By Verdzekov Bernard
A cuisine is a particular traditional cooking habit often associated with a particular culture. Usually, with traditional cooking local ingredients are usually used. This local ingredient which are used often represent the culture from which the people come from. For example, the NSO people of Cameroon. This meal was introduced by our four-fathers or rather Nso ancestors.
In my country Cameroon, we have many traditional dishes. This is because the country has so many tribes which have different traditions and practice. In this country Cameroon, rarely will you fine two different tribes sharing same traditional meal. Most if not all, have different traditional dishes.
The Cameroonian cuisine is one of the most varied in Africa. This is because in Cameroon, they are a lot of tribes.
I will go right ahead to write on the cuisine of the Nso tribe which is my tribe and one of the tribes In Cameroon amongst the many.
To prepare vegetable, which in my mother tongue is called Njama-Njama, you have to put together the following ingredients;
- Vegetable leaves.
- Palm oil (red oil)
- Onions (optional)
- Smoked fish (optional)
- Pepper (optional)
Wash vegetable and put into a pot with no water adding yellow paper on it, and a bit of salt(pinch). Allow it to steam for about 2-3 minutes. Remove from pot and put in cold water to prevent the leave or vegetable from cooking further. Clean the pot and put red oil or palm oil into the pot and allow it to heat up for about 2-3 minutes or even 5 depending on how fast the oil heats up. Put tomatoes into the heated oil and allow it to fry right after which you could then put the half-done vegetable into the pot of palm oil and tomatoes. Add 3 cups of magi and a pinch of salt and steer well. Cover the pot and leave it to cook for about 15 minutes and then you can remove and put in a heat preservative flask while you prepare the fufu corn and the Kati-Kati right after that.
To go futher and prepare fufu corn, which you eat together with the prepared vegetables, the
Ingredients needed are
- Grind corn flour
- Boiled water
- Wooden spoon or stick (usually carved out well in smooth shape)
- Cooking pot.
- Sieve corn flour.
- Boil water. After the water boiled reduce some from the pot and put it in a different tin. Put in some of the sieved and un-sieved water (editor: probably corn flour?) into the boiled water in the pot and steer well. This steering is to avoid the corn fufu you preparing from getting hard or to hard which may disturb consumption.
- While steering, add some water into the mixture and continuer steering well. After steering and seeing the mixture is ok, that the fufu corn you preparing is already ok, add water and cover pot for the fufu corn to cook well. You may open and add some more water and steer.
- After you have observed the fufu corn is ready, lower heat and put the ready fufu corn into the plastic papers and keep in a heat conservative flask while you go to prepare Kati-Kati.
Going further to prepare Kati-Kati, which must be done to complete the traditional meal of the Nso people, we could go right ahead to have the ingredient.
- After killing the chicken with normal process of slicing of its head from its neck with a knife, burn the chicken by putting it on a grill pan. This burning helps you burn the feather, and fur of the chicken skin.
- After doing that, slice the chicken or cut it into pieces using a knife. After cutting the chicken into slices, apply salt and magi to it before putting it on the burning stray. This is to blend magi and the salt with the chicken so that it tastes perfectly. Put the chicken and roast until it is half-done.
- Put red oil into a pot and allow it to heat up for about 5-10 minutes. After oil is heated up, put sliced tomatoes and onions into the pot of bleached oil and fry. Fry for about to 2-3 minutes. Add your roasted chicken into the pot of other frying ingredients that constitutes the Kati-Kati, and fry together. After about 2 minutes of perfect steering, add a little bit of water and cover the pot and leave it for 15-20 minutes to ensure the chicken gets ready well.
To conclude, this meal, when eating by the Nso people, the eat using their hands. No cutleries. A dishing spoon could be used when you are about to serve your serve yourself. But when eating we don’t use cutleries. This is a traditional habit inherited from our ancestors and it has to be practiced by all who come from Nso or where born into the Nso tribe. Fufu corn, vegetable and spiced chicken (kati kati) is a meal eating by most people in Cameroon and while not Africa. It is delicious and tasteful. The spice used in preparing the dish Is not how ever difficult to be found and could be purchased from any local market or supermarket. Many at times will you go to a Nso man’s house in Cameroon and find out the dish about to be served is Fufu corn, vegetable and spiced chicken (kati kati) and may be some other meal. But they always prefer serving their traditional meal first. It is the tradition, practiced if not all then most of the Nso people.