Alternative Meals You Can Enjoy This Festive Season That Isn’t Rice

Florence Uwaeme

Here in Nigeria, during every festive period, rice has always been the most cooked food. Most times, it is cooked as white rice and stew, jollof rice or fried rice. If you are amongst people who are not afraid to try out new delicacies or who don’t mind spicing up their culinary habits, then you should try any of the following.

Unripe Plantain Porridge

Unripe plantain porridge is a healthy meal. Unripe Plantain enriches the heart; with its content of serotonin which dilates the arteries and improves blood flow. It is a rich source of fiber; which aids in digestion, vitamins A, C and B-6. It also contains complex carbohydrates. Unripe plantain is recommended for weight management.

Wouldn’t you want to eat this more often? There are different methods of preparing this delicacy. Here are the ingredients and recipe.


Ø Four fingers of plantain (This depends on the number of people)

Ø Palm Oil

Ø Crayfish

Ø Dried Fish/smoked Ice fish

Ø Onion bulb 2

Ø Scent Leaf

Ø Fresh Tomatoes (Optional)

Ø Salt

Ø Seasoning of choice

Ø Fresh pepper


Step 1

Wash, peel and chop your plantain into sizable cubes. It shouldn’t be as tiny as the one used for beans. Wash and blend the crayfish and pepper. The fish should be washed and be ridden of every bone. Chop your wash onion and set aside.

Step 2

Pour the chopped plantain into a pot. Add the blended crayfish, chopped onion, pepper and the fish. Allow it to cook till it’s soft. Don’t forget to add salt and seasoning to taste. Once the plantain is soft enough, place your frying pan on fire; pour the palm oil (please do not bleach the oil), pour in onion and chopped/blended tomatoes. Stir fry for 5 minutes maximum.

Pour in the oil into the pot of plantain, add the scent leaf, allow simmer for 5 minutes. Bring the pot down and your yummy plantain porridge is ready to be served.

Peppered Snail

Snail meat is packed with protein and it is also a source of iron. Iron is a vital substance needed by the body to ensure the availability of the required number of blood cells every day. It contains vitamin A, E, B1, B2, B6 and manganese.


Ø 10 medium snail

Ø 5 plum tomatoes (optional)

Ø 1 onion

Ø Salt

Ø 1 dishing spoon vegetable oil

Ø Seasoning cube

Ø 4 habanero pepper


Break the snail from the shell and wash properly with alum to get rid of the snail slime. Chop the onion into and keep aside. You can blend or slice your tomatoes and pepper. It is advisable to blend for it to have a smooth surface.

  1. Put the cleaned snail in a pot and pour water.

  2. Add the seasoning cube and onion. Cover the pot and place on fire. You have to be careful with salting in order not to over salt the meat.

  3. Cook for 30 minutes or less.

  4. Pour the sliced/blended tomatoes plus onion in another pot and cook for on medium heat. Stir until dry.

  5. Add vegetable oil and fry for about 4 minutes. Add salt and keep stirring.

  6. Add the cooked snail and stir. Add more salt if need be.

There you have it! You can serve with either soft or alcoholic beverages.