cover image My Everyday Lagos: Nigerian Cooking at Home and in the Diaspora

My Everyday Lagos: Nigerian Cooking at Home and in the Diaspora

Yewande Komolafe. Ten Speed, $35 (288p) ISBN 978-1-984858-93-1

Komolafe, founder of the Four Salt Spoons recipe development lab, who moved to the United States as a student in the 1990s, brings her home city of Lagos vividly to life in this gorgeous debut blend of recipes and recollections. A moving introduction about the importance of food to the author touches on her brother’s death from sickle cell anemia and her time as an undocumented immigrant in America. A no-nonsense overview introduces key ingredients that may be unfamiliar to Western readers, such as dried crayfish and manshanu (clarified milk fat), then segues into an exploration of the funky, bold cuisine of Nigeria. Recipes include street food staples such as yam fritters and favorites from bukas (small casual restaurants) like one-pot chicken and rice and the “viscous” ogbono soup, which has an unusually elastic texture. A bone-in goat leg braised in a spicy sauce is among the more time-consuming dishes for weekends and holidays. While desserts are not heavily featured on the Nigerian table, Komolafe offers pithy recipes for sweets such as chuk chuk coconut candies and kanjika, a pudding made with fermented cornstarch. A chapter on refreshing drinks rounds things out. This heartfelt and fascinating collection is an outstanding example of a cookbook that is so much more than mere recipes. (Oct.)