Ewa Agoyin

Ewa Agoyin really deserves the hype that it receives. Popularly sold by hawkers in Nigeria in black pots carried on their heads. They serve the beans in aluminium bowls; press the middle of the beans so that they can put the agoyin stew in the middle.

We managed to take pictures before this food went down in DVeesville, quite a feat if we are honest…. we really love food; like that wasn’t obvious already, however this means that most times we are more interested in cooking, plating and eating. Pictures??

Aint nobody got time for that

lol!!!!

But it is a new year… so here is to more food pictures and more posting. Thank you for reading our blog. We love and appreciate you all. Happy New Year.Xx

Ewa Agoyin

Dvees Recipe

Beans Ingredients

  • 4 cups of honey brown beans
  • 4 cups of water
  • 1 tsp of salt

Agonyin stew ingredients

  • 15 Red Whole chilli
  • 3 red mini sweet Pepper (can substitute with 1 red bell pepper)
  • 4 white medium onions (roughly chopped)
  • 2 white medium onions (sliced)
  • 1 cup of Palm oil
  • 1 Tsp of crayfish
  • 4 seasoning cubes
  • salt to taste

Method – Beans

  1. Put beans and water in a saucepan and cook on medium heat for about 3 hours; add water intermittently so it doesn’t dry out
  2. You want to cook the beans until very soft
  3. Use a potato masher to mash the beans to make it smoother.
  4. Set beans aside.

Method – Agonyin Stew

  1. Blend the red chilies, sweet peppers and roughly chopped onions with a cup of water
  2. Heat the palm oil in a saucepan, add sliced onions and fry until almost burnt, do not burn.
  3. Add blended peppers and fry for 1 hour; stirring with a wooden spoon frequently. (if you go and watch ‘Game of Thrones’ while cooking, your stew will burn).
  4. Season with blended crayfish and seasoning cubes
  5. Continue to cook and stir for 15 minutes extra. (Colour of stew should have turned deep dark red)
  6. Taste for seasoning; add salt to taste
  7. Serve with on beans

Tip

  1. You may need to add more palm oil (circa 2 tablespoons) when frying the stew (this is one oil laden pepper sauce but it is worth it, you can add rapeseed oil like I did instead, I told myself it was healthier plus I had run out of palm oil).
  2. You can cook beans in a slower cooker overnight or better still use a pressure cooker if you have one (saves time)

 

 

DVees take on Jamie Oliver’s Jollof Rice recipe

We are taking a different approach to the #jollofgate scandal….. by trying Jamie’s recipe step by step.

 Jollof Rice - Jaime Oliver Recipe

To be honest we can’t believe the uproar over the Jollof Rice recipe– it is clear that it is Jamie Oliver’s twist on West African Jollof Rice, he didn’t call it authentic jollof rice… don’t even think anyone really has the authentic Jollof rice recipe as with all recipes it has evolved and has passed down from generation to generation. Traditional Jollof uses palm oil and crayfish, the Senegalese add all sorts of meats and vegetables. Long grain rice is typically used but nowadays people use basmati for their jollof. At Dvees sometimes we cook ‘typical’ jollof which is long grain rice cooked in a tomato pepper base, sometimes we add coconut cream or add chargrilled roasted vegetables, with garlic prawns and smoked chicken.

We love contemporary Nigerian cuisine; our signature is ethnic cuisine with a twist. For example, our afrotea is the classic English afternoon tea with a West African twist, perhaps we should expect a backlash and lots of abominable comments from the English for daring to go there.

Jollof Rice - Jamie Oliver

West African food is the least experienced in the world so if Jamie Oliver decides to put a twist on Jollof rice and publish his recipe…we are still perplexed as to why this is sacrilege but first let’s critically assess Jamie’s Jollof Rice recipe:

 Imposter ingredients:

  1. 1 tsp ground coriander – [DVees: acceptable as just used to season the chicken]
  2. 1 tsp ground white pepper – [DVees: acceptable as just used to season chicken]
  3. 600g cherry tomatoes, on the vine – [DVees: not typical but used to garnish rice]
  4. A bunch of flat leaf parsley, leaves chopped, stalks finely chopped – [DVees: not typical. Parsley is a herb that is widely used as a garnish or used to flavor stews, vegetable, chicken, fish and meats dishes in Mediterranean and Middle eastern cuisine]
  5. 1 lemon, cut into wedges, to serve – [DVees: not typical at all. “Lemon wedges on the side for squeezing over”, for garnishing maybe, not sure we would be squeezing lemon juice over our beloved Jollof, possibly on the chicken :)]

 Ingredients proportion:

  1. Garlic – we would typically use 1 clove or no garlic at all compared to the 6 cloves that is used in Jamie’s recipe.
  2. Onions – we would typically probably use 2 onions compared to the 4 onions that is used in Jamie’s recipe.
  3. Peppers – we would use double the amount of scotch bonnet peppers that Jamie uses and add a red bell pepper (tatashe).

 Cooking process:

  • A key deviation is that he does not blend the vine-ripe tomatoes with the scotch bonnet chilli and onions which means that the rice is not cooked in a tomato pepper base and resembles Spanish tomato rice instead.
  • Also Jollof rice is typically seasoned with salt, bay leaves, thyme and curry. And lots of stock cubes, we personally think West Africans need to wean themselves off stock cubes loaded with MSG however this is a story for another day.

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Taste: The rice has a wonderful rich flavor. This is amazing considering that salt, ‘maggi’ or ‘Knorr’ stock cubes are not used to season the rice. The beautiful aroma and flavor are as a result of the lashings of garlic, onions, parsley stalks sautéed before the tomatoes and rice are added to be cooked in the saucepan. Cooking juices from the chicken and parsley leaves also add deep flavor.

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Verdict: In essence there are two ingredients that are real imposters: parsley and lemon. The proportions of tomato, onions and garlic are atypical and the rice is not cooked in a tomato pepper base however it is an excellent twist to Jollof rice. It does not taste like typical Jollof, but it is what it is, a twist to West African jollof: a delightful version that tastes like fresh Garlic & Herb Tomato Rice & Chicken. West African food is rich, captivating, bursting with spice and flavor and alien to the rest of the world, Jamie’s recipe has triggered conversation…. so lets live and let live.

Our love affair with food has always been partial to contemporary Nigerian food hence our tag line ‘Shakara Cuisine’, which is probably why we are camp #indefenceofjamieoliver.

 *Shakara Cuisine [sha-ka-ra] 

  1. Elaborate and skilfully prepared ethnic cuisine with a modern twist.

We look forward to more food conversations with other Africans and the rest of the world.

DVees

Dvees Jollof Rice

We have been urged to post our jollof rice recipe…. to be honest this should have been posted ages ago but we have so many variants on Jollof rice and…….. no excuse is good enough though. Everyone cooks their jollof rice differently; the taste of jollof even varies with the mood of the cook…. Promise you this is no myth.

However the foundations of good Jollof are the same and as we have said before, the secret to making amazing Jollof rice is love, sounds corny but Keith Floyd must have had Jollof on his mind when he said “Cooking is an art and patience a virtue. Careful shopping …. and an unhurried approach are nearly all you need. There is one more thing – love. Love for food and love for those you invite to your table. With a combination of these things you can be an artist“.

DVees Jollof rice recipe (Serves 8)

Dvees Jollof Rice & Stir Fried Beef with peppers
Dvees Jollof Rice & Stir Fried Beef with peppers

Ingredients

  • 1 Kg of easy cook long grain rice (washed under running cold water in a colander to remove starch)
  • Chopped Tomatoes – 400g x 2
  • 2 tablespoons of tomato puree
  • 1 ½ onions (Roughly chopped)
  • ½ onions (Sliced)
  • 2 Scotch bonnet peppers
  • 1 red bell pepper
  • ½ cup of sunflower oil
  • Salt to taste
  • 1 teaspoon of curry
  • 1 teaspoon of thyme
  • 1 bay leaf
  • 4 Maggi cubes
  • A knob or two of butter (depends on your diet restrictions :))

Method

  1. Blend the onions, peppers and tomato and set aside
  2. Heat the oil in a saucepan and sauté the chopped onions on low heat for 5 minutes then stir in the tomato puree. Stir onions and tomato puree until the oil has changed to a light red colour circa 5 minutes.
  3. Add blended tomato mix to the saucepan, add bay leaf and cook for 25 minutes on medium low heat or until the oil rises to the top.
  4. Season the stew with curry, thyme, Maggi cubes (3) and salt, cook for 5 minutes.
  5. Add washed rice.
  6. Cover the saucepan with foil paper and then cover with the saucepan lid; this is to ensure that steam does not escape.
  7. Cook on low heat for 30mins or until rice is al dente.
  8. Add 1 cube of Maggi, knob of butter, cover pot and cook for an additional 5 minutes. (If you want the smoky party jollof taste, increase heat and let the rice burn).
  9. Serve with fried plantains, moin-moin, stewed meat and a cold can of Maltina 🙂

Tips

  1. Use aluminum pot if you want the smoky party rice flavour
  2. Sainsbury’s and Waitrose easy cook long grain rice do not cook well in Jollof.
  3. Tolly Boy easy cook long grain rice is great.
  4. Tesco’s easy cook basmati is great if you want to use Basmati rice
  5. Use salted butter – The Agoyin women that cooked massive pots of Jollof with firewood in our backyard always used Blueband margarine. Salted butter does the trick too.
  6. When we want to do ‘shakara’, we add chargrilled roasted vegetables, with garlic butter prawns and smoked chicken at the end which adds an oomph while retaining the essence of jollof.
Jollof Rice and Jerk Chicken
DVees Coconut Scented Jollof Rice with Jerk Chicken, eggs & Broccoli Stems

 

The reason for our absence – A DVees Wedding

Apologies for the sporadic posts, we were busy planning a wedding! We can finally breathe now that it is over and are fully recovered. V3 got married yay! As much as we are very similar, we are all so very unique and so was the wedding. The day was very V3 and H3 and had their names written all over it (literally lol). The atmosphere, ambience, emotions, geekiness and cuteness! We all had to work very hard to plan, strategise and style the wedding.

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Once we had all the fundamentals on lock down, we started planning the details. We must say that H3 was the perfect groom. He was so helpful and very involved which made it so much easier for all of us especially as he is the talented one when it comes to graphics, designs etc.

We must say V3 was the calmest bride we have ever seen. She was lovely, stress-free and very much organised. V2 was the bridezilla (hahaha). V3 was actually calming everyone down a day before the traditional wedding, V2 was having a bridezilla moment and V3 sorted things out – at a point, V4 got confused who the bride was (haha). V1 and V2 were panicking about not having dresses close to the wedding and V3 found all our dresses and made sure we were sorted. The only issue we had with her was finding a wedding dress, OMD! She was soooo particular. She must have tried at least 35 dresses. We got so tired, she eventually bought 2 dresses sigh. Mummy DVees saved us, she saw both dresses and in her eyes there was a clear winner #phew. Anyway, that’s another story. lol

Logo and Branding: Understanding the power of branding and being the most geeky pair ever, V3 and H3 wanted a wedding logo; one that portrayed them. After giving Design by Nuff their specs, he came up with the fantastic logo below which we all loved!

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Wedding Invites: These were designed and printed solely by H3 (3Alpha Studios). He designed these along with the advice cards (below), programme and recipe book (shown later)

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Prewedding Pictures: They both went to Imperial College and are annoyingly in love with their university. They also started dating during their first year at Imperial so they decided to take it back to where it began. They had Imperial college varsity jackets (such geeks! actually we lie, they were quite cool but we hate to admit it to them haha). They did the photoshoot at Imperial College in South Kensignton. We made blown up pictures from it and placed them around the wedding reception room. Photoshoot by Adebayo Deru

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Church venue: St Marys Paddington Green – They wanted a church that would let their pastor and church conduct the ceremony. They met with a few churches but found the Vicar at St Marys to be a gift from God. He was nice, lovely and simply perfect.

Reception venue: The Landmark London – only V3 could have got away with having English food at her wedding but it worked! V3 and H3 insisted they were bored with the typical Nigerian food and wanted something different – fusion if possible. They also wanted an experience for their guests that included a sit down service with guests served and waited on. We all went for a few tasting sessions and we eventually gave the chef a DVees chicken recipe which worked perfectly for guests. The food (from canapés to starters to main) was nicely spiced and very filling. (Kudos to the Landmark chef)

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Cake by DVees: V3 always said she wanted a DVees cake and was going to make her own wedding cake – we always thought she was joking especially as we did not think she would have the time to make a wedding cake in the midst of everything else and neither of us would have been able to help as we normally bake together. When the time came, she started buying equipment and ingredient we thought she was crazy. She insisted on making her own cake and so we let her! She did it all by herself, from start to finish. We had a lot of mixed feelings initially. We knew she could do it if she had time, had one of us working with her and it was not her own wedding BUT she had NO time, was crazily busy, the rest of us were busy and it WAS HER OWN WEDDING. Anyway, she surprised us all when we saw the finished product we were so proud of her. Considering all else, she did a fantastic job. We cannot imagine what she would have done if she had all the time in the world. We present you a DVees Wedding Cake.

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Favours: weirdly enough, we battled with this a bit. We were thinking of the best and most feasible way to have a touch of DVees. We had given DVees cake mix (picture below) at the bridal shower and didn’t want to repeat the same thing.

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We opted for chapman and JarCakes, we kept thinking of more. V2 came up with the fantastic idea of creating a recipe book with V3 and H3’s favourite recipes – H3 (3Alpha Studios) designed these. The gift bags were topped up with VK mugs and towels. To complete the favours, we got VK branded bags to go with them. We later realised we didn’t have enough time to make the JarCakes as well as organise the wedding, Daddy DVees came up with the fantastic idea of Suya in a Jar (JarSuya?) to be given just after service as people leave the church. Daddy DVees is our inspiration; he knows his food.

So we ended up with
1) DVees Chapman
2) V3 and H3 favourite recipe book (designed by H3 – 3Alpha Studios and  recipes by DVees)
3) VK mugs (by Mastroe manufacturing)
4) Face towels
5) DVees Suya jars

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Wedding Programme and wrist bands: V3 and H3 didn’t want regular programmes. We thought it would add a nice personal touch to the day but were sceptical of how it would turn out. However when we saw the first draft designed by H3 of course (3 Alpha Studios), we got pretty excited. The programmes were accompanied by VK wristbands!!! They also had a customised guestbook, glow sticks for the evening dancing and a few other things.

 

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Wedding App (Wedding Party App): Being the geeky pair they are, they initially wanted to develop a wedding app but decided against it. Fortunately, they found the ‘Wedding Party App’ which was perfect. We instantly loved it – DVees Approved :). All you do is download the app from Google play store or apple store, register and join the wedding by entering the wedding name. Wedding name: veekay2014

The idea is you take all phone pictures via the app. This uploads onto the app in a timeline format for all guests to see and allows the couple to have a view of their wedding from the guest’s perspective. It’s quite easy to use and we highly recommend it – for all you instagrammers out there, it is pretty much the same concept.

Online link to wedding app: https://www.weddingpartyapp.com/e/eu9SEUF

 

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Official Video and Pictures:
 For a snapshot of the wedding, see the wedding trailer and a few of the pictures below.

 

For some the pictures, click here -> Wedding Pictures

 

Wedding trailer:



SPECIAL THANKS to the Chief Bridesmaid and Best (Wo)man; V4. She played her roles excellently. hehe.

 

And of course, we could not have done it all by ourselves. We would like to say a special thank you to our lovely vendors!

Vendors:

  • Wedding Car – Infiniti Concierge  – 020 8593 4460
  • Wedding Day Coordination – Toyin Kayode – toyin.kayode@infiniticoncierge.co.uk |  Assistant – Tola Adeyefa
  • Photography – Adebayo Deru
  • Videography – Special Functions
  • Wedding IV, Programme & Recipe Book – 3Alpha Studios
  • Wedding Cake – DVees
  • Favours (Bags, Chapman, Suya, Recipe Book) – DVees
  • Evening dress – Tai Beni – tai.beni.ng@gmail.com – +2348122218945
  • Bride’s Make up – Alison Cameron
  • Bridesmaids Make up – Tosin MAK for Pretty Woman Makeup
  • Hair – Hair by Abike
  • DJ – DJ MRi
  • Centre pieces and Lighting – Picture Perfect Events
  • Venue – The Landmark London
  • Photobooth – Picture Blast
  • Bouquet – Raremee

10 essential ‘Nigerian’ dishes to know- part 2

Continuing with our list of essential Nigerian dishes to know, this list favours no tribe and is based on our assessment of dishes we believe are the most popular and essential. Also the Nigerian culture is thankfully becoming a melting pot of various tribes which is flowing through to the way we cook, eat and marry.

4. Efo Riro – we didn’t grow up eating this rich Yoruba vegetable stew made with green vegetables, peppers and assorted parts of meat, dried fish, fried snails, etc. Had it first in boarding school; Vivian Fowler; our ‘posh’ school that served us ‘local’ dishes like beans & efo riro all week and then served ‘posh nosh’ like scrambled eggs, grilled chicken and fried rice on visiting Sundays when our parents were due to visit… good times 

Anyhow Efo Riro is one of our favourite soups now, in close contention with owo-ofigbo (Urhobo oil Soup) and Okra soup.

We struggled to find a good recipe until we tried 9jafoodie’s… The recipe is so easy to follow and produces great results all the time. http://www.9jafoodie.com/2012/10/yoruba-style-efo-riro/

9jafoodie Efo Riro

Picture courtesy: 9jafoodie

Best served with swallow*, delish with rice & fried plantain too

*Swallows used to describe staple Nigerian food made from starchy vegetables like cassava, yams or plantains and hot water by pounding or stirring into a dough-like consistency usually eaten with soups

5. Yam pottage – We love this deceptively humble one pot dish. It’s a creamy like casserole made with yams, peppers and optional meats of your choice. DVees have a great recipe: https://dvees.wordpress.com/2014/06/06/how-to-make-yam-pottage-aka-asaro/

Yam Pottage (Rich, slow-cooked one pot dish of yams cooked in a palm oil pepper sauce)
Yam Pottage (Rich, slow-cooked one pot dish of yams cooked in a palm oil pepper sauce)

Picture coutsey: Dvees

Tip: peel your yams in advance and freeze to save you the hassle of peeling yams every time you need them.

6. Buka Stew – when we think of buka stew, we think of visits to mummy’s school; D-Vees Daycare Centre, yup she is the person responsible for creating the ‘DVees’ literally. Visits to her school meant ‘Bankolemo’ Rice and Stew or before then when she worked in NICON in Marina, Lagos – a messenger was always sent to ‘Ghana High’ to purchase steaming bowls of plantain, rice and stew.

Going on the back of our success with 9jafoodies’s efo riro, we recommend their buka stew recipe which is easy to read and follow. http://www.9jafoodie.com/2011/03/stew-obe-ata/

Buka (Nigerian) n : local canteen. Bankolemo and Ghana High are well known bukas in Lagos.

 

9jafoodie Buka Stew
9jafoodie Buka Stew

Picture Courtesy: 9jafoodie

Also if you google Buka stew and one of the first links that comes up is Dooney’s kitchen. We haven’t tried the recipe but from the comments on her post it sounds like a good recipe.

7. Beans is very popular food for the ‘common man’: cheap and practical. Today it does not matter what your station in life is: Nigerians love their Beans. Serving suggestion: serve beans with rice or with warm soft bread i.e. challah bread or agege bread (sweet, dense and chewy bread named after a place called Agege in Lagos State, Nigeria).

https://dvees.wordpress.com/2013/01/21/beans-in-pepper-stew-bunny-chow-style/

DVees Posh Beans (Beans stew, smoked chicken with basmati rice)
DVees Posh Beans (Beans stew, smoked chicken with basmati rice)

Picture courtsey: Dvees

Can you guess what recipes we will be featuring in part 3… coming soon.

How to make Yam Pottage aka Asaro

Yam Pottage (asaro) is a rich, slow-cooked one pot dish of yams cooked in a palm oil pepper sauce; yams are the backbone of this deceptively humble dish which should be soft and should have absorbed the aromas and savors of the other ingredients.

We must warn you that this is not a traditional recipe as we make this warming dish rich by adding sweet potatoes, smoked turkey, prawns and spinach. Try our recipe and let us know what you think or tell us how you make yours 🙂

 

Yam Pottage (Rich, slow-cooked one pot dish of yams cooked in a palm oil pepper sauce)
Yam Pottage (Rich, slow-cooked one pot dish of yams cooked in a palm oil pepper sauce)

 

Ingredients

  • 400g canned tomato plums
  • 1 red bell pepper
  • 1 red onions
  • 1-2 scotch bonnet peppers
  • 5 slices of yam (cubed)
  • 5 slices of sweet potato (cubed)
  • 6 pieces of smoked turkey
  • 300g Prawns (cooked and peeled)
  • 2 Tbsp of crayfish
  • 1 cup of spinach
  • 1 cup of water
  • Salt to taste
  • Maggi crayfish seasoning cube
  • 2-3 Tbsp of palm oil

Method

  1. Blend onions, peppers and tomatoes
  2. Heat palm oil in a pot and add blended mix; fry for 10mins
  3. Season with salt and stock cubes
  4. Add crayfish, smoked turkey, yams, sweet potatoes and a cup of water; boil for 15mins or until yam chunks become soft.
  5. Use a fork to gently mash the yam leaving some yam chunks
  6. Add prawns and spinach and simmer for 5 mins

Serve and enjoy

 “The most indispensable ingredient of all good home cooking: love, for those you are cooking for” – Sophia Loren

 

Vintage themed bridal shower for V3 – Planned and Styled by DVees

To celebrate sweet, adorable and loveable Vese aka Likilikimama aka BabaK’s Rosie; our very own V3 of DVees, we threw her an intimate vintage themed bridal shower. With beautiful vintage china, a pretty pink sweets table, a chapman lemonade station and pastel flowers we created the ultimate girly girl shower.

Looking for a venue with the décor that we wanted or one that would give us the free rein to style as we wished was proving difficult so we decided to use V2’s home as the location for the shower and transform and style it to create a pretty but shabby chic atmosphere.

Planning was soo much fun, we had so many hilarious moments:
1. V4 initially found a vintage tearoom that was the perfect venue for the shower, she was about to sign the contract when V2 reviewed the documentation and found that the tea room was in Yorkshire (198 miles from where we reside)…….V4 has great ideas but can be in her own world sometimes.

2. V1 insisting that only canapés weren’t going to fly and that we had to serve jollof rice and chicken as well so people were satisfied… V1 and her typical mummy behaviour 🙂

3. V2 asking V1 to tie ropes on the balloons so they could float. V1 calmly responding if the balloons aren’t floating now why will they float if I tie ropes on them. And the 30secs it took V2 to realise that the balloons didn’t have helium so they couldn’t float. She’s the non-scientist in the house… can’t blame her

So many more that will take too long to explain in this post…

We enjoyed planning; everyone had their own little project and what they were interested in and it made us remember just how similar and also different we are. V1 was all about making sure we had enough food and that the budget was followed being the mummy. V2 was all about cute canapés and decor. V4 was all about having a great theme, sending our the perfect invites and getting V3 the perfect dress!

H3  was the perfect husband to be. He wanted V3 to have the very best of everything.

 

We love V3 soooo much and are so happy that she is about to become a wife, sniff sniff…

 

Planned and Styled by DVees

Coordinated by the best CBM ever, the one and only V4 aka Pompom aka Princess Pebbles Pxxxxxxxxx

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