The Eid festival is around the corner, and I have been getting requests for a Sallah Menu. I love, getting requests for recipes or Menu’s as it is a chance for me to get the creative juices flowing. My late Grandma was Muslim, so Sallah was a big part of my childhood. We never fasted as our parents were Christian, so our own way of being part of the Muslim tradition was Sallah, and y’all know by now that I love food, so I loved Sallah. Lol.
Sallah at Grandma’s house was a big deal, as I got the chance to see all my aunties, uncles, cousins, family friends and meet new relatives. My grandma had a big compound, and the Iya alase’s (commercial party cooks) would have spent the night at Mama’s house preparing for the party the next day. It was such an exciting time for me, as the whole place was bustling with activity. There were the people picking beans for moi moi, picking pepper to be blended, cutting meat which had to be boiled and fried the night before and there were the thousands of errands we the children were sent on. My cousins and I would escape to neighbour’s house for a bit to take a breather from the multitude of errands and we could hear the cries of our names as our Aunties were looking for us. The brave ones amongst us would stay for as long as they could in hiding, only to receive an earful when we finally turned up. No one could sleep until very late, and breakfast the next day was a huge affair. Huge pans of fried eggs, pots of tea and chocolate drink (Milo), endless loaves of bread, sardine sauce, corned beef sauce, boiled yams, akara and pap. As soon as breakfast was over, it was time for the show to start. Some of us followed Mama to the mosque and she just loved showing off her grandchildren. We loved the outing too as we got to eat all sort of junk our mummy’s didn’t allow us to have. So, as I am writing this Menu, I am feeling very nostalgic, especially as I don’t have any muslim friends who live close by, so no Sallah chops for me. If anyone wants to invite me, I am free. Lol.
For Sallah at grandma’s, these foods were on the menu: Jollof rice, fried rice, Efo riro, Egusi, Stew with white rice, Amala, Pounded yam, Eba, Moi Moi. I think that is as far as it went. My sister or cousins will remind me if there were more. Nothing is wrong with these choices, but in traditional Dooney’s Kitchen style, you know I will update this into a menu, which will wow your guests. I have dug into my repertoire of posts, and some other dishes I haven’t written about yet. Wherever in the world you will be celebrating Sallah, you will find something on here that you will enjoy and many of the dishes are already on the blog, so to find them, simply type the dish into the search bar on the topmost right hand corner of the blog. Whether you are having a small party or a huge party like my grandma’s, you will also find something on here that you can use.
Starters – starters are technically not a Nigerian thing, but so many of our foods can serve as starters. Yes, your party is probably not a sit down dinner, so you may not have the three course affair, nevertheless you can introduce starters, by serving them first, while your guests await the delicious main course(s) you are cooking up in the kitchen. My menu choices for starters are
- Yamarita fries with ata din din or you cut yam into thin square cubes like a biscuit, fry it and serve with ata din din as a dip
- Platter of peppered gizzard/peppered meat – to make it go round, chop in medium-sized pieces, stick a toothpick in it and decorate with onion and pepper
- fruit salad
- Soup – assorted meat and fish peppersoup, prawn bisque, spicy mussels soup, served with lightly toasted baguette
- puff puff, samosas, spring rolls, chin chin, gurundi, kokoro, mini meat pies, calamari, battered fish, battered prawns
- grilled meats, chicken wings, smoked turkey, prawns, kidneys, scallops, squid, served on a skewer. What i do is to have one skewer with 3 kinds of meat or fish, so as you are biting through the stick, you are eating something different. You can also grill fruit – pineapple, apples, mango, papaya
- Nkwobi – if you want to shine
- Boli and groundnut – grill the boil, cut into rounds and serve with groundnut
Drinks – For drinks you can make
- smoothies , simply blend your choice of fruits. Remember to blend with ice cubes to truly get the chilled smoothie effect.
- You can also make non alcoholic cocktails
- lemonades – lime, orange, lemon, sprite or 7up, blend with ice cubes
- or a lassi. A lassi is a fruit smoothie blended with yoghurt and milk
- Iced tea
- Iced chocolate drinks
Main course – the stars of the show. Okay, we must serve rice, but must it be Jollof rice or fried rice? Ensure that your guests will remember that party where there was no Jollof/fried rice in sight, yet they still loved the food. Your alternate rice choices are
- Coconut rice
- Chicken curry and boiled rice
- King Prawn fried rice
Have you ever thought to serve Pasta at a party? Do as the Italians do. Pasta is also festive. Your choices are
- Chicken Pasta Chinese Stir fry
- Linguine Vongole – linguine tossed in a rich mussels sauce
- Spaghetti in a tomato and meatballs sauce – what we call spaghetti jollof, cooked with meatballs
Party meats – Of course you must serve meats in variety, it is a celebration isn’t it?
- Lamb Chops
- Barbecued chicken
- Grilled fish – Tilapia, is a very festive fish to grill.
To season your meats/fish for a party, your seasoning options are, garlic powder, onions, fish sauce, salt, seasoning cube, curry, thyme, lots of dry pepper to make it spicy. Mix in a little oil so that it forms a paste which you will rub along the entire flesh. For fish, include the insides, through the opening on the head. Remember to leave it in the fridge for a few hours to marinade. Use a knife to score the flesh of the meat/fish front and back, and in the slits, fill it with season chopped onion, garlic, ginger and ata rodo. Sprinkle over big cuts of onions and ata rodo before you grill. For fish, place in foil paper, so that the juice doesn’t escape and whack in the oven. You will break out into big smiles when you open the foil after 20 – 25 minutes.
Nigerian Soups – okay, we all eat Egusi and Efo riro at parties. There is nothing wrong with them, but my idea of a truly amazing party is when I get to eat something I usually don’t eat at parties, something I probably don’t prepare in my house regularly. Flex your cooking muscles this time around by serving soups that cut across several ingredients i.e one vegetable soup, one creamy soup, and a sticky soup. Your choices are
- Edikang Ikong
- Afang Soup
- Banga Soup
- Groundnut soup
- Ottong soup – okro soup
- Ila Asepo
- Ewedu special served with a rich palm oil soup (buka stew)
If you’ve only ever made Pounded yam in a food processor for your immediate family, here’s your chance to stun your guests with it. They will remember that party where Pounded yam was flowing, and they didn’t hear the sound of a mortar and pestle, and neither was it Poundo flour. So, your starch additions are
- Pounded yam
Desserts – if you still have the energy for dessert, serve something simple and quick
- Tapioca pudding
- Crepes with a sweet chocolate sauce
- Trusty Cake and ice cream
- Apple pie or Banoffi pie
Tell me, this isn’t truly a Sallah special, please remember to share your pictures with me, so I can experience a tiny part of your party. Enjoy!!!