whole foods line out of Nigeria.

Using an organic or unrefined peanut butter, maintains the rich flavour of the peanuts and transforming this into a peanut custard is even more decadent.

It may seem time consuming to prepare,  but it’s well worth it in the end. It’s also an impressive dessert for summer entertaining too.



Prepare the Tart Base

You’ll need: –

250g flour

125g butter

A pinch of salt

Ice cold water

  • Place flour and salt in bowl
  • Mix together sparingly aerating the flour in the process
  • Pinch butter into flour until you have coarse loose crumbs
  • Add some water to bind the dough together. Ensure the dough is not runny
  • Roll out the dough and cut out in a circle
  • Place in an oiled tart tin
  • To prevent dough from rising, place baking sheet on dough and pour pastry beans
  • Bake for 10mins at 180° until it turns golden brown


Prepare Peanut Butter Custard

You’ll need: –

1tbsp Peanut butter 

4 Egg yolks

1/2 cup Caster Sugar

8oz milk


Condensed milk

  • Place peanut butter in a bowl
  • Whisk until it’s light, then add honey and condensed milk
  • Mix until you have a paste, then set aside
  • Place egg yolk in a bowl, pour in sugar, then whisk until it’s light and fluffy (or until the color changes to a lighter shade)
  • Pour milk in a pan and heat up to simmer
  • Pour in the egg yolk, mix and and stir until you have a paste. Do not boil
  • Stir in peanut butter mix and serve


You’ll need: –

Tart base

Peanut butter custard


Brown sugar

  • Pour 1tbsp of peanut butter custard in tart base and spread over the base
  • Slice banana and place over the custard
  • Sprinkle brown sugar over bananas
  • Using a blow torch, caramelise sugar on bananas then serve. In the absence of a blow torch, place in a hot oven to caramelise for a few minutes

Braised short ribs in Plum Sauce

Braising makes everything delicious and comforting. This dish is best enjoyed with family on a Sunday with good conversation and a few drinks won’t be a bad idea too. Such simple pleasures of life! Braised beef paired with a rich plum sauce is one of my favourite meals. I could happily eat the ribs on its own and enjoy it with a nice lemongrass and ginger cocktail. Sadly, I don’t drink wine, otherwise I would have opted for the latter. Braised short ribs in Plum Sauce

Serves 4


  • 2 tbsp olive oil
  • 2kg beef short ribs

  • 2 carrots, peeled, cut into pieces

  • 1 large onion, peeled, thickly sliced

  • 4 garlic cloves, peeled

  • 1cm piece ginger, sliced

  • 1 tbsp rice vinegar

  • 1/2 tsp dried chilli flakes (optional)

  • 3 sprigs fresh lemon thyme

  • 4 tablespoons, store bought plum sauce

  • 250ml red wine

  • 200ml chicken or beef stock

  • salt and freshly ground black pepper


  1. For the ribs, preheat the oven to 170C/325F/Gas 3.
  2. In a pan, brown the ribs on both sides.
  3. Add the carrots, ginger, onion and garlic.
  4. Now add the lemon thyme sprigs, plum sauce, rice vinegar, red wine, dried chilli flakes and stock. Mix well to combine. Bring the mixture to the boil, then transfer to the oven and cook, uncovered, for 2-2½ hours, or until the sauce has thickened and the meat is falling from the bones. Check seasoning and adjust accordingly.
  5. Serve with vegetables and rice or mash.

Stewed Black Eyed Beans with Plantain and Prawns

A rich stew with beans, prawns and plantain is a low fat option for the family to enjoy. This dish is a cross between a North African tagine and a Nigerian stew. To elevate this dish, I added warm comforting spices like cumin, cinnamon and ground ginger. This makes a nice family meal served with crusty bread or simply enjoyed on its own. The lovely people at UWA Earth foods sent me a beautiful red bottle filled with pure unbleached palm oil.

UWA Palm oil


  • 1 tin of black eyed beans in brine
  • 2 tbsp olive oil
  • 1 tbsp garlic, minced
  • 1 tbsp ginger, minced
  • 1 large onion, diced
  • 1 tsp ground ginger
  • 1 tsp ground mixed spice
  • 1 tsp ground yellow mustard seeds
  • 2 small carrots, diced
  • 1 large plantain, cut into chunky pieces
  • 1 celery, diced
  • 1 bell pepper, diced
  • 400g can chopped tomatoes
  • 2 tablespoons, palm oil
  • 200ml vegetable stock
  • ½ scotch bonnet pepper (add as little or as much as you can handle)
  • A squeeze of lemon
  • Handful of parsley leaves, to garnish
  • Toasted bread or rice to serve
  1. Heat the olive oil in a casserole pan. Add the onions and fry for a few minutes. Then add the garlic and ginger.
  2. Now add the powdered spices, stir.
  3. Add the carrots, bell peppers, tomatoes, plantain and celery. Cook for 3 minutes and then add in the black eyed beans, scotch bonnet pepper, 2 tablespoons palm oil and stock.
  4. Bring the stew to a boil, cover and then simmer on a low heat for about an hour or till the liquid has reduced.
  5. Add the prawns at the last 5 minutes of cooking. Cook for about 5 minutes or until the prawns turn pink and are just cooked. Squeeze some lemon juice and garnish with parsley.
  6. Serve hot with a bowl of rice or bread.

Stewed Black Eyed Beans with Plantain and Prawns

Easy Chocolate Chip Cookies

These easy-bake chocolate chip cookies are perfect for a mid-day pick me up, after school treat or a fuss free yet delicious dessert at the weekend. But it’s perfectly acceptable to bake a batch mid-week like I did. Once baked and out of the oven try and resist the temptation of eating while hot. Yes, if you are reading this thinking ‘how does she know not to do that?’ Well, I did and scalded my tongue. But it was so hard to resist. These cookies have a lovely crisp outer layer, soft squidgy interior and little chocolate chips oozing out in the middle. Yum!

Easy Chocolate Chip Cookies

Makes 12 – 15

Here’s what you need

  • 350g unsifted self-raising flour

  • 1 tsp bicarbonate of soda

  • 1 tsp salt

  • 225g butter

  • 175g caster sugar

  • 175g soft brown sugar

  • 1 tsp vanilla extract

  • 2 eggs

  • 350g of any type of chocolate, crumbled


  1. Preheat the oven to 190C/375F/Gas 5.
  2. In a bowl, combine the dry ingredients first- flour, baking soda and salt.
  3. In another bowl, cream the butter, sugar and vanilla extract.  Beat in the eggs and gradually add the flour mixture. Now stir in the chocolate.
  4. On a clean surface, split the dough in half. Roll each piece into a sausage shape. Wrap in cling film, twist both ends and refrigerate until ready to use.
  5. To bake the cookies, simply cut the log into slices about 2cm thick, lay on a baking tray with greaseproof paper. Space evenly and bake for 9-11 minutes.
  6. Serve.

Poached Egg, Salmon and Wilted Spinach


Serves 2


  • 2 (100g) salmon steaks, with skin
  • 1 teaspoon lemon juice
  • 300g bag young spinach leaves
  • Knob of butter
  • Pinch of nutmeg
  • 2 large eggs
  • A tablespoon of chopped spring onions
  • Salt and black pepper

1. Prep your salmon by seasoning both sides with salt and black pepper. In a skillet, using greaseproof paper, place the salmon fillets on top the paper which will make the skin crispy but not stick to the pan.  Cook for 2 – 3 minutes, then turn the salmon over and fry for a further 1 – 2 minutes or until cooked and flaky.
2. In a skillet, melt butter then add spinach and cook for 2 – 3 minutes or until the leaves are wilted and tender. Drain in a sieve before setting aside.
3. Using an egg poacher, fill with water and bring to the boil. Crack the eggs into the poaching egg cups, turn down the heat and cook for 2-3 mins depending on how soft you like your eggs. Use a spoon to remove the eggs from the cups and drain on kitchen paper.
5. Divide the spinach between two serving plates, top with the salmon steaks. Place a poached egg on top of each salmon. Squeeze a little lemon juice over, garnish with spring onions and season to taste.