A naija boy in Oyinbo land who can cook this good? I mean is this even possible? Charles is a great cook, when I say great, I mean great! Infact his food is super delicious and über awesome, (another new word i learnt from Lilian’s English Place). He succeeded in blossoming my love for Nigerian cuisine. I wanted to surprise him with a special Cameroonian dish and “Sese Coco” was my pick!
Smiling, I headed to the Afroshop (African grocery store in Germany are called Afroshops, don’t ask me why!) to get my “secret” ingredients. Inwardly, I wanted to showcase my cooking talents too! Little did I know that my surprise will turn into a friendly food battle! To cut a long story short, Charles and I argued through out lunch. He was bent on proving to me that Nigerian Porridge was better than Cameroonian Sese Coco. Now where are my Cameroonian fans? Do you agree? But that’s Charles for you! He is a great friend andI wouldn’t have him any other way! A little tip from me to all my single Lady friends: flee from any man than can cook. He will bring trouble in your kitchen Jare! 🙄 🙂
In the Cameroon “Sese Coco” is simply a mélange of cocoyams and sometimes yams with bitterleaf fried in red Palm oil and selected spices. Bitterleaf is the main ingredient of this dish. It give the dish a slightly bitter but savory taste that we love.
The secret to the slightly bitter taste is in the washing of the bitter leaf which I would talk about in another post. But note that partially removing the bitter taste can be done using lime Stone aka. Nkangwa.
SmartCooks Tip: Control the bitterness in your bitter leaf by constantly tasting as you wash.
If you like your bitter leaf “sweet”, you would need to add a good quantity of lime stone. The Problem with adding alot of lime Stone is that it also softens the leaves which I don’t like. If you are a first time Sese coco cook, I recommend you use less lime Stone than too much to avoid “ruining” the dish!
I’m looking Forward to your comments and Feedback in the comment area below!
Happy and healthy cooking!
4-6 large Cocoyam tuber, peeled and diced
1/2 of a large Yam
a handful dried Fish of choice
2 Onions, chopped
6 Garlic cloves )
4 Tsps. Palm Oil
1 tsp White Pepper
1/2 tsp Black Pepper
1 Habanero pepper (optional)
4 Handsful Fresh or frozen Bitterleaf, washed with lime stone
3 vegetable Bouillons
Sea salt to taste
- Pre-wash treat your bitterleaves by soaking it in hot lime stone water for 10 mins to partially remove extra bitter taste. Remove and wash using your Hands. Squeeze out extra water and set aside.
- Peel and dice your tubers into desired sizes.
- Soak dried fish in water if fish is too dry.
- Chop onions and garlic and stir fry in heated palm oil until onions are glazed. Then add ground peppers.
- Add diced tubers, water, Bouillons and salt to taste and leave to cook for 30 mins.
- Now add your washed bitterleaf and dried fish and leave to cook for another 15 mins making sure to add water if necessary.
- Serve hot and Enjoy!
- PS: Cocoyam is called Taro here in America, most grocery stores actually carry it. It is also abundantly available in Asian grocery stores.
- 1. To save time you can buy already pre-washed bitterleaf from your local market.