SCRUMPTIOUS CAMEROONIAN CUISINE WITH BARI ATANGA
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Once upon a Saturday morning the cousin, Bari, came to visit my new place, and no she didn’t come in empty-handed. Like the wonderful gal she is, she brought some christening materials that took me back Cameroon in a hurry. These materials were palatable and happened to be ingredients to one of my favorite Cameroonian delicacies, Eru. I couldn’t help but capture the process in Polaroids. The outcome was ambrosial, just far beyond delicious.
Below is how Bari describes the process of our home-made Eru.
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Ingredients used: Dried (sliced) eru leaves (my Nigerians call it ukazi), fresh or frozen spinach (water leaf can be used as well), assorted meat (tripe and beef), dried or smoked fish (stockfish can be used as well), crayfish, salt, maggi and fresh pepper to taste (yellow Jamaican pepper gives it a good flavor) and palm oil.
And let’s not forget that if you are a bad-ass cook, then feel free to grab your cell phone and indulge in juicy gisting with your girlfriends, it’s quite an enjoyable process, if you can do it with one hand. lol
1) wash and Boil your meat with salt and pepper until it is tender
2) While the meat is boiling, soak up the dry eru in warm or hot water, depending on the texture and freshness of the leaves.
* MEAT IS BOILED TOGETHER WITH THE DRY FISH (if available)
3) When the meat and fish is cooked, add spinach to it and squeeze the eru gently and add both into the hot-pot.
* SPINACH SHOULD ALWAYS BE A LITTLE BIT MORE THAN ERU BECAUSE DRY ERU IS USUALLY VERY HARD
4) Mix and let it cook for about 20 minutes. It should be cooking with the stock from the boiled meat and fish, but if need be, add some water to it.
5) After 20 minutes, the eru will be softer, if not, you can let it cook some more. At this point, add your palm oil to it. Add a little at a time and stir. Then you can add more to your desired consistency. Dont put too much at once because you may just cook oil central
6) Add your njanga, aka crayfish, to it at this point and stir. You an also add a little maggi to it if it is not “sweet” enough lol. Maggi crevette tastes good in eru. Knorr cubes are tasty too. (and nutritional yeast with salt for non-maggi users). No lawry’s or adobo please lol (I don’t like them in eru because they contain garlic and onions which are not used in cooking eru)
7) Mix very well and add a little bit of water and let it cook for another 20-25 minutes. This is to ensure that the eru will be very soft, and the smell of the palm oil wears off (if there was any to begin with)
Serve with cooked garri or water-fufu or pounded yam or nkum-nkum and by all means, H’ENJOYYYYYY !! (Yes! Employ that “H” factor)
wash your hands well before eating oh! Some of you need to be told
9) THE END