Skip to main content

Cooking Around the World: Niger

We're on to the Ns for our Cooking Around the World Adventure. Here we go with Niger - not to be confused with Nigeria...that's up next!

A few facts about Niger...

  • The official language of Niger is not Swahili but French.
  • The name Niger is derived from the phrase gher n-gheren which means “river among rivers,” in the Tamashek language.
  • The country of Niger is one of the hottest countries in the world.
  • The Nigerienne flag is perfectly square in shape and the colors of orange, white and green stand for the Sahara desert, purity and innocence, and green vegetation and fruitful agricultural areas of the country respectively.
  • The remains of the dinosaur ‘Nigersaurus’, better known for its long neck and hammerhead skull was discovered in Niger.
  • Slavery was declared illegal in Niger in May 2004.
  • The land of Niger is slightly less than twice the size of the Texas.
  • On August 3, 1960 Niger became independent from France and was under military rule till 1991.

Poulet aux Arachides de Niger
Nigerienne Peanut Chicken Stew 

This is a traditional Nigerienne recipe for a classic stew of chicken pieces and onions in a tomato and peanut butter base with aubergines, potatoes and piri-piri chiles. Okay, I made some significant departures from the traditional recipe because I had some nice zucchini from a friend's garden - Thanks, Marne! - and some leftover rainbow carrots. Mine is more Poulet aux Arachides de Niger-inspired!

2 boneless, skinless chicken breasts, cubed
1 leek, trimmed and sliced into coins
2 large zucchinis, cubed
3 medium carrots, cut into coins
2 tomaotes, destemmed and sliced
2 potatoes, cubed
3 T peanut butter
1 t soy sauce
1 C water
freshly ground sea salt
freshly ground pepper

Heat a splash of olive oil in a pan. Add the chicken pieces and fry until until nicely browned all over. Add the leeks and cook until the leeks are translucent and browned. Stir in the tomatoes then add the zucchini and potatoes. Add in the water and peanut butter, stirring till the peanut butter is dissolved into the sauce. Season to taste with salt, black pepper, and the soy sauce. Bring to a simmer, cover the pot and cook gently for about 40 minutes, or until the chicken pieces are tender and cooked through. Serve hot with rice. Though the original is made spicy with piri-piri, Dylan isn't a huge fan of 'hot things'. So, I opted to serve red chili pepper flakes on the side.

These Global Table Ambassdors are signing off for now. We're heading to Nigeria next. Marne just told me that she'll be sending green beans my way in the next couple of days. I wonder if they use green beans in any Nigerian recipes. I'll start looking.


Popular posts from this blog

Quick Pickled Red Onions and Radishes

If you've been reading my blog for even a short amount of time, you probably know how much I love to pickle things. I was just telling a friend you can pickle - with vinegar - or you can ferment - with salt - for similar delicious effect. The latter has digestive benefits and I love to do that, but when I need that pop of sour flavor quickly, I whip up quick pickles that are ready in as little as a day or two. I've Pickled Blueberries , Pickled Asparagus , Pickled Cranberries , Pickled Pumpkin , and even Pickled Chard Stems ! This I did last night for an upcoming recipe challenge that requires I include radishes. Ummmm...of course I'm pickling them! Ingredients  makes 1 quart jar radishes, trimmed and sliced organic red onions, peeled and thinly sliced (I used a mandolin slicer) 3/4 C vinegar (I used white distilled vinegar) 3/4 C water 3 T organic granulated sugar 1 T salt (I used some grey sea salt) 6 to 8 grinds of black pepper Proce

Aloo Tiki {Pakistan}

To start off our Pakistani culinary adventure, I started us off with aloo tiki - potato cutlets. I'm always game for tasty street food. I found a couple of different recipes and incorporated those together for this version. Ingredients 6-8 small red potatoes, scrubbed 1 T cumin seeds 1 T fresh chopped parsley 1/2 t ground coriander 1 t minced garlic Procedure Boil the potatoes until they are tender. Drain and let cool. Mash the potatoes. Traditionally they are mashed without their skins. I left the skins on. In a small pan, toast the cumin seeds on high heat until the begin to give off an aroma and begin to darken. Remove from heat and transfer to a plate to keep them from cooking any more. Blend all of the spices into the mashed potatoes, then shape into small patties. If you wet your hands, the potato mixture won't stick to them. Heat a splash of oil in a large, flat-bottom pan. Dip each patty into beaten egg and carefully place in the oil. P

Hot Chocolate Agasajo-Style {Spice It Up!}

photo by D For my Spice It Up! kiddos this week, I was looking for an exotic drink to serve while we learned about saffron. I found a recipe from food historian Maricel Presilla that mimicked traditional Spanish hot chocolate from the 17th century where it was served at lavish receptions called agasajos . When I teach, I don't always get to shoot photos. Thankfully, D grabbed my camera and snapped a few. Ingredients serves 14-16 1 gallon organic whole milk 3 T dried rosebuds - or 2 t rosewater 2 t saffron threads, lightly crushed 3 T ground cinnamon 3 whole tepin chiles, crushed 2 vanilla beans, split lengthwise 1 C organic granulated sugar 1 lb. bittersweet chocolate Procedure In a large soup pot that can hold a gallon plus, combine milk, dried rosebuds (or rosewater, if you are using that), saffron threads, ground cinnamon, chiles, vanilla beans, and sugar and warm over medium heat till it steams. Whisk to dissolve sugar, then lower heat an