Tuesday, 31 January 2012

How was your Sunday?

Croydon Fun Weekend or #croydonfunweekend is the brainchild of @kake. It’s an event that lasts for three days and brings together a gathering of friends to appreciate what Croydon has to offer. The inaugural CFW began last weekend and the itinerary was devoted to the pleasure of good food and drink. It was all too tempting to turn down an invite that included the likes of wine, curry houses, dim sum, sushi, pub crawls, cooking and of course great company.

As I couldn’t make it on Friday and Saturday the following reportage is about the final day.

Started the day with a ‘breakfast’ lunch at a greasy spoon.
The sausages were piss poor.

Grocery shopping on London Road followed-

Palm oil
Apparently the Ghanaian variety is the best.

Head and shoulders

Knees and toes

A certain person’s idea of Hell.

Back at Kake’s for the prepping and cooking-

There’s nothing more laborious and tedious than removing the skins from black-eyed beans.
For a kilogram or so of the beans, it took the five ladies approximately 45 minutes to complete the task. So based on the National Minimum Wage, the effort alone was worth £23! I exempted myself from the chore pleading stinky hands due to being a heavy smoker.

Dried zobo leaves and petals (a species of Hibiscus).
The above is the primary ingredient of the popular Nigerian beverage also known as zobo.

What goes in the blend.

The zobo tasted essentially of a non-alcoholic fruit punch.
Refreshing when iced cold and heart-warming when hot.

Kake’s fridge.
It was like an exhibit being showcased at the Tate Modern. The individual labels remind what’s currently in her fridge/freezer and further depicted by the quantity left of each item!
I can see Damien Hirst ripping this off.

Rinsing the meat
I had to include the picture because I’m fully paid member of the Tripe is Beautiful Society.

Akara (black-eyed bean cakes) time-

Blend of peeled black-eyed beans, onion, scotch bonnets, sweet peppers, and seasoning.

Blitzing the mixture

Meanwhile the other dishes are on schedule

Here’s another painstaking task, this is Pern mashing the Iyan or pounded yam.

Deep frying the akara

Et voila, the golden bean cakes.

The Spread

NB notice the bottled drinks on the top left corner, well I can’t put it better than the following- ''If you had to look up what a Supermalt is, you’ve proven my point. One time, I saw a white dude drinking a Supermalt. It was like… like… seeing a unicorn...''

Tomato Stew (comprising of chicken and lamb)
Don’t fall for the plain jane name, this delicious dish is not for the chilli sissies.

The Draw Soup flanked by the bowl of pounded yam and fried plantain.
The soup is made with okra and Ogbono seeds (bush mango) and whilst tasty it was rather challenging to eat, it had the same kind of consistency as a bloodhound’s drool.

Egusi Soup
An amazing tasting protein-rich dish of goat, oxtail and tripe generously thickened with dried melon seeds. The addition of the bitter leaves was IMO, sensational.

Pepper Soup
With oxtail and tripe. This was the standout dish of the evening. It was herby, spicy and meaty. I’ll certainly try and attempt to cook it at home.

The young ladies who led the kitchen
Denise (sous chef) and Rafee (chef executive)

My first foray into Nigerian cuisine and I’m hooked. I’ve also learnt that the Indians and Thais are not the only ones who have a total disregard to the Scoville scale when it comes to spicing their dishes, the West Africans are right up there with them. And not forgetting the use of cheap cuts of meat and justifying it to its full potential, Nigerian cooking is perhaps the original soul food with heat.

Fun can be found in Croydon. Thank you Kake.

Additonal thanks to-

Rafee and Denise- great dinner and I shall retain the seeds in future when cooking with scotch bonnets.

Pern- your work ethic in the kitchen was mightily impressive.

@AlisonW- for suggesting I’m still young at 47 and giving me lift back to the West End.


theundergroundrestaurant said...

What a fascinating day!

Kake said...

Thank you for excellent photos and writeup! And of course thank you for coming along. I'm already looking forward to organising the next one (at which, do note, you may be expeced to cook).

Ally Smith said...

Any chance of posting some of the recipies - looks delicious!

bellaphon said...

MML- Indeed and miles better than the ''£8.50 for a minuscule portion of brillat sav at @ducksoup'' you had today!

Kake- Affirmative and I've decided that I'll be the Gruppenführer of instant noodles.

Dinnerathon- Befriend Kake for further enlightenment.

Kake said...

Dinnerathon: We weren't using recipes, but if you let me know your email address (you can contact me at kake@earth.li) I'll send along the list of what went into what.

I heart cupcakes said...

Looks like you had a great day in Croydon (apart from the sausages) but I'm afraid I fear the tripe also.

I live near a Nigerian restaurant that lots of people rate as being the best in London http://www.805restaurant.com/
My husband's father is Nigerian but we've never eaten Nigerian food - his mother is Swiss and of the boil it for as long as possible type of cooking :(

bellaphon said...

IHC- You crack me up! I love your comments. Yes, I've heard quite a bit about 805 and will give it a go soon.

Anonymous said...

Check this out

John Yap