Cooking Tips From a Lazy Nigerian Cook

April 6, 2022

Sometime last week, a conversation came up during a work call about ijabes. If you don’t know what an ijabe is, it’s a short broom traditionally used to blend ewedu after it’s been boiled.

A few of my coworkers couldn’t wrap their heads around using what they consider a broom to cook, but I tried my best to defend my heritage and explain that it’s not a broom. It just makes cooking easier. In fact, this article was supposed to be me proving that the Ijabe is the best tool for making ewedu till it occurred to me that I’ve actually never used it before. 

I’m not very great at cooking. You’ll always find me doing the faster method that provides the best possible results. Feel free to call me lazy. If you do, you won’t be far from the truth. 

When you’re like me, who hates to cook, but loves to eat, you find yourself on multiple Youtube channels and Instagram pages learning tricks and here are some of the cooking tips I learned and prefer. 

1. Food processors are better and faster than the traditional mortar and pestle

My mother didn’t teach me to make pounded yam in a mortar. She even jokes that her mother didn’t teach her either. I don’t know what she means when she says that. I’m sha sure she’s not insinuating I learn it myself. I won’t be caught near a mortar, so I’m obviously team food processor. There are many other things I can use the time for pounding yam to do — like learning about Web3 or scrolling on Twitter. Also, is it the wood from the mortar that makes the pounded yam sweeter? 

RELATED: Pounded Yam and 4 Other Nigerian Foods That Enjoy White Privilege

2. Whatever a grinding stone can do, a blender can do better

If I have a conversation with someone and find out they prefer grinding stones to blenders, I’ll simply stop talking to them before they have time to show me pepper. Anyone who prefers grinding stones to a blender is capable of going to great lengths to hurt your feelings. If they can hurt themselves without care, imagine what they can do to you? There’s nothing that can be ground on a grinding stone that can’t be blended with a blender. Please. 

3. Mixers can be used for making amala

My life changed the day I learned you can make amala in a mixer. (I’m being dramatic, I’m yet to try it). I want to fuck with the idea of making your amala with a mixer, but it’s a no from me. The amala can’t be sweet if some of the sweat of the person making it hasn’t entered into it. There are methods for amala-making and I’m choosing to preserve the tradition. Thanks. 

4. Anything works for moin-moin

When it comes to moin-moin, I believe anything works. I don’t get the argument of moin-moin in leaves being better than the rest. Once it’s done right, it’s done right. 

5. Peeling beans with your hands is unnecessary

If you want to have your hands in water, please, go to the pool. There’s no need to spend so long peeling beans when there’s an easier and faster way to get it done. Trust me, if food processors existed in the past our mums would have used them too to save time. 

ALSO READ: Interview With Raw Beans, Baked Beans, & Ewa Agoyin

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