Music is my other passion, but errrrr, my passion for music lies far, far, far away from Nigerian music, and I kinda won’t apologise for that. A friend of mine, Osagie says I am a living breathing oxymoron. “How you connect with Nigerian food and do it so well is strange, for those of us that know you well”. If you asked my classmates from school who was most likely to end up with a white man, all fingers would point to Dunni. They are still watching. Hehehehe. My parents definitely won’t be pleased. Despite being born and bred Nigerian, Osagie says you are not “one of us”, you mentality is definitely not Nigerian, you don’t belong here. LMAO. One of the first things he said when I was leaving Nigeria for school was, oh good, you are going to live among “your people”. You will acclimatise so fast, because heck, you are not Nigerian. Even when we talk, he keeps asking how are those “your people”. Well, my mother raised us drumming into our heads, especially when meting out discipline ” I am not raising a Nigerian”, you will not try that in my house. It is not acceptable, “I am not raising a Nigerian”, whatever the heck that means. It is her fault. Good, let us blame Big Oladunni. Hahahahahaha.
Music is one way, that my heritage doesn’t come into my choices at all. Right from living in Nigeria. No slight on Nigerian music at all, but it just doesn’t resonate with me. I was a huge country and rock music fan in my late teens. My father has a brilliant taste in music, and this is partly his fault. Not that many people my age living in Nigeria knew who Nat King Cole, Otis Redding, The Rat Pack, Frank Sinatra, Billie Holiday, Ella Fitzgerald, Etta James were. That was music I fell in love with. The Nigerian Music industry has made giant strides in the last few years, and I am doubly proud of them. They inspire me, to also push for Nigerian food to blow up too. Looking through my iTunes list, you will definitely go huh, should we check your passport? I was in Lagos last September and The Akintayomi (needs no introduction, lol), said I listen to “white people’s music”.
Then I hung out with Chef Fregz, for a dinner party he was cooking for, and played Paolo Nutini out loud from my Ipod. He screamed. I screamed back too, FINALLY!!!! I found someone who listens to my kind of music. Do you know how weird it is to go to a party with friends, and you have no clue what music is playing, and after a while you just tune out the music because they all start to sound the same after a while. I only found out what the dance “Shoki” was in October, and only watched the video in December. Looool. I mean Fregz and I were jamming to Paolo, the soundtrack of Rent, Michael Buble, Colbe Caillat, Sara Bareilles, Joss Stone, Emeli Sande, Prince and much more. That is my kind of music, and right now, it is leaning to even more British music, because at the moment, British music is HOT, I mean Sam Smith just won 4 grammys, and in heavyweight categories too.
Why is my taste in music coming up in a post about Moin Moin, well I listen to music when I cook. It helps pass the time quicker and makes me forget how tasking the process is. On saturday, I was on my feet from 8am to 8pm, and then on the road for a 50min drive. Did I mention that I barely ate anything. What kept me company was the music of James Bay, Ed Sheeran, Sam Smith and George Ezra. All British men, and their songs were on repeat. I had more cooking to do on Sunday, and it was the turn of the girls – Ella Henderson, Elle Goulding, Paloma Faith and Amy Winehouse. I am a lost cause eh, when it gets to Nigerian music. Loooool. Music also hones my creativity like you won’t believe. If I am stuck in a rut, creative cooks block, I play some music, and ideas start flowing in. That is how these moin moin savarins came about. I was doing dishes and cooking at the same time, when I looked at my leftover moin moin batter, I was just about to bin it when i thought oh wait, I can pour the batter into savarin tins. When they baked, I thought they were cute. I definitely wasn’t expecting the response I got when I shared it on Facebook and Instagram. Wow, the response was incredible. They did look like doughnuts. Honestly, I didn’t think what I did was a big deal, but hey, I have been accused of being too modest. My friend Kemi says Dunni, you have to own your talent. Own it, and “big up” yourself. Not to the point of arrogance, you won’t even get there, before I drag you by your ears, but you have to own your gift.
I was cooking Efo Riro at the time, so I immediately new I was going to fill the hole with it. Yesterday, on my way home from my 5K run, Lady Antebellum was playing on the radio. Gosh, I love those guys. They and the group ‘The Band Perry’, are huge favourites of mine. I cranked the volume up, and I was thinking of my Moin Moin and Efo Riro savarins, when my memory flashed back to a comment where someone wrote “see Moin Moin looking like Krispy Creme”. I don’t know where that memory came from, then it hit me, I am going to glaze Moin Moin, the way Krispy Creme doughnuts are glazed. Of course, I wasn’t going to use icing sugar. What looks exactly like the icing sugar glaze – Ogi (agidi).
I was 1 minute from home, I turned right back and drove straight to the Nigerian food store to buy Ogi. I was so excited, I could hug someone. Ogi in hand, while in the kitchen setting this up, I downloaded like 10 Lady Antebellum songs from Itunes, and they kept me company for the next four hours while I plated, took pictures, wrote this post. The songs on repeat were ‘I Run to You, ‘Just a Kiss – which was what was playing on radio’, ‘Somewhere Love Remains’, ‘Need You Now’, and other tracks from different albums. So, thanks to Lady Antebellum, we have Ogi Glazed Moin Moin Savarins. I may not listen to Nigerian Music, but I tell you that 8 out the 10 brilliant ideas you have seen on this blog came to me while listening to Western Music.
This is the Starter in the “My Nigerian Valentine Series. Let’s Cook
- Moin Moin Batter
- Savarin tins - on any small baking tin
- Efo Riro - or peppered meats, giz dodo, dodorishi etc
- For the Glazed version
- Ground crayfish or red prawns
- Chopped Ata rodo - scotch bonnet/habanero pepper
- Prepare your Moin Moin batter, add any filling you want, preferably in small bits, I used corned beef here. Pour into savarin tins, or any small baking tin and bake at 200 for 10 minutes, or slightly more
- Over turn the savarin moin Moin unto a plate and fill with any thing you wish. I used Efo Riro, you can use Peppered Meats, Giz dodo, Dodorishi etc.
- For the glazed Moin Moin, dissolve Ogi into a bowl, you just need a little quantity with water.
- Cook in the microwave for about 45 seconds. If the Ogi is too thick, add a little water and put it back for another 5 seconds or so.
- You don't like Ogi, do this with custard or Oats. You are aiming for a consistency of icing sugar glaze for cakes or doughnuts.
- Dip the moin moin into the bowl of Ogi, ensure that it is well coated.
- Remove from the bowl, shake off any excess coating, place on a plate and sprinkle ground crayfish or ground red prawns, top with chopped ata rodo.
- You can also make it more colourful by adding chopped green pepper and Purple onions. It is Valentines so I stayed with red. Who said Moin Moin can't be paired with something sweet. Dip it in chocolate too, and add sprinkles.
Valentines Dinner is about something special. Create something special indoors rather than the sometimes impersonal experience of a restaurant. Your better half, will definitely not see this coming. Again, don’t be discouraged if you don’t have a savarin tin. Use any small and cute baking tin you have at home. It is the thought that counts