My family received one of THE best news of our lives late last month. The kind that you are crying over the phone, your mum is crying, both of you are muttering you don’t know what, shouts of praises, Daddy is trying to chip in excitedly, Skype + phone conference calls, with everyone talking at the top of their voices, over each other, yoruba and english flying left and right, talking ten to a dozen no one could get a word in edgewise. We were all really jubilant, a time it would have been amazing if we were together in the same room, because I wanted that family group hug, but nevertheless, courtesy of technology, we connected as a family with joy and gratitude. If it was a scene in a movie, the screen would have been divided into four with, people screaming and shouting and smiling, and wiping tears, gosh, the impossible happened. I don’t think I have ever seen or heard my mum cry before, but it was a good sound in my ears, nothing like cries of joy. I pinched myself severally, asking for the news to be repeated multiple times, just to be sure I heard correctly. It was an amazing experience that kept us all awake for hours, well for one it was just afternoon, while for the rest of us it was almost midnight, but people nobody cared, news like this comes rarely, but when they do come, you just know the The Hand of The Almighty was in this, you don’t get to beat such odds, just by being, and for that we are very grateful. Mummy had to say okay, okay, there is work tomorrow, off to bed now, I know she and my Dad would have been talking till the sun came up.
I have been walking on air since then, especially as something is coming up in next month that is going to blow you guys away. My excited mode button has been activated and by His Grace, it will stay activated for a long time. Nothing can spoil my joy for the rest of the year and nothing will, ever. Faith came through for us, it wavered, it shook at some points, we almost gave up, but collectively, our faith came through for us. Odds that humans set, The Lord beat it, we came out victorious. Lol. I am so happy, it is unbelievable. I pray this Grace extends to everyone out there reading this and is waiting on The Lord to show His hand. Your turn to celebrate is almost here, He hasn’t forgotten, He has heard you, when the time is right, that closed-door you are standing at, will swing wide open, and immeasurable joy will flood in.
I was writing this recipe last month when the message we had been waiting for came. I abandoned it and started screaming the house down. Looking through my Drafts folder, I suddenly remembered that I hadn’t published it. By some weird coincidence on that day, after I hung up the phone, at 12.56AM an email came in and guess what, a reader was giving me an excited feedback about trying the old Giz-dodo recipe (without pictures HERE) on the blog, telling me how it was a major hit with her family. I thought, what are the chances? Two instances of Giz Dodo in one night. It has been almost a month since then. The euphoria has passed, but the joy and sense of gratitude has not waned. I might as well continue with publishing this recipe. Giz Dodo is a dish that is somewhat synonymous with parties and celebrations in Nigeria. Today, I am re-defining Giz Dodo. Re-defining how? Use it as a chunky dip. Making sense yet? Wait, think about it and say why not. This will go beautifully with chancy chips (potato or yam), Plantain chips, Tortilla Chips etc. You just have to look at Giz Dodo and see it beyond that side dish served rice or something for your guests to nibble on like stick meat (kebab) for example. Still not sure, Let’s Cook and start imagining the possibilities for your next party.
You will need
Chicken gizzards –
Tatashe – red bell pepper
Ata rodo – scotch bonnet/habanero pepper
Diced/cubed ripe plantain
1. Boil the gizzards with salt, chopped onions and seasoning cubes till tender. Proceed to frying or grilling in the oven
2. While the gizzards are boiling or frying, dice the plantain into cubes
3. Also chop the onions, red bell pepper, green pepper and ata rodo. be careful with the volume of green pepper though, 1/2 to 3/4 of one is enough otherwise it will introduce some bitterness to the stew, which can be unpleasant. In the same vein, blend half an onion, 3 pieces of tatashe, 4 large tomatoes and 1 – 2 pieces of ata rodo to form a smooth puree. Boil this until it reduces and most of its water content has evaporated.
4. Salt the diced plantain and fry. Dooney’s Kitchen Tip: this is my tip to make sure you get gooey sweet, and slightly chewy giz dodo. Dice the plantains, salt it and just let it sit there for a while. The salt will leach out some of the water content, which makes the pieces stick together. When you fry, just leave it to sit in the oil undisturbed. You do NOT want the pieces to separate at all. they should fry in one large clump. You will thank me don’t worry. The taste is out of this world. When one side browns, carefully flip it over like an omelette. if you are having difficulties, break up the lot into max 3 portions and then flip. When you sieve this out of the oil, it will be gooey, soft and very very sweet.
5. Take out some of the oil used to fry the plantain/gizzard and pour in a deep saucepan. Add the curry powder, dried thyme and fry. This is a tip I learnt from watching Indian cooking shows on Food network. Dry roasting spices in a pan or frying in hot oil intensifies the flavour. Let it fry for 1 minute
6. Add the chopped peppers from Step 3, and saute till they wilt and soften.
7. Add the reduced blended pepper mix to the pan,
stir and allow it to fry, till it thickens and absorbs some of the oil
8. Add the gizzards
9. Add chicken stock, and lower the heat. Dooney’s Kitchen Tip: it is essential that you lower the heat to allow the gizzard soften and absorb the flavours in the pan
10. Once the gizzard stew has thickened, add the plantains. Remember what I said earlier about allowing the plantain pieces fry and clump together? See the evidence below. This is wicked, wicked, wicked, dodo. if you don’t end up eating half of it before you remember it belongs with the gizzards. Once the plantain has gone in, stir and allow it the stew to coat the plantain pieces properly. It is only after the plantain goes in that you can re-season if needed. My major pet peeve with giz dodo made by a lot of caterers is not allowing the plantain to shine. It is called Giz-dodo for a reason. Dodo is a major ingredient.
so, ensure that when you are re-seasoning, you can still taste the sweetness of the plantains. The plantains are already salted, so you shouldn’t need extra salt or seasoning cubes.
aaaaaaaand there’s your Giz Dodo, ready to be scooped into big dip bowls and passed around for your guests.
The trick to using Giz-Dodo as a chunky dip is to ensure that the fried pepper is thick and gooey.
I have redefined Asun by serving it with Goat’s Cheese (recipe HERE), taking Giz-Dodo to new level.
I sat down with this and was so very pleased. Did you know you can make Giz-dodo into a Fajita wrap? Yes you can, yes you can. See how click HERE
I didn’t eat all in one sitting though, but it was delicious and surprisingly different. The sweetness, and the crunch. Yum. You can make this even more celebratory by making my very own Dodorishi. Click HERE for the recipe
If I could share food to all of you guys to say come celebrate with me, I would, but you can celebrate with me by trying out Giz Dodo this weekend. Coming September, we just may come together for some mini shindig. Lagos readers, take note.