JULY: THE MONTH OF GROUNDNUTSPosted by Sandra Arachie
OrderEat, groundnut, July, restaurants, Nigeria, Lagos
The rains are here to stay and with it, comes the advent of ‘Ekpa’ (groundnuts). For many Nigerians, July is the month to start prepping to say a permanent goodbye to cherry mangoes for that year and welcome with open arms, the legume ‘groundnuts!’ It is interesting to note that the legume, groundnut should not be mistaken to be in the same food class as other nuts like walnuts, almond and hazelnuts.
In Nigeria, groundnut is mainly grown in the Northern region with states like Kano, Kaduna, Taraba, Bauchi, Borno and Adamawa as the main contributors. Packed with healthy unsaturated fats and fibre, as well as several vitamins and minerals; eating of groundnuts now that it is in season is actually beneficial for our health as studies show that regular consumption of this wonder legume reduces the risk of heart disease. This miracle food is also beneficial for cellular growth, muscle function and enzyme function. For pregnant women, it is an inexpensive way to consume folate which helps with cell division and tissue growth.
OrderEat breaks down today, the many ways to enjoy groundnut that you may or may not have heard of before as well as restaurants offering delicacies made using the much loved legume.
As the name suggests, the groundnuts are boiled in water with or without salt. The groundnuts are then enjoyed, salted or unsalted. In 45mins, the groundnuts should be ready for eating. However, it can be boiled for a longer time till it reaches your desired softness.
Just the thought of this makes my mouth water. This is a staple during the traditional marriage rites performed in the Eastern part of Nigeria. It is commonly consumed with garden eggs. Ose Oji is literally peppered peanut butter. The pepper can be forgone during its preparation to make it a suitable spread to eat with bread.
This brings back a lot of memories of primary school days when I just started learning to chew this groundnut mould. Made from a paste of roasted groundnuts, it is moulded into different shapes after excess oil has been removed.
It might not seem like much, but groundnut as a spice is an integral part of many common roadside meals or snacks. These snacks include kilishi, suya kebab and occasionally, fried goods like yam and potato.
Groundnuts when roasted, pair well with garri and sugar. It can also be eaten with Boli or enjoyed on its own.
This is a drink that is much loved in the Northern part of Nigeria. It is a blend of rice (or any cereal like millet, guinea corn or maize) and groundnuts which tastes so refreshing after a day out in the scorching sun.
This is literally a groundnut bar. Another name for this treat is ‘Sisi pelebe’. It is enjoyed by all the three major Nigerian tribes and is a mix of roasted groundnut paste and sugar.
This northern treat made from groundnut paste, alligator pepper, sugar and salt is hand squeezed to remove excess oil and moulded using a pot, plate or calabash. It can be enjoyed alone or accompanied with cold or hot pap.
The flour dough for chinchin can be infused with groundnut powder or paste to give it a different taste. The addition of groundnut to the dough is a fun way to spice up the popular treat.
Did I hear someone sigh? I feel like I left the best for last, though I am sure many may disagree. Both the soup and sauce are simply delicious. In the North, this soup is known as ‘Miyan gyada’ and in Edo state as ‘Omi isagwe’. It is perfectly paired with any swallow of choice or rice.
Here are our top 5 picks for delicious tasting groundnut soup/sauce, guaranteed to give you a finger licking experience with every bite:
- The Abuja international restaurant
- Bukka hut
- Yellow Chilli
- Lizmia soup affair
- Foodies place
Groundnuts – commonly known as ‘Ekpa’ – can be enjoyed in various ways. It can be enjoyed as a local street food with popcorn, known on the streets of Lagos as ‘Guguru and Ekpa’, alone with a choice to either boil or roast it, or as a much loved accompaniment for soaking garri with the prerequisite cold water, sugar and milk. Whatever way you choose to eat it as highlighted above, we are thankful for the gift of groundnuts and the joy it brings us when eaten…