The recipe for the vegetable salad that I’ll share today is known as Nigerian Salad. Now, I don’t know how Nigeria came to own this food as it doesn’t look like the typical Nigerian fare. I think we borrowed it, made a few additions, and then christened it. Anyways, this food is mostly prepared with vegetables. It is the big sister of coleslaw. While coleslaw is a regular visitor in most homes, the Nigerian salad is the big masquerade that appears on special occasions.
As a side dish, the Nigerian salad can be paired with white rice and stew, Jollof rice, or fried rice. It is rich, colourful and tasty. The salad can be enjoyed either as a full meal or a side dish. It is prepared with both cooked vegetables and raw ones. Now that we are done with introduction, let me tell you how to prepare this food.
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Green bell peppers
How to Prepare
Rinse all the vegetables separately. While rinsing each vegetable, add a teaspoon of vinegar or baking soda to water. This will kill harmful bacteria and wash pesticide off it. Make sure you remove the seeds in the green bell pepper.
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Now that all your vegetables are clean, it’s time to boil some of the ingredients. So, boil the green peas for two minutes. Strain it out and set it aside for later use. Boil the Irish potatoes and eggs in the same pot. The eggs should be hard boiled so the potatoes might cook before the eggs are ready. If this happens, remove them and allow the eggs to boil till they are hard boiled.
Scrape and shred the carrots with a grater. Set aside for later use. Dice the green bell pepper. Slice the cabbage into tiny strips. Rinse it in lukewarm water, strain it out and put it aside for later use as well. Divide the cucumber(s) into two equal parts. Remove the seeds and cut them into cubes. If the Irish potatoes are ready, peel off their skin and cut them into cubes too.
When the eggs are hard boiled, remove them from the hot water and put them in cold water for easy peeling. Slice the tomatoes thinly. Open the can of sweet corn, strain out the water and empty the content into a plate. Open the can of baked beans and pour it into a soup bowl. Peel the eggs and slice them thinly. Now that all the ingredients are ready, it’s time to assemble them.
Get a large bowl and start putting the ingredients layer by layer. I like using cabbage and carrot as my foundation and I prefer to crown my work with a little artistry. So, I usually save a little green peas, green bell pepper, sweet corn and baked beans for decorating the topmost layer of my salad. You’d find the slices of eggs and tomatoes at the top too alongside the ingredients I just mentioned. But this is my style. Feel free to start and end with any vegetable or vegetables of your choice.
Having said that, when all the ingredients are in the bowl, cover it and put it in the refrigerator to chill. When it’s cool, scoop out the portion you need and put the rest back inside the refrigerator. Mix it with mayonnaise or salad dressing and serve.
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