At my Nigerian boarding school, we had a tradition of School Mothers and School Daughters – a type of buddy system if you like, where older girls (in the fourth and fifth form) looked after new arrivals to the school.
My School Daughter, Natasha, and I have remained in touch, thirty-odd years on. It helps that our mums are friends and our maternal grandparents were also friends.
When she popped round for coffee the other day, I thought I would surprise her with akara (black-eyed bean patties) and old-style enamel plates and cups.
Recipe for Akara here.
Natasha’s son wondered why we referred to Akamu as ‘Nigerian Custard’ as it tasted just like custard, he said. His younger cousins were not so keen on it – probably because of its tart taste.
Evaporated milk (Peak Milk) and sugar cubes are the only way to have Akamu. Peak Milk, because that was the market leader in those days. Carnation Milk came along much later but was still referred to as ‘Peak Milk’: “First-to-Market” is very important in Nigeria!
Natatsha’s son decided that the best way to eat his akara was to make a wrap filled with bits of akara, salad and fried plantain (dodo). Luckily, we managed to convince him to use hummus rather than akamu as a sauce. He assured us it was very tasty!