The big ‘Ileya’ is here again – that time of the year when Muslim faithfuls not only share love and joy but also meaty moments (Ram meat to be precise) with friends and family.
Eid el Kabir (Sallah) festival, is a religious rite in memory of the sacrifice performed by Prophet Abraham. During this celebration, an animal is sacrificed to commemorate this sacrifice. In Nigeria, the most preferred option of sacrifice is ram or cow, depending on the individual’s financial strength.
The meat of the animal sacrificed is divided into three parts. One of the three parts is retained by the family, the second part is shared amongst friends and relatives of the family, and the third part is given out as alms to the poor and needy in the community.
Cooking the meat year after year can become a routine for most women who may just employ the normal method of just frying the meat which is eaten with jollof rice or any other local delicacies.
But you can actually get creative with cooking your rams this Sallah.
Here are other fun ways you can prepare your ram meat this season and give your family and friends a change.
Ram Dodo Recipe
Ram Dodo is a twist on the popular gizzard dodo dish and this will be perfect this season when there is a lot of ram meat around.
To prepare ram dodo that will serve about 8 persons you will need:
2 Red bell peppers
1 small green bell pepper
3 medium onions
2 Scotch Bonnet peppers
2 cloves of garlic, minced
3 large tomatoes
2 large ripe plantains
1/2 a teaspoon of curry powder
1/2 a teaspoon of thyme
Salt to taste
Wash and clean the ram meat, trimming off fat. Cut into small bite-size pieces. Marinate with garlic, thyme, curry, seasoning cubes, 1 chopped onion, and salt for at least 30mins (NB: Marinate overnight for more flavor
Add ram meat to a pot on medium-high heat, add a little water and cook until meat is tender, 30-35mins. Check for seasoning and adjust if necessary. Dice the plantains into pieces similar to the size of the ram meat pieces.
Pour some Vegetable Oil into a frying pan on medium heat, and fry the plantain until golden brown. Fry the ram meat until golden brown for about 5-7 mins.
Chop 1 red pepper and the green pepper. Set aside. Wash, cut, and blend the tomatoes, 1 red pepper, scotch bonnet peppers, and 1 onion.
Pour 3 cooking spoons of the same oil used in frying the ram into a pot and heat up on medium heat.
Add some chopped onions and garlic and sauté for 30 secs. Add the pepper mix and fry for about 10-12mins until the sour taste is gone. Add the ram meat, stir well with the sauce and cook for 1-2 mins Add the chopped peppers, stir and cook for 30-secs.
Lastly, add the fried plantains, stir to ensure all the flavours “marry well”. Check for salt and adjust if necessary.
Serve hot and enjoy with Fried rice, Jollof rice or even White rice!
Stir frying is another amazing way to cook your ram meat this Sallah season. This is because stir frying doesn’t only leave it tasting really succulent, but gives it a whole different taste. The stir frying method also allows you throw in other options like vegetables.
The stir frying method also allows you throw in other options like vegetables. Another advantage of making your Sallah a stir fry is that the cooking method allows you cook in bulk, that way there’s enough to share with family and friends.
2 Cooking Spoons of Vegetable Oil
1kg of shredded ram meat
1 red bell pepper (Tatashe)
1 Medium sized Onion
2 Large Green Peppers
1 clove of Garlic
1 tablespoon soy sauce (optional)
1 Seasoning Cube
Salt to taste
Wash and dice all the vegetables (Onions, Green pepper, Red pepper, Carrot, Garlic) separately and set aside.
Wash the ram meat; season with salt and set aside.Step 3Heat up 1 cooking spoon of
Heat up 1 cooking spoon of vegetable Oil in a large pot over medium high heat; add the sliced meat and stir until browned. This usually takes 3 to 5 minutes.
In another pan, heat up the remaining vegetable oil; add garlic and onions and cook for 2 minutes.
Add the diced green pepper, red pepper, carrots, seasoning cube, curry, thyme and cook for 3-5 mins, stirring frequently
Add your cooked ram meat and stir so that the veggies get mixed evenly. Continue to cook and stir for about 2 more minutes and it is ready to serve.
Grilling is another fun way to prepare your ram meat, not just for the taste but also for the health benefits. Some of the advantages of grilling ram meat include eating less fat because the excess fat cooks off and drips off the grates.
The key to making a perfect grilled ram meat lies in the cut and seasoning of the meat. Grilled ram meat is a perfect combo for your other Sallah delicacies like Jollof rice etc, It can also be served with chilled juice or wine as a delicacy of its own.
We are familiar with the word ‘stew’ as being a delicacy but stew is not just the name of a dish, it is also a cooking method. When cuts of meat are stewed they become flavourful and tender. So for a more tender, and super flavoured ram meat this Sallah, there is no doubt that stewing is a good way to go.
10 whole tomatoes
2 large red bell peppers (Tatashe)
4 Scotch Bonnet Peppers (Ata Rodo)
3 spoonfuls vegetable Oil
2 medium-sized onions
1 teaspoon garlic powder or A garlic clove (optional)
2 tablespoonfuls of ground crayfish(optional)
Salt to taste
1 stock cube or any seasoning of choice
Spice and boil your ram meat then set aside for later.
Add the pepper, tomatoes and one onion in a blender and blend (you can also make use of canned stewed tomatoes if you don’t have fresh tomatoes)
Note: Ensure to add little water as you blend, but if you end up with a watery mixture, simply add it to a pot and boil to remove excess liquid.
Next, place a pot on medium heat, pour in vegetable Oil, heat it up until is very hot(but not smoking), then add the meat and fry until dry.
Add your shredded onions into the hot oil, fry a bit and then add the blended tomato & pepper mix. Cook until the mixture loses its sour taste, or until you begin to see the oil rise to the top.
Add the garlic powder, seasoning cubes, ground crayfish and salt to taste. You can also add more seasoning if you like to. Mix thoroughly, cover and leave to cook for 2 minutes.
Add the fried meat, mix well, cover the pot, simmer for 5 minutes and put off the heat.