Young or old, Maltese or foreign, there’s one thing that pretty much everyone loves – good food.
In the latest episode of Lovin Malta’s Taħlita Perfetta, host Dora caught up with Nigerian chef Blessing to learn all about Nigerian cuisine, traditional dancing, and the ups and downs of moving away from home.
This series shines a light on the different cultures, traditions, and cuisines present here in Malta, and in this episode, Blessing cooked up a deliciously-spicy Nigerian soup called Egusi.
Blessing welcomed Dora into her home with open arms and was quick to introduce her to all the tasty ingredients that go into the recipe.
Whilst a number of ingredients used in this recipe are relatively alien to Maltese chefs, they can all be purchased from pretty much any African grocery store on the island – so you can make some delicious Egusi yourself!
And even though this series is all about our Maltese host checking out international cuisines, Blessing couldn’t help but talk about all the delicious food that Malta has to offer.
Blessing’s been living in Malta for the past 16 years – but her passion for Nigerian cuisine won’t be dying down any time soon!
Throughout the past years, Blessing has made herself feel right at home here in Malta, and rightfully so. Presently, this chef-extraordinaire resides happily in her Maltese home together with her loving husband and two kids.
Blessing’s love for the island was sparked almost two decades ago when she visited her brother, who had already moved to Malta.
But the past 16 years haven’t always been plain sailing for Blessing…
A particularly bad experience saw a racist yelling at Blessing to ‘go back to her country’ and another calling her ‘corona’. Having said that, other Maltese nationals have been nothing but pleasant to her.
Blessing recalled how one of her neighbours used to consistently offer to take care of her child whenever she was called in to go to work.
Ever since Blessing set foot in Malta, she’s always made it a point to give back to the country that welcomed her – be it through food or monetary donations!
Itching to get a taste of Nigerian cuisine?
Here’s how you can make a delightful plate of Egusi right at home!
- 2 cups melon
- 1 cup palm oil or a little more or less depending on preference
- 4 tbsp Crayfish
- 3 tbsp locust beans
- 24 oz chopped spinach
- 1 red bell pepper
- 1 habanero pepper
- 1 fresno pepper
- 2 onions
- Stock cube (optional)
- 1 lb beef tripe, dry fish, cow Leg
- Salt to taste
- 3 cups beef stock (chicken stock works just as well)
- Blend the peppers and Onions together until smooth and set aside.
- Blend the Egusi melon, half of the second Onion, and Crayfish together. Set aside as well.
- Heat the Palm Oil in a pan and allow it to melt over medium heat but don’t overheat the Oil.
- Add the remaining half onion (diced) and half of the Locust bean. Let it cook for about 3 minutes on medium heat.
- Add the blended pepper and cook till the water is reduced. This should take about 15 minutes, stirring about every 5 minutes to prevent burning.
- Add the remaining locust bean, Beef stock, and salt to taste.
- Cover and leave to cook for another 5 minutes
- Gently introduce the blended Egusi inside the sauce but don’t stir it at this point. Just cover it and leave it to cook for about 20 to 30 minutes
- Keep an eye on it so it doesn’t burn but try not to stir it until the Egusi turns into a soft compact mass
- Gently stir together and add more stock or water if necessary.
- Add the fish and meat and leave to cook again for another 5 minutes.
- Stir in the spinach and leave to simmer for about 5 minutes (stir constantly).
- Adjust the seasoning if necessary.
- Serve while still hot.
Special thanks to Muscat hairdressing for Dora’s hair and Gabrielle Fenech for her fabulous dress.