Our favorite duo is back at it again! This time, Khalid and Salama go out in Dubai to check out one of the emirate’s well-loved African restaurants, Biggy African Restaurant.
In the video, they give us an idea of what some of the famous African food looks and tastes like. So the next time you go around the city and happen to visit these places, you’d know what food to try and what to expect from them. Know more about African food and the cultural representation they bring in Dubai.
Catch the full video feature below as posted via Khalid Al Ameri’s Facebook Page:
[VIDEO] Khalid and Salama Get A Taste of African Food and Culture in Dubai
In the latest video uploaded by Emirati vlogger, Khalid Al Ameri, on his Facebook page, he and his wife, Salama, visit one of Dubai’s well-loved African bistros to try some of the most popular African food – Nigerian food, to be exact.
Khalid shared: “The tastes of Nigeria or Nigerian food and dishes represent the hundreds of ethnic groups that make up Nigeria. From soups and stews to rice and pounded yams, Nigerian meals are some of the most colourful, lavish, and tastiest meals in the world.
As expected, the couple, accompanied by their friend, Steven, trooped to the restaurant in the Al Jabri building in Al Nahda, Dubai, feeling famished and excited to learn and try something new to share with the people following their gastronomic adventures all over the world.
But this time, given the circumstances caused by the pandemic, the couple opted to explore some of the most well-loved places in the city, and let others know of how awesome Dubai is, in terms of its cultural and ethnic diversity. And what better way to do this, than by trying out specialty dishes served by the people who best make them! And representing the people and culture of Nigeria, is the restaurant’s owner and main chef herself, Ade AKA Biggy.
So coming into this episode, Khalid was quick to look for the most popular Nigerian meal, known as Fufu. Interestingly, however, there were some misconceptions even with this very popular dish. And Ade was very candid about teaching Khalid and the group, what the real score with Fufu is. She explained that Fufu can easily be confused with pounded yam, especially when you look at them the first time and the way they are packaged. But Fufu is not made of yam but of cassava. So the next time you look for Fufu, you’d better not confuse it with pounded yam, because just like what happened to Khalid in the video, it can get quite a bit awkward of a mistake. But now that you know the difference, you should be okay.
Also, before they went ahead to try some of the restaurant’s specialties, they made sure to wash their hands thoroughly. Khalid explains that Africans, just like Arabs, enjoy eating their food with their hands.
And so the adventure begins…
Khalid explains that the best way to kick things off was to start with, of course, only the best or the most popular Nigerian dish there is: Jollof Rice.
After the first bite, Salama was already pleased with how things are going with their taste testing. Khalid got a bit more descriptive with his evaluation, noting that there’s a hint of sweetness from the plantain, which interestingly goes well with the spicy rice and the meat they eat it with pan-fried turkey. Salama couldn’t hide her delight when she snuck in another bite of the amazing food combination. And to this, Khalid remarked, “What that dish said, was welcome to Nigeria! You are home with us. Enjoy our flavors. Enjoy our colours. Enjoy our life.” It’s a bit poetic, yes. Maybe that’s kind of the point, right? And what great food can do to us: to feel truly grateful and happy to be alive.
But that is just the first dish. So, is there more to Nigerian food to expect? The couple continues to try another combo dish of Nigerian fried rice, moin moin, and chicken. Moin moin is processed beans that are boiled and formed to make a sticky dough-life texture. The taste-testing is one thing worth looking forward to in these videos, but if you’ve been following this couple, you know that it’s going to be more than food here. Great conversations – sometimes, snarky and funny ones, pepper the discussion, creating more excitement for the viewers. That said, this couple is truly cute and funny together.
Then they get into the real deal, the Fufu. However, not everything about this food was what they thought it to be. Yes, Fufu, is indeed a popular dish in Nigeria, but there’s something that’s more popular than this: pounded yam (or could it just be one of Biggy’s favorites? Let’s find out.)
So Fufu or pounded yam, which has the consistency of sticky rice, is usually eaten with meat stew called Egusi. This is made of goat, mixed with melon, and bitter leaves. Apparently, this dish is not only tasty but is also healthy – and extremely spicy! So if you’re feeling a bit under the weather or lacking appetite, this one’s worth a try! It’ll surely bring your taste buds into overdrive.
Next, they tried the yam porridge, which looks colourful and soft from the outside, but once you take a bite, the spiciness is something to prepare for. Both Khalid and Salama agreed that the dish reminds them of an Arabic dish called Chili Potato. As a compliment to the dish’s ingredients, texture, and flavors, the couple agreed that it’s a must-have when you’re feeling low on energy or when you want something to keep you warm on a cold day.
Another dish Salama couldn’t wait to try is the west African dish, Ewa Agoyin. It’s made of beans in chili sauce generously topped with fried beef, coupled with plaintain to balance the savoury-spicy-sweet combo. And indeed, it did not disappoint, Khalid said that the dish is worth having “all-day”. But is it the best yet?
Fortunately or unfortunately, there’s still one last dish to top everything off. They were warned not to try it though because it is literally FIRE. Meaning, so good yet extremely spicy at the same time. But of course, as game as they are, the couple insisted. Salama funnily puts it this way, “I’m not leaving unless I burn myself!” And she’s not even not joking.
The last meal for the day (or is it?) is Ofada rice and Ayamase, a kind of spicy beef stew, which is also the king of spicy stews for Nigerians. The staff at the restaurant said they aren’t ready for it, but again, they insisted. It was interesting to see how they were calm and enjoying themselves at first bite, but then, tears started to well up in their eyes, with Khalid almost panicking and drinking water, but this just made the spiciness much worse, and they were told that they just needed to get used to it and to keep going, and so they did.
Interestingly, the only way to conquer the king of Nigerian spicy stews is to keep eating it. Biggy even jokes that if you have this stew four or five times in a month, nothing can stop you, not even the corona. But we’ll leave you to decide about that bit. But what they did confirm after enjoying such an interesting dish was that it’s a slow-burn kind of hot, but nevertheless really good. A must-try and fun experience.
And to cap off the savoury and spicy goodness they’ve had from the other dishes, it’s time to calm the taste buds with a dessert called puff-puff, which is kind of like doughnut but not the sweet kind, just the mellow, feel-good kind in your mouth. This reminded them of a dessert in the UAE, known as the luqaimat. Both of them agreed that it’s the best way to calm your nerves and taste buds down after eating Ayamase. Interesting, right?
So after having a full course of Nigerian food, Khalid shared that what they’ve learned about the experience was that Nigerian food and culture is full of life, energy, giving you a sense of happiness, joy, and most of all love – just like all of the great food in the world.
And as a parting message, Steven, their Nigerian friend has this message to all the people watching Khalid’s videos and are curious about Nigerian culture: “[We] Nigerians in the UAE have been able to build a good reputation over the years because our people are charismatic, adventurous, and easy-going. But if there’s one peculiar thing to be said of our people, that is we are emphatic. So, if you see two Nigerians talking, and think they might be quarrelling – really, they are not. They are actually just trying to make a point. Also, Nigerians are very welcoming people and we are blessed as a nation, so if you want, you can visit us, and come to Nigeria anytime you want and you’ll be welcome.”