Nigerian Nights - Week 2 - Coconut rice served with baked lobster tail in a passion fruit sauce - Ni

Welcome to week 2 of my Nigerian Nights series! In this series, I am taking a culinary journey to Nigeria, my homeland and a country that holds a very special place in my heart for a variety of reasons. Nigeria is a case study in variety from it's variable landscape to its numerous languages, colorful culture and rich cuisine. This week I will not be featuring a typical Nigerian dish, but a Nigerian inspired dish and one of my own creations! My home city of Port Harcourt is home to some of the freshest seafood the Niger-delta region of Nigeria has to offer. I recall my childhood in Port Harcourt with Mum bring home freshly caught seafood which she concocted into the most delicious dishes. That memory is the inspiration for this dish where I have combined fresh seafood with coconut rice, one of my favorite Nigerian dishes.

Coconut rice served with baked lobster tail in a passion fruit sauce

Preparation time 20 minutes (does not include marinating time)

Cooking time: 65 minutes

Total time: 85 minutes

Ingredients (serves 4)

Lobster

2 lbs/32 oz/900 g lobster tails – 4 tails

1 tablespoons olive oil

2 cloves garlic, minced

¼ teaspoon allspice, ground

Salt to taste

Freshly ground black pepper to taste

Coconut Rice

1 cup black or brown rice

3 ½ cups water

2 tablespoons olive oil

2 cloves garlic, minced

1 can coconut milk (about 13.5fl oz. or 400ml)

2 bay leaves

1 teaspoon fresh or dried herbs (thyme, rosemary, sage)

1 vegetable bouillon/stock cube

¼ teaspoon allspice, ground

Freshly ground black pepper to taste

½ onion (½ cup), diced

1 green onion, diced

½ green bell pepper (½ cup), diced

½ red bell pepper (½ cup), diced

½ yellow bell pepper (½ cup), diced

2 carrots, peeled and diced

Salt to taste

Passion fruit sauce

2 tablespoons olive oil

2 cloves garlic, minced

2 passion fruit, flesh removed

½ cup of water

1 bay leaf

¼ teaspoon nutmeg

1 teaspoon honey

Freshly ground black pepper to taste

Salt to taste

Method

  • Place lobster tails in a large shallow bowl so they do not overlap. Do not remove the shell.

  • Mix the olive oil, garlic, allspice, salt and black pepper in a small bowl and pour over the lobster tails. Cover and leave to marinate. For best results marinate overnight.

  • Place the lobster in an oven dish and cover with foil paper. Bake at 350°F/180°C for 20 minutes.

  • While the lobster tails are baking in the oven, prepare the coconut rice

  • Rinse the rice with cold water for about 30 seconds.

  • Place the rice and water in a medium saucepan and cook over high heat partially covered for about 20 minutes or until all the water has evaporated; set aside.

  • Place a saucepan over medium heat and fry the garlic for about 1 minute.

  • Add the coconut milk, bay leaves, fresh or dried herbs, vegetable bouillons/stock cube, allspice and black pepper and bring to a boil.

  • Add the boiled rice and cook covered over medium-low heat for about 15 minutes or until most of the liquids have evaporated and there is just a little bit of fluid at the base of the saucepan.

  • Add the onions, green onions, bell pepper, carrots and salt, then cook covered for 4–5 more minutes until all the liquids have evaporated

  • Next prepare the passion fruit sauce

  • Heat the olive oil in a medium saucepan over low heat, then add the garlic and fry until it just starts to slightly brown and gives off a fragrant smell (about 1 minute).

  • Increase the heat to medium, then add the passion fruit, water, bay leaf, nutmeg, honey, black pepper and salt.

  • Bring to a boil, then reduce the heat to low and simmer for about 4 minutes

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