I love to cook...a lot! DH can testify to that :D. The only thing I love more than cooking is sewing...
So I checked out Kitchen Butterfly and wow! is all I can say. I decided to check out the Naija food section of her blog and I found IT. "IT" being a recipe for Ukwaka AKA Plantain Pudding (I actually danced for joy when I saw it...lol)
You see, I grew up in the Island of Burutu and as a child, I used to look forward to the weekly market for two reasons.
1. Goods were "Traded by Barter". I think we had just learnt about "Money" and its history at school and I was intrigued that the old system of Trade-by-barter was still in use.
2. Secondly and more importantly, there was a lady who sold Hot Ukwaka at the market. I would beg my mum to take me to the market just so I'd have an opportunity to ask for Ukwaka (or "Kwoka" as I called it back then)
A couple of years later, we moved out of Burutu, and through my different life experiences I always remembered that stage in my life and the smell/taste of Ukwaka.
So you can understand my joy at discovering the recipe. I wasted no time and actually bought some ripe plantain on my way from work that same day and left them to get "over-ripe" as called for by the recipe. I had everything else at home so all I had to do was wait for the plantain...and a long wait that was.
After a week, I gave up and figured they (the plantains) were soft enough and set to work preparing the dish.
It all started out very well with my reading the recipe and measuring out ingredients, and then my impatient streak set in (I don't do very well with cooking by the book...something to do with upbringing I guess...work in progress). I basically eyeballed all the ingredients and then added some ginger to balance some of the sweetness of the plantain and of course lots of pepper for some heat.
And voila, my very own Ukwaka...the first of many I should say.
It turned out a bit dry but totally delicious. Next time, I'll try sticking to the recipe (with some minor changes of course-lol). I had neither Banana Leaves or Ramekins so I used some small disposable plastic plates with lids (I make Moin-Moin same way so I figured it would work) and I don't know if this affected the moisture level as well.
I wanted something very savory to go with it and I thought, tomatoes would be great, so I made a little sauce with tomatoes and some chopped gizzards and sausages. And to crown it all, some roasted chicken glazed with a honey/lemon/dark soy/ginger mixture.
DH loved it and as a testament to that, gave me a new pet name "My Plantain Cake" :D
Here is a link to the Recipe: Ukwaka Recipe. Now off to eat the left-overs.