The Secret To Great Cooking According To Nigerian Mums

May 24, 2019

We live in a time where a quick Google search will give you access to recipes from world-class chefs. Despite this, on the rare occasion, I find myself cooking, and on the rarer occasion, it’s not Indomie, my first port of call for guidance is my mum. Who’s always laden with (often unsolicited) tips and tricks to make a great meal, gotten from decades and decades of experience. And that’s the same case for many people I know. I asked ten people to tell me what secret tips and tricks their parents had given them for great cooking.

The secret to fire Jollof.

My mum always puts a sheet of foil over the pot when she’s cooking Jollof rice and that’s what makes it so bomb. The Jollof never gets soggy and it has this almost party Jollof taste.

The only way to make Fried rice.

When I left home and didn’t have constant access to my mum’s cooking I realized many people don’t know how to make fried rice. The secret to great fried rice is literally frying the rice after you’ve parboiled it. You can tell when people skip that step or don’t do it properly. The rice gets soggy and the spices don’t enter it well.

Never grate okro.

I used to think my mum just wanted to punish me when she made me cut okro with a knife instead of just grating it. But the difference between the two is quite clear. When you are cooking, the chopped one doesn’t soften as quickly as the grated one. So when it’s done it’s still a little hard, that’s what makes okro really nice.

Use only wooden spoons.

My mum only ever stirs her Jollof with a wooden spoon and everyone tells me that’s is just in my head but I can taste a difference. Or maybe I just think my mum makes the best Jollof in the world, which she does.

A dash of meat stock please.

Anytime my mum wants to blend tomato and pepper for stew or Efo, instead of blending it water she uses meat stock. It might seems like a waste of time since many people still add the meat stock when they are cooking but it’s quite genius.

Sweet potato Ukodo

I’m not sure this is a secret tip, it’s just different. Much to the horror of my mother’s in-laws, she prefers to make her ‘Ukodo’ with sweet potatoes. So she’s not from Delta but my dad is and he’s the one who introduced her to Ukodo. As far as he and his family are concerned it’s not Ukodo. But everyone else who has tried the one she makes prefers it to regular Ukodo.

Perfect Ogi no matter what

Anytime I make lumpy Ogi which is a lot, my mum will have me put it in the blender and blend it just a little bit to get rid of the lumps. Worked like a charm every single time. Well except the time she didn’t supervise me and I turned the Ogi, into an Ogi smoothie.

No more spills

My mum hates cooking even more than me so I have nothing for you there. But my grandma taught me that if you put a wooden spoon across the top of the pot when making stew it’ll never boil over. I’ve actually never tried it but I’ve met a couple of people who swear by it too.

P. S. No fathers could be found during the conduct of this survey.

Toketemu Ohwovoriole

Join The Conversation

Bring a friend.

You'll like this

February 3, 2020

Gather round, there’s enough room in today’s free okada-ban therapy session for everybody. As we all know, the Lagos State government has decided the motto for 2020 is ‘pepper-dem’, but not in the good way. The state has instituted a ban on okadas and keke-napeps from the plying major roads. The ban came into effect […]

October 16, 2019

If you check the dictionary for the meaning of ‘stress‘, you might not see the word Lagos, but anyone who has spent more than an hour inside this particular state, knows that the only description that should be there is ‘Lagos’. Traffic o, expenses o, trailers o, even the sun in Lagos has plans to […]

August 17, 2018

A lot of people think going to a private university in Nigeria is an easier path to higher education, but it’s really not. While the private university struggles might be different from public universities, they are just as annoying. Look at these. When people tell me how ‘lucky’ I am to be going to a […]

May 22, 2019

Not to destination shame you, but how many states in Nigeria have you had the pleasure of visiting since you were thrust into Mama Charlie’s former colonial stomping ground? If somehow you scaled this and have visited at least 8 of Nigeria’s 36 states, then let’s take things up a notch with how many festivals […]


Now on Zikoko

Recommended Quizzes

November 14, 2019

The fourth season of Big Brother Naija came to an end over a month ago, but the conversation surrounding the housemates is far from over. So, in a bid to keep the fire burning, we decided to create a quiz that tells you which famous member of the ‘Pepper Dem’ gang is your soulmate. Take […]

November 19, 2019

Regardless of what society has tried to tell us, enjoying sex is not something to be ashamed of. So, in a bid to celebrate our generation’s sexual agency, we’ve created a quiz that will accurately (again, keep your complaints to yourself) infer how many people you’ve spelt with. Try it out: 11 Quizzes For The […]

October 30, 2019

Kemi Adetiba’s King of Boys movie got a lot of things right, especially casting, so yes, it was a monster hit. Now, we know you may not have put much thought to this, but the personalities of some of the characters closely match yours, and we would like to help you find the perfect match. […]

What are you like in a relationship?
February 7, 2020

Your taste in music can say a lot about you, and this time, it’s going to reveal what you are like in a relationship. So, pick a few of your favourite Nigerian love songs, and we’ll let you know if you’re typically a distant, passionate or unbothered partner. Here you go:

More from General

August 27, 2021

Nigeria’s leading dishwashing liquid, Morning Fresh, has unveiled Tolani Tayo-Osikoya, a successful Chef, Food Blogger and Owner of Diary of a Kitchen Lover, as its new brand ambassador.  Prior to the unveil, Tolani had been sharing the inspiring story of her journey on her social media platforms, reassuring Nigerians that dreams are valid even in […]

August 5, 2021

When it comes to games night ideas you can play with friends, it is best to consider the people you’ll be inviting so you can choose games that each person will enjoy. Not every time truth or dare, or never have I ever. Here are 8 game night ideas you can play with your friends. […]

July 15, 2021

The University authorities released a statement addressing the rise of Covid-19 cases in UNILAG on Tuesday after this tweet was made. Huh ??? Covid outbreak in Unilag  ??? – Jahmal (@JahmalUsen) July 12. 2021 The statement reads, Read more here. School activities were going on as normal, even after several Covid-19 positive students were […]

July 15, 2021

What do you do before you breakup with someone? Well, you should try out any of these seven things. 1) Eat A hungry man is an angry man. So sometimes the reason you want to break up with your partner is because you’ve not had some good food in a while. Before you type that […]


Trending Videos

Zikoko Originals

December 14, 2020
What happens when a group of chatty young Nigerians talk about things they're passionate about? You get Nigerians talk. A show that discusses very familiar struggles for the average Nigerian. From relationship deal breakers to sex education with Nigerian parents to leaving Nigeria, be prepared for a ride.
November 2, 2020
'The Couch' is a Zikoko series featuring real life stories from anonymous people.
October 26, 2020
A collection of videos documenting some of the events of the EndSARS protests.
June 22, 2020
'The Couch' is a Zikoko series featuring real life stories from anonymous people.
June 22, 2020
Hacked is an interesting new series by Zikoko made up of fictional but hilarious chat conversations.
June 4, 2020
What happens when a group of chatty young Nigerians talk about things they're passionate about? You get Nigerians talk. A show that discusses very familiar struggles for the average Nigerian. From relationship deal breakers to sex education with Nigerian parents to leaving Nigeria, be prepared for a ride.
June 2, 2020
Quickie is a video series where everyone featured gets only one minute to rant, review or do absolutely anything.
May 14, 2020
Isolation Diary is a Zikoko series that showcases what isolation is like for one young Nigerian working from home due to the Coronavirus pandemic.
March 12, 2020
Life is already hard. Deciding where to eat and get the best lifestyle experiences, isn't something you should stress about. Let VRSUS do that for you.

Z! Stacks

Here's a rabbit hole of stories to lose yourself in:

Zikoko amplifies African youth culture by curating and creating smart and joyful content for young Africans and the world.