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Concoction Rice

With a whole bottle of palm oil to use, I clearly need to make more Nigerian recipes, so on Flo's advice, I decided to tackle Concoction Rice, which has lots of traditional ingredients in it.

Of course, having lots of traditional ingredients in it means that it has lots of things in it not easily obtainable in a semi-rural town in western Massachusetts. Fortunately, a nearby city has this shop:

I went there and got several of the ingredients I needed, including a lovely smoked mackerel--a whole fish. They were all stacked up in the fridge (or freezer? Not sure), and I was told to just reach in and pick one out, so I did. A lovely silvery fish, long and slim. I do love mackerel.

I put everything but the head in to cook.

Can you see the jar of ground dawa-dawa? Also known as carob bean, and it has a couple of other names in Flo's recipe. And do you see the bouillon cube wrapper? Bouillon cubes can be manufactured pretty much anywhere, but *these* ones were made in Cameroon.


And here it is, nearly done:


I added a little too much water, but it was still **delicious**. I don't know how well I captured the authentic flavor, and I did have one substitution (I used salt pollock instead of dried cod, because I had bought it before going to the African market), but I'm hoping it was more or less right. Anyway, I loved it and will make it again.

Plus, I'm going to get smoked mackerel way more often now. We usually have tinned mackerel about once a week--it would be *wonderful* to have smoked mackerel instead.


( 31 comments — Leave a comment )
Sep. 14th, 2014 05:17 pm (UTC)
I put everything but the head in to cook.

Yay, fish head!

That looks absolutely delicious.
Sep. 14th, 2014 05:53 pm (UTC)
It was so delicious. Mmmmm. Easy to overeat.
Sep. 14th, 2014 05:26 pm (UTC)
That looks really delicious.

I don't think I've had mackerel. Usually, when I have fish, it's salmon, cod, or haddock.

I had a dream about fish (and a tower). It was a rainbow eel with an anglerfish antenna.

Edited at 2014-09-14 05:27 pm (UTC)
Sep. 14th, 2014 05:52 pm (UTC)
I had a dream about a fish (and a tower)

That is poetic and beautiful.

(BTW I **will** be stopping by your journal; I just have a million things I want/must do)

Mackerel is delicious. I first had it in Japan, grilled.
Sep. 14th, 2014 05:32 pm (UTC)
Mmmm adventures in foreign cuisines. Wish I could get a spoon in that pot from here. It looks delicious.
Sep. 14th, 2014 05:52 pm (UTC)
Wish I could offer you some! Wish I could teleport everyone here for a feast!
(no subject) - wuweibaby - Sep. 15th, 2014 12:13 am (UTC) - Expand
(no subject) - asakiyume - Sep. 15th, 2014 12:33 am (UTC) - Expand
Sep. 14th, 2014 05:35 pm (UTC)
Mmm, smoked mackerel. I didn't know I missed it until now, but now I do know.

So I clicked through to your recipe for concoction rice, and tripped over the first ingredient. "Rice" is not difficult to parse, but a cigar cup? I thought I had grown used to seeing measurements in cups (despite having a serious philosophical dispute with a system where a measure can differ by 25% from one person's reading to another*), but I had never seen "cigar cup". So I asked the internet, which said "52.00356 ml", which is beautifully precise if not exactly helpful. So I thought I'd ask you. What on earth is a cigar cup?

*I speak of course of the notorious "cup of flour", which is ridiculously variable dependent on how you fill it.
Sep. 14th, 2014 05:50 pm (UTC)
In her cookbook, she says it's a measure of rice that's *not* quite equal to a cup, so yeah, hard to say! But that recipe ends up calling for about a pound of rice, which ends up being about 2.5 cups--so that's what I used.
(no subject) - Flo Madubike - Sep. 17th, 2014 03:45 pm (UTC) - Expand
(no subject) - desperance - Sep. 17th, 2014 04:19 pm (UTC) - Expand
(no subject) - Flo Madubike - Sep. 24th, 2014 09:29 pm (UTC) - Expand
Sep. 14th, 2014 05:42 pm (UTC)
Smoked mackerel! Mackerel is so delicious and rich and flavorful.

This looks lovely! And one of these days I want to go shopping with you!

Edited at 2014-09-14 05:42 pm (UTC)
Sep. 14th, 2014 05:51 pm (UTC)
That would be fun! We'll hit up all the specialty food stores :D
Sep. 14th, 2014 06:23 pm (UTC)
Oh wow, that looks delicious.
Sep. 15th, 2014 12:31 am (UTC)
And it *was* delicious--image and reality: synched.
Sep. 14th, 2014 07:42 pm (UTC)
I love mackeral! That looks really, really good.
Sep. 15th, 2014 12:32 am (UTC)
High fives, fellow mackerel fan!
Sep. 14th, 2014 08:16 pm (UTC)
Looks great! I love travelling through recipes, especially when you can work your way gradually through a bunch of new dishes.
Sep. 15th, 2014 12:33 am (UTC)
As I said to the guy at the market, it's cheaper than international travel, and it's a really visceral, wonderful way to experience at least *something* of a different culture.
Sep. 15th, 2014 01:59 am (UTC)
That looks absolutely gorgeous! A wonderfully rich sauce. :)
Sep. 16th, 2014 12:08 am (UTC)
It *was* rich--so many different fish flavors, plus the palm oil, plus the greens. I couldn't taste--or not to recognize that I was tasting it--the ground carob bean (dawa-dawa), but I guess it adds a certain sweetness.
Sep. 15th, 2014 05:38 pm (UTC)
thank you
Sep. 16th, 2014 12:09 am (UTC)
Thank *you* ♥
Sep. 15th, 2014 07:19 pm (UTC)
That looks so incredibly tasty! I hope you didn't throw out the head. Keep all your fish carcasses and heads to make soup! Freeze them until you have enough. :D
Sep. 16th, 2014 12:09 am (UTC)
I didn't think to this time! But next time. That's an excellent idea.
Sep. 16th, 2014 03:37 pm (UTC)
Sep. 17th, 2014 02:42 am (UTC)
Flo Madubike
Sep. 17th, 2014 03:55 pm (UTC)
Francesca, it's official, you are now Nigerian, for you to have gone as far as adding dawadawa, you have done it all! Dawadawa from Cameroon should be similar though what I see in the container is brown. They probably ground the seeds instead of fermenting it. Fermentation turns it black.

That looks yummy! You did the meal justice for your first time. I'm sure the water disappeared when you stirred the rice. Well done dear!

I smoke the mackerel myself. I uploaded a video about how I do that last week. It's super easy and since you are planning on switching tinned mackerel with smoked ones, I think you should make yours and stock up.
Sep. 17th, 2014 10:43 pm (UTC)
Re: Confirmed!
Yay! I'm glad to have achieved Nigerian status! I think I have quite a handful of languages I should learn now, right?

It was actually the Maggi cubes that were from Cameroon (I'm sure they're manufactured in lots of countries, but the ones I bought happened to be from Cameroon)--the ground dawadawa was from Ghana. And you're right: it just said "ground," no mention of fermentation.

And yes, the water did disappear when I stirred, and it was **so** good! Such a treat.

I would try smoking the mackerel myself if only I could get fresh mackerel here! I love mackerel so much--I used to eat it all the time in Japan. Saba shio-yaki, mackerel, salt-grilled. But the supermarkets here don't sell it, except in tins. Whereas, the African market has a whole freezer filled with the beautiful smoked mackerel--so I will probably just take the easy way out. But if I find a place that sells fresh mackerel, I'll try smoking it ^_^
( 31 comments — Leave a comment )

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