I recently got some tomatoes and it deserves to be called ‘Tomatoes by Christian Louboutin…’. All ye designer-savvy people, this is not just ‘red bottoms’, it’s all-red-everything!… Yes oh! It finally happened. A time when fresh tomatoes becomes a “designer” product. Who would have ‘thunk’ it? I got these from the grocery store here and decided to take a snapshot of it to remind me not to take things for granted (even as little as tomatoes). After grinding it with pepper and onions, I got a full big pot of puree. If I carry this one come Naija, I don secure chieftaincy title. LOL
It is no news that fresh tomatoes have become a scarce commodity in Nigeria. People blamed it on anything blame-able, APC, Buhari, PDP…even NRC…SDP, but truth is, this scarcity is being caused by a pest attack on tomato fields in the northern part of Nigeria. The name of this pest is Tuta absoluta ( see name! The name alone should tell you it doesn’t mean well. lol) It is commonly known as the Tomato leaf miner affecting farms in Jigawa, Katsina, Kaduna, Kano and Plateau states. According to some sources, these pests have the ability to destroy a whole tomato farm in 48 hours because of its high mutation capacity and the ability to develop resistance to insecticides. According to this source, if Nigeria does not handle this matter with urgency, it might take Nigeria years to recover from the attack.
This is bad! No jollof rice?! No occasion rice?! What will Naija be without tomatoes?! No get high blood pressure for this mata. There must always be a way out and who says you can’t make jollof rice with tinned tomatoes? Think Chinese, for now. I might be wrong but I think they hardly use tomatoes. The Italians ,on the other hand, can’t live without them. Naija is blessed, we can balance it out and our taste buds are very adventurous. Here is a list of meals that can be made without using fresh tomatoes.
- Rice with Chicken vegetable curry sauce (Key ingredients: chicken bits, carrots, green pepper, green beans, curry and other seasonings,corn starch-optional for thickening)
- Rice with Gizzard/ Liver vegetable curry sauce (Same with number one, just replace chicken with gizzard or liver)
- Beef stroganof (Forget the big name, it’s just beef bits/ strips with key ingredients as above)
- Jollof rice with tinned tomatoes (Just make sure it simmers long enough in vegetable oil to remove the sour a.k.a slappy taste)
- Palm oil rice (Key ingredients: palm oil, dried fish, seasonings, scent leaf- optional)
- Banga rice ( Just go and ask a warri babe to teach you this one)
- Rice with fish/beef/chicken/assorted/ goatmeat peppersoup (Key ingredients: peppersoup spices, seasonings, lots of pepper and any meat of your choice)
- Rice and beans jollof (Forgive me, I really don’t know the common name but it sure tastes good. Palm oil is used here )
- Fried rice ( I should list this one out too? Una go pay oh. Oya na… Key ingredients: onions, curry, carrots,green pepper, green beans, green peas, yellow bell pepper,diced sausage, sweet corn, diced liver, cabbage, vegetable oil, seasonings etc. It’s up to you to add or remove.)
- Stew made with grated carrots (I have not tried this but people swear by it that it tastes great. It takes the place of fresh tomatoes.)
Note that these are meals you prepare instead of using stew. You can use pasta or yam where necessary to replace rice. There are other meals you can make, that don’t need tomatoes in the first place. You have got beans porridge, unripe plantain porridge, yam porridge, fries, moi-moi, akara, our ever-reliable indomie, etc. With time I’ll post recipes on the blog. Stay tuned on that.
On a final note, “He who brings tomato…brings life!” LOL. The bearer automatically becomes your best friend. When you get it, use it wisely. If you are using tomatoes in this scarcity to garnish your food or make tomato juice, Amadioha is on your case. LOL. Now that I’ve wasted my time to tell you Naija super wives/cooks what you already know, If you have recipes you want to share, you can leave a comment below. There are some readers who still see this very helpful. Thanks for your time.
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