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BN Cuisine with Dooney’s Kitchen: Miyan Gyeda



I wondered what to cook for my next BN Cuisine post. In light of the tribalistic comments filtering through cyberspace about the #bringbackourgirls campaign, I was upset, especially after reading Atoke’s post. I decided to cook a Northern dish. Atoke’s family background could have been mine. My maternal grandmother though born in Iperu was raised in the North. She only came back with her mother and sisters as a young woman. She spoke Hausa fluently. My maternal grandfather also lived in the North for several years, in fact his businesses started from there before he moved down South.

Atoke’s post made me think that if both of them had stayed back in the North, they could have met there, married there and raised their family there. My mother would be classed just as Atoke wrote. A Yoruba woman with a Hausa background. As I only speak my mother’s language, it made me wonder too that Hausa could have been the only Nigerian language that I speak.

When Atoke wrote ‘don’t stay silent, do something’, the idea behind this was born. I know it is just food, but for some of us who feel helpless in this situation, this is a skill that I have, which I hope will highlight that from North or South. At the end of the day, we are all just people. The pain of the mother in Chibok, should be the pain of everyone of us. This is not a Northern vs Southern vs Eastern or all that nonsense talk. At the end of the day, we are just people. They are just children. Children who were beating the odds and were being sent for an education. Children their parents had hopes for.

Food is one thing I know, one thing I do well and one thing I have observed that brings people together. This post is my way of showing solidarity with the people of the North, whose lands have been ravaged, by pain, suffering, blood, sweat and tears. A twist of fate and they could have been my own people too. I remember the words that were said when Sept 11 happened. It came back to me while I was writing this. “On that day the world stood still. On that day everyone was an American“. On that day we all, wherever you were in the world, from South Africa to Australia, we took on the pain and anguish of the American people. We felt it like it happened to us, to someone we knew and love. More so this is something happening in our very own backyard. Sad that many of us feel undisturbed, unpertubed or just couldn’t care less. After all it is “Northerners killing themselves and kidnapping their own children“. Tomorrow it could be you and yours. Today, don’t just be a Nigerian, be a man/woman from Chibok. Today, be a man/woman from Nyanya, from Jos, from Kano.

I’ve never cooked Miyan Gyada (pronounced gyeh-da – meaning groundnut) in my life before. In fact, I have only seen a picture of it once. A recipe was provided by Pauline B. Manilla. I am showcasing Northern food today deliberately to show some support.

You will need
4 pieces of Garden Eggs – substitute with 1 large aubergine
2 cooking spoons of Tarubu (fresh pepper – ata rodo)or your heat tolerance level
1 Kilo of Nama – meat (an assortment)
1 cooking spoon of Dadawa – iru or ogiri isi
3/4 – 1cup of Gyada – groundnut (raw or roasted)
1 – 2 cooking spoons of Crayfish
Stockfish – used just to flavour the meats
1 big piece of Smoked fish
1 handful of Eja Sawa – dry fish
1 handful of Smoked Red prawns
1 Alubasa – onions
3 tbs of Tsamiya – tamarind, awin, icheku
1 handful of Yakuwa leaves – ishapa, english sorrel, white zobo. Substitute with Ugu or spinach
2 cooking spoons of Palm oil
Salt – used only to season the meats
Seasoning cubes – used only to season the meats

How To
Boil and season your meats and variety of smoked fish with onions, salt and seasoning cubes. To stay as much local to the flavour, I did not use any salt or seasoning cubes in the latter stages of cooking. I relied solely on the beef stock, so endeavour to get it right from here.

While the meats are boiling, prep the rest of the ingredients starting from the raw groundnuts.

Toast for a few minutes in a dry pan, till the skin crisps up.

Proceed to blending the groundnuts (with their skin on) in a dry mill till you get a smooth powder. Mix the powder with a little water to form a thick paste

Now to the Garden Eggs. Chop off the stalk and whizz in a blender till smooth. If you are using purple aubergines instead, peel off the skin. If you are using white aubergines, leave the skin on.

Whizz in a blender till you get a smooth puree.

Rinse and chop the Yakuwa leaves.

Tsamiya – Tamarind. I bought this on Ebay. They can also be found in Asian food stores.


Tear off a chunk of the tsamiya. Place in a pot with a few tablespoons of water. Alternatively, you can place in a bowl and pour hot water on it. What you want is for it to soften, which would also you mash into a paste, after which you pick or sieve out the wiry stems.

Prepping done, time to cook. By this time, your meats should have cooked through. Heat up Palm oil in a pot, add chopped onions and let it fry for a bit.

Add the variety of smoked fish which your cooked with the meats. Don’t forget the smoked red prawns. Leave it to fry in the oil gently, just to release some of their flavour into the palm oil.

Add the groundnut paste and fresh pepper. Stir and allow to fry for about a minute

Add the meats and stock to lighten the soup. You will notice the colour change to a pale lovely shade of orange. Turn down the heat to medium. Remember that the stock constitutes your major seasoning component, so use enough of it. Don’t worry, unless you dump a bucket load in it, it wouldn’t be watery forever. Groundnut thickens as it cooks, so you will be just fine. You need the heat at medium to allow the groundnut cook slowly, and the meats too to absorb the groundnut. If you cook on high heat the soup will cook too fast for and it’ll burn.

Once you start to notice bubbles forming, add the dadawa (iru, ogiri isi) and stir. Give it roughly 2 minutes, ensure that you can taste the flavour of the dadawa in the soup. Very important. Add more dadawa, if you wish.

With the dadawa flavour coming off, pour in the garden egg paste. Pour in half first (if you have a garden egg aversion like me), give it a minute or so and taste the soup to see if that is fine for you. You want a stronger flavour, add the entire puree.  Stir and also leave the so merge with the other flavours. Still keep the heat on medium.

Add the crayfish, stir and further lower the heat. Crayfish has a thickening effect with creamy soups. So once this goes in, reduce the heat a little more to counter balance that thickening effect, so as not to allow the soup burn before the flavours combine and develop.

Once the soup has thickened noticeably, add the chopped Yakuwa and stir. Yakuwa adds a certain tangyness to this dish which is vital. You will notice its flavour almost immediately. Although Ugu or Spinach will serve as a vegetable substitute, Yakuwa truly is the deal. I cooked with it when making Miyan Taushe and I swear by it in any Northern dish that calls for Yakuwa.

One last sour tanginess to this dish is Tsamiya. Never cooked with it before but has now surprisingly become one of my favourite ingredients. Tamarind takes this dish from pretty great to freaking awesome. Trust me. I started with 2 tablespoons and increased to 3. I suggest you do the same. You just may find that 2 tablespoons is okay for you. One tablespoon?  Definitely not. You will barely notice its amazing flavour. 

Once the Tamarind goes in, stir, and cover the pot. Still on low heat, let all those flavours combine. If you need to dilute it, dilute with meat stock or hot water. Give it about 3 minutes or so. Open the pot and be enveloped by the aroma that will set your senses buzzing excitedly. You will notice the lighter liquify part of the soup floating on top and simmering nicely away.

When you stir, it becomes thicker, taking on the consistency of Egusi soup.

Scoop out into a bowl and serve.

IMG_0523_watermarkedI was going to make this with some starchy solid eaten in the North, but I though nah. I will serve with Garri to tie this up nicely. Garri is eaten by The Yorubas and Igbos, not just them, but eaten all over Nigeria. Courtesy of Remmy Tewogbade who created the Green and White Eba, I decided to take it a step further by creating a Green-White-Green Eba, served with Miyan Gyada. One Nigeria on a plate.

Original idea goes to Temitope Adedayo of Stunnababez Cuisine who introduced the fun healthy way of adding pureed vegetables to our Nigerian Starch solids. To see how I made this, please visit the blog. If you would also like to try another popular Northern dish; Miyan Taushe, I have also got a recipe there.

#todayIamawomanfromChibok    #todayIrepresentNyanya #todayIrepresentJos #todayIrepresentKano

Dunni Obata is an IT Project Manager by day and a cook the rest of the time. She loves entertainment and one of her bad habits is feeding people. When she’s not cooking, she’s watching the Food Network. Dunni is very passionate about Nigerian food and believes it has a lot to offer globally. Visit her blog –

I'm an IT Project Manager by day and a cook the rest of the time. I love entertaining, and one of my bad habits is feeding people, so guests beware. When I'm not cooking, I'm watching Food Network, American TV series and National Geographic in that order. When I want peace and quiet, I curl up on the sofa and read a good book I'm very passionate about Nigerian food. I believe our food has a lot to offer globally, and with the right exposure, it can stand proud alongside food from other cultures. I'm hoping to get us all fired up and talking about Nigerian cooking irrespective of whatever part of the world you live in. Welcome to Dooney's Kitchen


  1. Yinkz

    May 23, 2014 at 1:24 pm

    Dang! Dunni, ur story gets me always. Today I am a Nigerian…

    • Dunni Obata

      May 23, 2014 at 9:56 pm

      Thank you very much Yinkz. Today, we are all Nigerians

  2. Joan85

    May 23, 2014 at 1:29 pm

    Dooney! Your blog is the reason I can now confidently make Buka stew lol. This will take a lot of work o, but I just might try it! 🙂

    • Dunni Obata

      May 23, 2014 at 9:58 pm

      Thank you Joan85. Well done with confidently nailing Buka Stew. I hope you try it. It is not very difficult to cook at all

  3. iwalewa

    May 23, 2014 at 1:38 pm

    AWESOME.i will definitely try it


    May 23, 2014 at 1:42 pm

    From one born, raised and bred in Ibadan, Hausa girl, (who speaks Yoruba better than her very stilted and accented Hausa, married to a Yoruba/Efik man) to a could-have-been Hausa speaking Yoruba girl, THANK YOU. Much love…

    • adelegirl

      May 23, 2014 at 3:56 pm

      Wow! Love the combination of cultures! Hahahaha! You are true Nigerian. I always say jokingly that people should vote for me to become President because I am a “true” Nigerian- a mix of yoruba and niger delta/igbo marrying a full-bred yoruba man who speaks hausa and fulani very fluently and living in the North (well Abuja is north as far as I am concerned 😉 :p

      Dooney has come again o. I’ve still got some groudnut left from my last woeful attempt at groudnut soup niger-delta style. Might try my hand at this northern style. #TeamNeverGiveUp

    • Dunni Obata

      May 23, 2014 at 10:00 pm

      Yes o. #teamnevergiveup. I hope you will try it. It is quite simple to prepare. This was my first time. What went wrong with your niger delta groundnut soup?

    • Dunni Obata

      May 23, 2014 at 9:59 pm

      Aaaaaaw, Maryam. Big Hugs. You are welcome

  5. FunkyW

    May 23, 2014 at 1:46 pm

    WOW Dooney well done!

  6. DocDeola

    May 23, 2014 at 2:13 pm

    Clever as always and very sensitively put. Well done

    • Dunni Obata

      May 23, 2014 at 10:08 pm

      Thank you Deola. Oh dear, covering my face now. i should have called you ages ago

  7. Blessing

    May 23, 2014 at 2:26 pm

    This is just too much. Never been moved to try out a Northern soup before but because it is you. I will try it. I swear if you cook this even for the head of Boko Haram with all these words you wrote they will release those girls tomorrow. Dunni for Peace Ambassador/Conflict Resolver. You are just too much. Nigeria needs people like you.

    • Her Excellency!

      May 23, 2014 at 2:56 pm

      As in she’s too much…she has converted you already into trying it…lol
      l second that #ambassadorthingz…
      Someone once said, ‘if Dunni asks me to put maggi in ice-cream, l’ll try it’…lol

    • Dunni Obata

      May 23, 2014 at 10:10 pm

      Loooool. Thank you Her excellency. Hopefully, we will find use for “maggi” in ice cream. Lol

    • Dunni Obata

      May 23, 2014 at 10:09 pm

      Hahahahaha. I don’t have diplomatic skills o. If I ever get to be in the vicinity of the boko haram leader (i sure hope ever not), I will open a can of whoop ass on him. Thank you for the recommendation and compliments. I appreciate it

  8. Bleed Blue

    May 23, 2014 at 2:38 pm

    Yassss!!! Dunni, this is food for thought (see what I did there? 😉 )

    You deliver yet another mouth-watering recipe along with a beautiful message.

    I just started following you on instagram and hmmm looking at your foodie photos ehn…I just ask myself where I was when this particular gift of culinary creativity was being distributed.

    I console myself jor. I can rap. Better than Biggie Smalls sef 🙂

    • Dunni Obata

      May 23, 2014 at 10:14 pm

      Yass, yass, yass. I saw what you did there. You see, you can rap, I can’t string two words together. Thank you for your comment

  9. Aya Keni

    May 23, 2014 at 2:50 pm

    Awww Dunni…#tearsrolling…
    l’m not tryin this meal oo but ur piece got me here… (when l go to ur blog, l always scroll down and l say, ‘can we just go straight to d point(cooking) pls madam Dunni but l scroll back cos l notic, l ‘ve missed some corrections in d gist…lol)

    l’m one of d guilty ones who isnt ‘bothered-enough’, (not that l’m not bothered at all o but l avnt joined in d campaign by ‘hashtagging’ or prayed to God enough but only joked about it by sharing Dame’s cartoony jokes or her ‘Diariz a God o’) l’ve chosen to consciously disconnect my emotions from d happenings in Naija cos l’m always disappointed that nothing will come out of it. (As you can see, the ‘hashtag trend’ is wearing down)

    The reality is dat ‘enikan lomo’ (na the person wey d thing hit go know).
    l pray this girls are back and God restores the families of the bomb victims and please God should heal Nigeria… (Oh Lord, when the righteous rules the people are happy o and nothing happens without your permission oh Lord, no one becomes a ruler except You sign to it ooo, oh Lord…this ‘ijoba ko derun o Oluwa’, ‘e wa sha nu fun wa oooo’, tears are rolling, children r becoming orphans, mums r losing their precious ones, Oh Lord we beg and pray, pleaseeeeeeeeeeeeeeeee, let Your peace reign. )

    • Her Excellency!

      May 23, 2014 at 2:57 pm

      Dunni, still waiting for our ‘paraga’ movez o

    • Dunni Obata

      May 23, 2014 at 10:16 pm

      Amen o. Peace will reign some day. As for the paraga funkynising, i have been able to lock down one ingredient, stay tuned

  10. Mary

    May 23, 2014 at 2:53 pm

    Dooney My Love… How i Love you so much. Since i discovered your blog, cooking has stopped been a pain. My boo keeps asking what I’m i doing with my pone in the kitchen. Thank you Dunni, kisses.

    • Dunni Obata

      May 23, 2014 at 10:17 pm

      Aaaaaaw, hugs. Mary. Thanks

  11. slice

    May 23, 2014 at 4:01 pm

    well done

  12. Layode

    May 23, 2014 at 4:10 pm

    @ambassadorship with all the strange endorsements we have been seeing of late, yours will be the one that will make the most impact. Since you cook with Knorr Chicken I hope Unilever is watching and taking notes. You guys need to sign this girl fast. My sisters, my friends, my mum all switched from maggi to knorr chicken because of Dunni. We don’t intend to switch back lai lai. Seeing Toke’s face on Maggi that we don’t know if she can make common egusi soup doesn’t help. I will be cooking this soup this weekend. The only problem is Tsamiya and Yakuwa. Where in Lagos can I buy them please? Let me cook something northern for my husband. He went to school in the north. He will be so surprised

    • Dunni Obata

      May 23, 2014 at 10:27 pm

      Thank you very much Layode for the recommendation. Tsamiya is called Awin in Yoruba. Ask the yourba sellers in markets, you will be led to where to buy/ Yakuwa is also called Ishapa. Ask the yoruba women who sell vegetables. You may be lucky to find some. I do hope you do, to surprise your husband.

  13. efe

    May 23, 2014 at 4:27 pm

    creative way of having garri,though am no longer a consumer of it. Thumps up dear!!!

    • Dunni Obata

      May 23, 2014 at 10:27 pm

      Thank you Efe. I am guessing you are a member of #teamfitfam

  14. Luqman

    May 23, 2014 at 7:08 pm

    Thanks for passing a vital message through your creativity. Nigeria is at the boiling point and she needs support from all angle to uphold herself. God says he created male, female, tribes, races and made you a nation in order for you to know each other but the noble among you is the one who fear God (He was laying an emphasis on co-existence).
    When the rain is falling, it falls on every tribes in Nigerian irrespective of our diversities likewise when it’s sunny. Love plays an important role in human existence, that is why God says you are not a true believer unless “he desires for his brother/sister is what he desires for himself.””
    My best friend is an Igbo man and i can’t toy with him cos he is always there for me in the midst of adversity.
    Nice food!

    • Luqman

      May 25, 2014 at 7:39 pm

      *tribes in Nigeria*

  15. Jamila Adamu

    May 23, 2014 at 7:21 pm

    Dooney, this should be nominated for the Nobel Peace “Meal”. Ur write up has summed up everything in the minds of many, I felt a sense of euphoria as I read it, you have restored my faith in the unity of Nigeria…..PROUDLY NIGERIAN

  16. Dunni Obata

    May 23, 2014 at 10:04 pm

    Thank you FunkyW

  17. Dunni Obata

    May 23, 2014 at 10:16 pm

    Aaaaaw, hugs Mary. Thanks

  18. idomagirl

    May 23, 2014 at 11:17 pm

    Dooney! I was first introduced to your work via a Facebook group, So You Think You Can Cook?, when you posted about using a blender to make pounded yam. You don’t know me but you are my bestie for that tip. LOL. Keep up the good work and this is a great post. 🙂

  19. sir farouk

    May 24, 2014 at 12:02 am

    Absolutely delicious looking, to me the diversity of nigerian languages culture and cuisine is a blessing.

  20. Dee one

    May 24, 2014 at 5:34 am

    Just a lil correction….it is called atarugu not tarubu…almost like the Yoruba way, just d last 3 letters are different. This soup eaten with “tuwon shinkafa” (solid rice just like pounded yam but made with special white rice) is a northern delicacy and it is the bomb, you should try it.

  21. TA

    May 25, 2014 at 4:44 am

    Dunni oh Dunni,well done sisteh! You sure cook like a dream

  22. Es

    May 27, 2014 at 2:43 pm

    For Tamarind paste that’s ready to go with all hairs taken out, check out for their TamarindOH! sauce. We ship throughout the continental USA.

  23. jay

    June 2, 2014 at 9:20 am

    thanks plenty dooney. i made this soup yesterday and i havent stopped receiving cullinary compliments!! whoop whoop!

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