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I welcome you to today’s edition of kitchen tips. As I made clear in these kitchen tips that would save your day, mistakes are normal in cooking. In fact, from time to time, you may experience short lived bad cooking seasons when you are either burning, over salting or adding too much pepper to food. If these happen, go easy on yourself. Today, in addition to other tips, I’ll share some tricks that are peculiar to the Nigerian kitchen. So, let’s get down to business.

If you’re cooking and you notice the food is too spicy, blend tomatoes and add to it. If the food does not require tomatoes, you can blanch some palm oil and add to it. Palm oil can reduce the intensity of pepper.

When blanching palm oil for a short period of time, you can leave the pot or frying pan open. But if your intention for blanching is to change the colour of the palm oil, please do not leave the pot open. If you do, smoke will just fill the house and it will choke you and your family. Simply cover the pot and place on high heat for 5 to 7 minutes. Lower the heat. When you are done blanching, turn off the heat and allow the pot to cool down.

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Keep yam heads down and their tails up, if you don’t want them to germinate in the store.

Egusi is one soup that can spoil quickly. The chances of this happening increases in hot weather. To avoid stories that touch, put it in the freezer the minute it cools down.

If you want unripe plantain to remain so, keep it in a bowl of water for as long as you want it to remain unripe. Take it out when you want it to ripen.

Sprinkle salt on fresh pepper before pounding to prevent pepper from jumping out of the mortar and into your eyes.

When boiling ground tomatoes and pepper, add a little vegetable oil to it. This will prevent the tomato mix from spilling over and messing up your cooker.

Boil plantain without peeling and it will retain the nutrients it contains.

Clean and sun dry crayfish then store in airtight container(s) and it can last for a year or more.

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You may thicken watery soup by sprinkling raw garri or flour into it.

If you want to wash beans for moi moi or akara, don’t soak it in the water for too long. If you do, the skin will be too difficult to peel.

Wash snail with garri or lime to remove sliminess.

If you are trying to take a bite of tough meat and pepper enters your eyes, lick salt immediately. The salt will neutralize the pepper.

Rinse [your green] vegetables thoroughly before chopping. You’ll loose its nutrients if you chop them before washing.

When cooking ogbono and okra, don’t cover the pot. If you do, the soup will steam. This will reduce the thick drawy effect.

There are many other tricks, but we’ll stop here for today. We’ll also be glad to learn more tricks on Nigerian cooking from you in the comment section.

Featured image source: Stocksy United

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This article was first published on 13th May 2020


Udevi, Obiamaka Angela holds a Master of Arts degree in History & International Studies. She's a freelance writer with a passion for food and healthy living. She can be contacted through her email address,

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