Exploring local alternatives to seasoning cubes | Dailytrust

Exploring local alternatives to seasoning cubes

Spice blend. Photo: Internet

Gone are the days when a pot of soup/meal is hardly being prepared without adding seasoning cubes.

It would be hard to see mothers preparing meals without sprinkling those cubes into them/it. Many believe these cubes add more flavours to our meals making them tasty and yummy.

With more emphasis being placed on the need to consume more ‘natural ingredients’, the ‘Nigerian cooking arena’ has/is evolving past its dependence on seasoning cubes to explore its amazing local ingredients which are mainly plant based.

Below is a list of some of the local seasoning alternatives you may wish to explore!

  • Dadawa/Okpei/Ogiri

Photo: Unknown

Popularly referred to as Dadawa by the Northerners and Ogiri by the Easterners, this pungent ball of flavor is made from fermented oil beans.

The easterners add it mainly to Ogbono, Uha, Bitter leaf soups and sometimes okra soup.

  • Iru

Iru. Photo: Afrolems

With is origin and commonality amongst the Yorubas and those in Edo, Iru is fermented locust bean seeds, left to ferment grinding.

It has a slightly different taste from ogiri with a characteristic ‘seedy’ appearance in food.

This local alternative to seasoning is used to prepare different meals by the Yorubas.

  • Crayfish

Photo: Internet

Crayfish whether grounded or not adds more flavor to meals. It is a highly nutritious flavor used to replace Monosodium Glutamate (MSG) based seasonings.

  • Meat/chicken/bone stock

Meat/chicken/bone stock.
Photo: Internet

Boiling chicken/bone/meat with enough local spices such as ginger, onion, garlic, salt, thyme etc helps get produce a nutritious broth. This stock when extracted can be added while preparing meals.

  • Spice blend

Spice blend.
Photo: Internet

This involves combining a variety of local seasoning cubes such as bay leaf, black pepper, tumeric, ginger, nutmeg, garlic powder, basil, onion, etc to incorporate a spice blend.

This can be combined together or added seperately while preparing meals based on your taste.

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