One thing about being away from home is that any little thing that reminds you of home is an instant cause for celebration, and any time you get together with your fellow “country men,” food is a big part of that coming together. In fact, there cannot be a coming together without food. Nigerian food. It’s funny because living away from home, I go to American, Chinese, Italian, Mexican, and all other kinds of restaurants to eat, and I enjoy their food.
When I visit an American (or non Nigerian) friend’s home, I’m okay with eating a sandwich. But when I go to Funmie’s or Solachi’s house, they serves me spicy efo riro and pounded yam, and I’m just in heaven. I have gone to several weddings where the couple didn’t serve traditional Nigerian food (fried rice, jolof rice, goat meat, oxtail, etc) and the guests are just beside themselves. They’ll whine and complain and sulk. Can you imagine, they gave us mashed potatoes to eat. They gave us nyama nyama potatoes!
When Western Union picked me to share a food that I miss from Nigeria, I was thrilled! Where I for wan start? One of my very favorite things to eat is fried [russet or sweet] potatoes, plantain, and egg stew. I can never, ever get enough of it. If I don’t eat my egg stew with potatoes and/or plantain, then I’ll eat it with boiled yams – and not the ones that come from cans.
I watched this video by Western Union, and I literally cried. Even when you don’t know someone, the fact that you can connect with them on some level – and in this case, as a fellow immigrant – is just priceless. Watching people talk about the foods they miss from home and them being surprised by Western Union, that was absolutely beautiful. You may not always miss home every second of every day, but there are those moments when it just hits you and you a deep longing for the things and people that once were all that you knew.
The great thing about my egg stew is that it’s easy to make and you can eat it with whatever you like. Igwe, for example, likes eating it with bread. The plantains and potatoes are extremely easy to fry (or boil, if you prefer), too.
What you’ll need:
3. Tomatoes, onions, habanero peppers
4. Habanero peppers
5. Spices (Knorr, Salt, Curry)
How To Make It:
1. Slice your potatoes and yams whichever way you want and fry them.
2. Cut your tomatoes, onions, and habanero peppers whichever way you want, throw them in a fry pan, add about two table spoons of oil and leave to cook. Stir occasionally.
3. Add your spices to your tomatoes, let all the water from the tomatoes cook off.
4. Add the eggs.
5. Eat like a [Nigerian] oga at the top [Boss].
Although food is mainly to fuel our bodies, food can – and most times is – more than just food. It’s a celebration. It’s a blessing. It’s connection to people and things. That’s why even little things like pap (which we might have hated in Nigeria) is a big deal in America. Just the other day, I told Igwe that I’ll be buying Custard from the African Store. Why? Because it reminds me of my days of having custard in Nigeria.
P.S. What I really, really want to eat right now is some suya. Oh, goodness, can’t wait to go to Nigeria.
I was selected for this opportunity as a member of Clever Girls and the content and opinions expressed here are all my own.