Nigerian Recipes Purple hibiscus



  • 2 lbs of yams
  • Salt to taste
  • Ground black pepper to taste
  • 1 tsp olive oil

Step 1: Fill a pot with cold water

Step 2: Peel the yams

Be careful, as yams can be slippery.

Step 3: Cut the yams into chunks and place in the water in the pot

Step 4: Bring the water and yams to a boil over high heat. Continue to boil until the yams are soft - about 25 minutes

Step 5: Remove the yams and reserve about a cup of the water - allow the yams to cool

Step 6: Place the cooled yams in a large along with the salt, pepper, and olive oil

Step 7: Mash the ingredients using a potato masher - do not worry if the mixture does not look like dough yet

Step 8: Place the fufu mixture in a food processor or blender - pulse briefly to remove lumps

Tip: Do not puree - use a slow speed/setting

Step 9: Place the yam mixture back in the bowl and beat it with a wooden spoon until it becomes smooth

Note: The mixture should become sticky and slightly elastic - it is okay to use your hands to get to this point

Step 10: Shape the fufu into balls of equal size

Serve with your favorite Caribbean soup or stew and enjoy!

The Final Product


Fufu is a popular dish in western and central African countries and, due to African migration, the Caribbean as well. It consists of starchy foods such as cassava, yams, or plantains - that have been boiled, pounded, and rounded into balls; the pounding process, which typically involves a mortar and pestle, can be laborious. Fufu is often dipped into sauces or eaten with stews of meat, fish, or vegetables. The dish reportedly originated in Ghana, where it is a staple. It is prepared in various ways. In Sierra Leone, for example, fufu is often made with fermented cassava.

Purple Hibiscus Significance

"I molded my fufu into small balls with my fingers, dipped it in the soup, making sure to scoop up fish chunks, and then brought it to my mouth. I was certain the soup was good, but I did not taste it. My tongue felt like paper." (pg. 12)



  • Black eyed peas
  • Peppers
  • Onions
  • Salt & Pepper

Step 1: Soak the beans for about 30 minutes or until the skin is swollen

Step 2: Peel off the beans with your hands or use a blender to pulse a couple of times to split the beans.

Step 3: Blend until a smooth and thick batter is formed - once blended whisk until the batter is airy and fluffy

Step 4: Blend the peppers and onion and stir into the batter - season with salt and pepper

Step 5: Preheat the oil

Step 6: Spoon the batter into the oil

Step 7: Fry until golden brown

The Final Product


Akara, or black-eyed peas fritters, are a very delicious, deep fried bean cake made from black-eyed peas paste. It is a vegetarian-friendly meal eaten in most parts of West Africa and Brazil. It is said to be from the Yoruba tribe of Nigeria but somehow it has found its way to the heart of Africa and even South America. Typically Akara is served with a bowl of pap (akamu- fermented corn pudding) or stuffed in a freshly baked bread loaf.

Purple Hibiscus Significance

"I played football at the stadium and afterwards I took some of the boys to town, for akara and fried yams" he said when Amaka asked what he had done today." (pg. 148)

Jollof Rice


  • 4 cups uncooked long-grain rice
  • 5-6 cups stock
  • 6 medium- sized Roma tomatoes, chopped
  • 6 fresh, red poblano peppers
  • 3 medium-sized onions
  • 1 scotch bonnet peppers
  • 1/3 cup oil
  • 3 tablespoons tomato paste
  • 2 teaspoons curry powder
  • 2 dried bay leaves
  • 2 teaspoons unsalted butter (optional)
  • 1 dash salt, to taste


Step 1: Rinse the rice to get rid of some starch then parboil: Bring the rice to a boil with 2 cups of the stock (or water) then cook on medium heat, covered, about 12 to 15 minutes. Rice will still be hard, a bit "white" (not translucent) and only partly cooked. Remove from the heat and set aside.

Step 2: In a blender, combine tomatoes, red poblano (or bell) peppers, chopped onions, and scotch bonnet; blend till smooth, about a minute or two. You should have roughly 4 cups of blended mix.

Step 3: In a large pan, heat oil and add sliced onion. Season with a pinch of salt, stir-fry for a minute or two, then add the tomato paste, curry powder, dried thyme and bay leaves. Stir for another 2 minutes. Add the blended tomato-pepper-scotch bonnet mixture, stir, and set on medium heat for 10 to 12 minutes so the mix cooks and the raw taste of the tomatoes is gone. You might feel your eyes sting with onions.

Step 4: Add 2 cups of the stock to the cooked tomato sauce, 1 teaspoon of butter, and then add the parboiled rice. Stir, cover with a double piece of foil/ baking or parchment paper and put a lid on the pan. This will seal in the steam and lock in the flavour. Cook on low heat for 15 minutes. Stir again, adjust seasoning to taste, then add the remaining 1 cup of stock. Stir, cover with foil/ baking or parchment paper and let cook for another 15 to 20 minutes, stirring every 10 minutes or so to prevent burning and till the rice is cooked and the grains are separate.

Step 5: Don't be afraid to add some more stock or water—by the half-cup, stirring gently—if you find it a bit hard. When it’s cooked, take off heat and remove the cover of the pot. Put a tea cloth over the top and leave for half an hour or more, till ready to serve.

Step 6: To make Party Rice, you'll need one more step. Now Party Rice is essentially Smoky Jollof Rice, traditionally cooked over an open fire. However, you can achieve the same results on the stove top. Here's how: Once the rice is cooked, turn up the heat with the lid on and leave to "burn" for 3 to 5 minutes. You'll hear the rice crackled and snap and it will smell toasted. Turn off the heat and leave with the lid on to "rest" till ready to serve. The longer the lid stays on, the smokier.

The Final Product


The most adopted theory for the expansion of the dish states that Jollof Rice originated from the Senegambia region of West Africa during the 14th-16th century. Jollof Rice is the premiere dish of west Africa. There are great debates across west African sub-regions as to who holds the crown in preparing the best version of Jollof rice. The biggest rivals being between Ghana, Nigeria, and Senegal all having their own ways of making it.

Purple Hibiscus Significance

"I looked down at the jollof rice, fried plantains, and half of a drumstick on my plate and tried to concentrate." (pg.119) In this part of the book the family was having a nice big meal which is why jollof rice was included.

Created by: Ally Van Eperen & Dilpreet Kaur


Created with images by Frédéricke Boies - "untitled image" • Frédéricke Boies - "untitled image" • Frédéricke Boies - "untitled image" • Frédéricke Boies - "untitled image"