This had been a long time coming. When i got the email to make a recipe for Schwartz Uk, I almost jumped out of my skin. I kept trying to think of something creative and jazzy to represent Nigerian food and to also utilise Scwartz spices. All that kept coming to my mind were cosmopolitan dishes and i wanted something that was soooooooo Nigerian, it would never be in doubt. I thought about it for days and then one day on my way to the supermarket to get ideas for what to cook, it suddenly hit me. Of course, of course, of course. Jollof Rice. Now, why didn’t i think of that before, it should have been the first thing that came to mind.
Then i started doubting myself, i mean i was going to be paid a decent sum, it was a commissioned recipe, my first ever, isn’t jollof rice too simple, then i thought to myself, no it isn’t, for a non nigerian, and for the kind of influence and coverage that Scwartz UK has, Jollof rice to represent Nigerian and West African cuisine is just perfect. So, I decided to add Peppered Chicken. I didn’t want to call it Peppered Chicken, but something traditional. I remembered that the Iya Alase’s (commercial party cook) always referred to it as “Eran ti a ma yilata”, which in English means, meat turned in pepper stew, and that’s where the term Chicken Ayilata came from. I mean, if we can pronounce Mozarella, why shouldn’t non Nigerians be able to pronounce ‘Ayilata’.
Very proud moment for Nigerian food and of course Dooney’s Kitchen
Anyways, enough of the story, I am mightily pleased right now, especially as it has been a very difficult past few weeks for Yajichurri. The good news tide is flwoing my way right now. I mean, Yajichurri has now landed in Australia and seven more countries. Can i get an Hallelujah Tribe!!!
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