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Dotun-Adebayo
How to nyam African without being scared

GASKELL: Hoping to win over Brits to African cooking

AFRICAN FOOD has never taken off in Britain. Let's face it, it's too hot and too 'foreign' for an English palate. Compared to food from Nigeria, for example, the popular dishes from India and China that Brits love, have virtually no taste at all. And unlike the chilli stew of Lagos and Badagari, yer average Caribbean jerk and ackee and saltfish don't even burn your tongue!

I should add that the suspicion that Nigerian cuisine includes the parts of an animal (the gizzards and intestines) that civilised people don't eat, doesn't help to engender a fondness for it.

Now, though, one enterprising chef has broken down the fear of African cooking that so many of you who hail form the tropics live in fear of. 'African Fusion' cooking is the brainchild of Nina Gaskell. It anglicizes some of my favourite Nigerian dishes and turns them into something an afro-saxon like myself can get our teeth into. Like the African Shepherd's Pie which uses black eyed beans in place of mincemeat and replaces the grilled mash into sweet potato. I can't wait to taste her Plantain Goulash.

Her book 'African Fusion' is the perfect 'starter' for anyone who wants to try cooking from the motherland but was too afraid to do it. And not a gizzard in sight!

Get the book on Amazon or directly from her: ninasgourmet@hotmail.co.uk

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