So, I spent this past weekend cooking. I also write for Bella Naija so I had lots to do including cooking for material to put up on this blog. You may wonder why I labelled it Michelin Star? This is me just being funny, and I wanted to plate Boli all fancy fancy, you will wonder if it is not the same street food, Boli. Roast plantains – Boli as it is fondly called in Yoruba land. I. I love Boli just as much as the next Lagosian. Growing up, we weren’t really allowed to eat street food because Mummy was sooooo afraid of food poisoning, so for me Boli was a treat because it was something mummy would allow us eat. As Boli is sold hot from a local grill over charcoals, the heat from grilling would have killed all the nasties. Despite the fact that you can see the seller turning it around with her bare hands, you still couldn’t wait to munch on hot steaming Boli. It was a treat you didn’t have at home because it is just wired inside of you to always buy from the street. Coming to this country, it is something that I really really miss, so when I bought plantains at the African store I said to myself, enough of eating fried plantain, make Boli instead.
Boli is sold hot from a local grill over charcoals and it is usually eaten with roasted groundnuts or lightly salted Palm oil. I remember the Boli seller a few minutes walk from my grandma’s house. As a treat Mama would give us spare change and my cousins and I will joyfully run a few streets away and stand watching while the Boli is grilled and we would run home to eat it with Palm oil or groundnuts. We loved it so much and we eat it so fast, that in no time it was all gone and we were pestering Mama to give us money, to buy more. If she said no, we would pester our mums when they came to pick us up. Half the time we were unsuccessful. Lol. So, Boli has a very dear place in my heart and thinking about it brings back fond memories. Last weekend I decided to stray away from the usual Boli pairings and make a fresh tomato salsa instead. I talked about creating Food Fusions some time ago and this is one of them. Food fusion at its funniest, 9ja meets Spain. Boli and Salsa are simple food basics in both cultures. Since I don’t have access to the local grill over hot charcoals, I am going to use the grill in the oven nonetheless. This is Boli as you have never seen it before. Homemade Boli with a difference and pretty easy to boot.
You will need
1 or 2 Plantains
pinch of Salt
1 teaspoon of Onion Powder or Black Pepper
Cayenne Pepper – dry pepper
For the Salsa
4 firm Tomatoes
1 small Red Onion
1 piece of Ata Rodo – scotch bonnet/habanero pepper
2 Spring Onions – salad onions/scallions
2 tablespoons of chopped Parsley
1. Peel the skin off the plantains and place in a flat plate. Make a rub with Olive Oil, salt and onion powder or black pepper in a little bowl and coat the entire surface of the plantains.
2. Place the plantains on the grill rack in the oven. Ensure that the rack is on the highest rung so that the plantains are close enough to the grill rods. Set the temperature to 230 degrees centigrade and turn the plantains over every 5 minutes so that it can grill evenly.
3. To make the salsa, simply chop all the ingredients listed above and place in one bowl. Add the chopped parsley and sprinkle over it the juice of 1 lime and season with salt.
If you have never tried Salsa before, give it a try. It is just like a salad but without leafy vegetables. The lime gives it some tanginess and the salt also seasons it so it doesn’t taste bland on your tongue. Trust me, you will love it and it smells heavenly too.
Take the plantains out of the grill and plate with your salsa. I sprinkled cayenne pepper (dry pepper) on the boli just for extra heat. Unbeknown to me the heat from the diced Ata Rodo was sufficient. let’s just say I had quite a spicy experience but I enjoyed it to the last bite
……….and there you have it. Homemade Boli with fresh Tomato Salsa