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BN Cuisine with Matse: The Native Rice



matse yellow 2Before I start talking food on BN Cuisine, I would love to observe all protocols in our local parlance…the language I speak when I am most comfortable and in my elements.

“My people I hail O! Belle just dey totori me as BellaNaija don gree me to write food matter for this bellalicious website.
Na plenty salute I dey trowey give BellaNaija, the entire team and every body wey dey read this blog. Una weldone O! 🙂 “

I must warn you that I write in both languages. 😀 So, if I occasionally slip into pidgin, please forgive me. Dog nor dey learn how to bark for old age. 😀

Today, we will be doing a very old dish born out of necessity and the natural urge to feed. Dem say, No matter wetin happen, “Man must wack!”. The Native rice also known as “Palm oil rice” or “Concoction rice” originated out of need and poverty and has evolved into a very interesting dish as you will see in this recipe. Extremely versatile, permitting the use of various fish types, meat and vegetables.

To be honest, I nor be talku-talku, even when I work for radio, as soon as I commot for studio, talku-talku don end. It is one aspect of my life that stuns everyone I meet. I don’t talk much. I love to listen and I like action.

Oya, let’s cook!

This meal can be completed in 50 minutes – Prep time: 10 minutes | Cook time: 50 minutes

What You Need (Serves 6)
3 cups of rice (par boiled)
3 cooking spoons of palm oil (or less if you want)
1 medium size onion (1/2 blended 1/2 sliced)
10 habanero pepper/ ata rodo (8 blended, 2 sliced)
A handful of dried shrimps
2 heaped tablespoons of dried blended crayfish
2 tablespoons of Iru (locust beans)
2 medium sized smoked catfish
2 rolls of soft ponmo (diced)
2 handful of ugu (pumpkin leaves)
Seasoning cubes
Salt to taste

How To
Now, let’s start with blending the onion and pepper. You can blend it rough or smooth according to your preference. Modernization don bring blender if na before you for use grinding stone.

native 1

Blend or pound the crayfish in a mortar (I prefer using the mortar for texture). It is also an opportunity for you to flex those arm muscles. Nor go turn to Mojo jojo o! 🙂

native 2

Wash and parboil the rice. Immediately rinse with cold water. This is to stop the cooking process and to remove excess starch. Nor turn am to tuwo o! You go just kukuma cook rice porridge.

native 3

Wash the smoked cat fish with salt and warm water. The salt acts like an antiseptic, killing germs and it loosens dirt. Then cut the fish into chunks. *Behave yourself and don’t throw any into your mouth*

native 4

Carefully remove the head and tail of the dried shrimps. This is to prevent injury while eating. Unlike their little sister crayfish, dried shrimps are quite hard. Place them in a pot with water and some salt and steam for about 5 minutes to soften, then drain.

native 5

Heat up the palm oil in a pot for 3 minutes. We don’t want to kill the nutrients. Uhm…nor over do am make your neighbours start to cough, come dey throwey curse come your side. Food wey dem swear for nor dey sweet no! Nor say I nor warn you.

native 6

Add the onion slices and stir fry until it is translucent. The onion releases flavour into the palm oil.

native 7

Follow up with the onion and pepper blend and cook for 5 minutes or until the sauce separates from the palm oil.

native 8

Wash the iru (locust beans) with water to remove dirt and stones and add it to the cooking pot. You will immediately start perceiving the “nativey” aroma. Jeez! I love this smell. Na this kain aroma dem dey call “Oyoyo fire”.

native 9

Pour in the shrimps, crayfish, diced ponmo. Add a little water and some salt. Turn down the heat and allow to simmer for 5 minutes. This process allows the shrimps and ponmo to soak in the natural goodness of the sauce. Start getting your dancing shoes ready!

native 10 native 11

native 12

Include the fish chunks, add the seasoning cubes. Let it cook for a few more minutes then pour the sauce into a pot containing the drained parboiled rice.

native 13 native 14

Mix in thoroughly. Add more salt and seasoning to taste (if needed). A little bit of water, cover the pot with a tight lid then allow to cook over medium to low heat. Stir from time to time with a wooden spatula until the rice is cooked.

native 15

Aaaaah! Now the rice is cooked. Can you see how lovely it looks? With the fish chunks and shrimps peeping through. Ayakata! *In Yemi Alade’s voice*

Finish up with the washed sliced Ugu (pumpkin leaves) and sliced habanero pepper. Turn off the heat. Ehen! Now you fit carry your plate and spoon dey beat band.. start to dey dance Davido “Skelewu”. 🙂native 16

See suffer man wack wey don turn to exotic delicacy? Dem say, “When the desirable is not available, the available becomes desirable.” 😀

Serve with stewed meats or alone.

native rice dp 2i native rice dp


Matse Uwatse Nnoli is a multiple award winning media personality, a food and drinks blogger and does restaurant reviews on She enjoys painting, writing, cooking and interior decorating. She is a giver and hopes to share her  knowledge, tricks and findings with other foodies. She believes in taking Nigerian food to the world at large through amazing recipes, food photography and cooking skills. In her quiet time she reads, develops apps, watches medieval / old western movies or is tending to her little daughter.


  1. Debby

    September 19, 2014 at 1:08 pm

    Yummy……. definitely cooking this for le boo this weekend! thank you for the great idea!

    • slice

      September 19, 2014 at 5:12 pm

      talk true…you sef wan chop am. if na truly for le boo, u must not chop am too o (after all na for le boo u dey make am)

    • Matse Uwatse Nnoli

      September 19, 2014 at 6:16 pm

      Thanks debby 🙂

  2. efe

    September 19, 2014 at 1:14 pm

    Thanks Matse. would have this by the weekend. Hugs n Kisses to your Princess

    • Matse Uwatse Nnoli

      September 19, 2014 at 6:17 pm

      The little princess says “Helloooo!”

  3. Mimi

    September 19, 2014 at 1:26 pm

    Yaaaaaay! So easy to cook and looks very lovely. Me likey. Weldone.

  4. Uruemu Duku

    September 19, 2014 at 1:32 pm

    I’ve been thinking of concoction rice for ages, na fire dwn I dey. So. Thumbs up Matse.

  5. Monisola

    September 19, 2014 at 1:33 pm

    Refreshing recipe, thanks for sharing.

  6. XteriAyaoba

    September 19, 2014 at 1:41 pm

    chai see ‘oil rice’ as it is called in my house! E don tay oh. Infact i shall prepare some after work today. see saliavation. well done Matse looks very yummy

  7. egbon

    September 19, 2014 at 1:41 pm

    Chei,wow….i remember when my mum serves us this rice. Thanks for the memories,me i go cook this one this weekend

  8. Onye

    September 19, 2014 at 1:42 pm

    Nigerians are always using palm oil. So unhealthy

    • slice

      September 19, 2014 at 3:08 pm

      it is not nah. abi you don’t believe DR Oz

      learned a good trick for bleaching palm oil. use air tight pot (at least a pot with a good cover). add the oil, add the fresh big onion slices. Cover the pot, turn on fire and keep pot closed for as long as you want to bleach the oil. after bleaching, turn off the fire and keep cover closed to give the smoke in the pot time to subside. perfect for not covering the house in palm oil smoke

    • Matse Uwatse Nnoli

      September 19, 2014 at 6:33 pm

      Thanks for the tip Slice. truly needed.

    • Matse Uwatse Nnoli

      September 19, 2014 at 6:22 pm

      Hi Onye!
      Palm oil is actually healthy.
      See what doctor Bruce Fife has to say about it. follow the link

  9. Mz Socially Awkward...

    September 19, 2014 at 1:48 pm

    Matse, you’re an incorrigible comic – “Then cut the fish into chunks. *Behave yourself and don’t throw any into your mouth* “. How you take know as we dey chop half before the soup don even cook finish?

    This was nicely written and simple to follow. Won’t cook it just yet but will bookmark it for one of those days when I wake up with an intense craving for “native food” 🙂

    • Ima

      September 19, 2014 at 2:50 pm

      Lol. At *Behave yourself and don’t throw any into your mouth*, I could have sworn she was speaking to me! I can’t guarantee that I would behave myself though.

    • Matse Uwatse Nnoli

      September 19, 2014 at 6:25 pm

      Thanks Mz Socially Awkward. I do eat the fish myself while cooking. 😀 I am equally guilty.

  10. Stylefash25

    September 19, 2014 at 1:49 pm

    You just made me so hungry…lol. I am so cooking this for Sunday lunch 😀

  11. TANTRA

    September 19, 2014 at 1:50 pm

    I used to cook this those days in campus. Concoction rice was the name. I enjoyed it. Matse, I like the way you write. Food wey them swear for no dey sweet o. hehehehehe.

  12. iwalewa

    September 19, 2014 at 2:00 pm

    i love concotion rice.i use groundnut oil for mine. i will definitely try this palmoil version. Matseeeee,d food don dey totori my stomach. Well done

  13. Rossy

    September 19, 2014 at 2:02 pm


  14. DiaryofDido

    September 19, 2014 at 2:16 pm

    I’ve just turned a fan, Matse.
    Love your down-to-earth style of narration and, this palm oil rice make sense die.
    Na this your own I wan chop so, chai.
    Good job Matse.

    • Matse Uwatse Nnoli

      September 19, 2014 at 6:27 pm

      Awwww thanks DiaryofDido. Got a tear in my eye. 🙂

  15. oluetan

    September 19, 2014 at 2:20 pm

    yummy yummy love dis

  16. temmy

    September 19, 2014 at 2:30 pm

    welldone matse

    • Matse Uwatse Nnoli

      September 19, 2014 at 6:31 pm

      Thank you temmy.

  17. Loulou

    September 19, 2014 at 2:41 pm

    Nice Matse, will definitely give it a go one of dese days

    • Matse Uwatse Nnoli

      September 19, 2014 at 6:27 pm

      Pls do Loulou.

  18. Nneka

    September 19, 2014 at 2:43 pm

    yummy yummy!

  19. Silvia

    September 19, 2014 at 3:28 pm

    Very lovely. Nice one girl. I love the way you write. You are original. I was laughing as I read it.. thumbs up!

    • Matse Uwatse Nnoli

      September 19, 2014 at 6:30 pm

      Thank you Silvia. I am so glad it made you laugh.

  20. Ada Nnewi

    September 19, 2014 at 3:29 pm

    Haven’t cooked in months *covers face* but i am so making this on sunday…Thanks matse

    • Mz Socially Awkward...

      September 19, 2014 at 3:42 pm

      No need to cover your face. If you have a look in my fridge/freezer, all you’ll find are packs-of-party-food upon packs-of-party-food.

      And at the rate wey my Naija people dey born pikin these days, all the naming ceremonies and children’s birthdays I have to attend between now and October might mean no cooking for yet another month.

    • Ada Nnewi

      September 22, 2014 at 10:31 am

      LOL! Great to know i’m not alone…

  21. Georgeous

    September 19, 2014 at 3:55 pm

    Nice one girl,so well explained,love the step by step pix.You are a real good cook.i will definitely give it a trial.
    But can i add a little bit of saint leaves as well?i love the aroma in jellof rice.

    • Matse Uwatse Nnoli

      September 19, 2014 at 6:28 pm

      Thank you Georgeous.

    • Matse Uwatse Nnoli

      September 19, 2014 at 7:02 pm

      Yes you can use scent leaves. It will taste lovely.

  22. Beeeee

    September 19, 2014 at 4:28 pm

    Yummmmm! I am so making this for my husband tomorrow plus my mum just sent me some smoked catfish too #perfecto….. thanks Matse

  23. Maxime

    September 19, 2014 at 5:07 pm

    OK, reading this made me SO HUNGRY! Great job Matse, loved the pics and very unique commentary too (“Food wey dem swear for nor dey sweet o!”) Very clear and easy to follow recipe. Looking forward to more of Matse’s recipes.

    • Matse Uwatse Nnoli

      September 19, 2014 at 6:28 pm

      Na true o! If dem swear for your food, e dey quick sour. 😀

  24. Ella

    September 19, 2014 at 5:32 pm

    Very nice. I’ll try it out this weekend. Hilarious piece.

  25. Thelma

    September 19, 2014 at 6:11 pm

    This is my best dish, you could bribe me with it. I’m salivating already, off to cook .

  26. nene

    September 19, 2014 at 6:22 pm

    matse this looks delicious. i can taste it from my house. mmm..yummy. it’s like ofada jollof rice. we need cooking shows in nigeria!

  27. BrownSugah

    September 19, 2014 at 6:42 pm

    Oh! Matse can write! And she sure can cook also! I’ve been wanting to make this “conconction” rice ohh but hubby says na “poverty food” LOL
    I’ll try out this her recipe though. I looks delicious already!

  28. Don

    September 19, 2014 at 6:46 pm

    I beg this one don pass concoction wey me I know o. This one pass ‘out of necessity’ na, haba! the concoction wey I chop for school those…I beg this one is too exotic na…fish, died shrimp + vegetable. Well written, though. Love the additional comic.

  29. x-factor

    September 19, 2014 at 7:10 pm


  30. Kate

    September 19, 2014 at 8:04 pm

    So lovely. Oh I miss Nigeria. Awww awww awww.

  31. kim

    September 19, 2014 at 8:33 pm

    Yum! Am Soooooo Making thIs. Weekend Delight. Thanks Matse

  32. Teju

    September 19, 2014 at 9:37 pm

    This meal is not concoction I Beg Matse. I cooked it tonight for dinner and my husband finished up the whole meal. He asked me for the name and I told him garnished rice…you know why, because we used to eat concoction back in the Uni days. I didn’t want to remind him of the memory of concoction rice at all,….so I named it Garnished Rice

  33. Teju

    September 19, 2014 at 9:39 pm

    This meal is not concoction I Beg Matse. I cooked it tonight for dinner and my husband finished up the whole meal. He asked me for the name and I told him garnished rice…you know why, because we used to eat concoction back in the Uni days. I didn’t want to remind him of the memory of concoction rice at all,….so I named it Garnished Rice. We have added it to the menu list in my house and everyone is loving the meal including my house help . The part that you said “You Better Behave yourself”, to tell you the truth…I didn’t behave myself at all because the fish was calling my attention to the plate where I kept it. I truly enjoyed the meal. Kudos Matse

    • Trudy

      September 20, 2014 at 9:00 am

      I know that feeling Teju. I wouldn’t call it concoction either. Well done poster. I already like you a lot.

  34. Musing

    September 19, 2014 at 9:46 pm

    Finally something that most live in Nigerians can identify with. Una well done ohhhhhhhhhhhhhhhhhhhhhhhhhh Bella Naija. I dont particularly like the palmoil part but thats just me tho. Looking forward to more dishes from Matse.

    love contemporary Nigerian stories, then visit my blog

  35. sophia

    September 20, 2014 at 12:00 am

    Lovely And funny! I will most definitely be trying this soon… But may I just clarify……10 ?hanabero peppers? Typo? Or for real?

  36. sina

    September 20, 2014 at 5:09 am

    A very delightful read. Refreshing and easy to follow. Nice one Matse.

  37. Jumai

    September 20, 2014 at 5:17 am

    Lovely recipe. Not a palm oil fan though but I will try it out.

  38. Trudy

    September 20, 2014 at 9:06 am

    Lots of good comments here, so I guess I will have to try out this recipe. 🙂

  39. Linda

    September 20, 2014 at 10:38 am

    Its raining in ma hood but as soon as it settles am off to the market to get kponmo, shrimps etc. Dis is lunch!

  40. chioma

    September 20, 2014 at 11:14 am

    Nice one matse

  41. Antoinette Etukudoh

    September 20, 2014 at 9:41 pm

    Babes! This meal set well well, abeg I fit use scent leaves, instead of ugwu?

  42. Sweet

    September 21, 2014 at 4:49 am

    Nice one BellaNaija! I really like your new chef. Her commentary is smooth and effortless. I will be trying this meal. Looks so simple yet beautiful..Thanks Matse.

  43. Nena

    September 21, 2014 at 4:43 pm

    Lovely. Very lovely.

  44. Ugo Ojo

    September 22, 2014 at 9:37 am

    Very simple yet delicious. I tried out this recipe and totally loved it but I added fresh tomatos to tone down the pepper. Thumbs up Chef Matse. You sure can cook..

  45. Dave

    September 22, 2014 at 11:57 am

    …hope sey dem no go don ban pomo when i wan try am out…

  46. Ebele

    September 23, 2014 at 10:44 am

    Glad this chef came on board. I was tired of other meals posted on BN Cuisine that I could not gain access to the ingredients in the local markets.

    A word to all the chefs on BN Cuisine. Please use ingredients that are easily accessible in our local markets. We love you all and your efforts but enough of the oyinbo oyinbo tins be creative with ours.

    Kudos chef matse!

  47. Mrs O

    September 23, 2014 at 9:29 pm

    This is my elder sister and I’m so proud of her,keepupthe good work and people please visit her blog, I’ll get more meals to prepare

    • Titi

      September 29, 2014 at 11:45 am

      Tetsoma, is that you?

  48. Deep Soul

    September 26, 2014 at 12:04 pm

    I tried this recipe over the weekend and it was an epic fail!!
    It ended up tasting like soup, lmao!

    Lessons learned though. I think the quantity of rice I used was too much for the sauce. I tried to limit the quantity of pepper because of my little daughter. But I think I’ll add some tomatoes next time to increase the sauce quantity and make sure the rice is proportional to the sauce.

    Also, I think I’ll modify it and use scent leaves instead of Ugu because Ugu is just blah sometimes.

  49. Miss Mo

    September 29, 2014 at 1:15 am

    Cooked mine today. So yummy. My sis laughed at the name but she ate 4 plates.

    Thanks for the recipe Matse. 🙂

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