Now, unless you are fluent in West African cuisine, reading the menu at Mama Ashanti will be like taking a University course. I bego! It’s heavy with options and even those options have options-like multiple choice questions. You want Egusi soup, OK. But do you want Egusi with (a) Goat (b) Beef (c) Chicken and all the way down to like letter (g).
My friend Hendricah and i were not the only ones confused, our neighbours had furrowed brows-trying to focus and concentrate as if in an exam. Luckily for us we had Maureen, a nice waitress who held our hands through the meal. After much, much debate, we ordered Egusi soup with goat stew and Semolina.
Its the first time i have started with this. The smell of the soup hits you like a slap in the face. Its a pungent uncomfortable smell to be honest, which makes me wonder how we got past it and enjoyed the meal. This, Maureen explained, was the smell of the palm oil used to prepare the dish.
Egusi ( which looks like scrambled eggs) is actually made from seeds and is often mixed with vegetables and other sauces. This one had spinach and goat’s meat. With it came the most interesting ‘Posho’ i have ever seen, mainly because of the way it was shaped…But it is not Posho, it’s Semolina which comes from yellow corn (oba jiyite pop corn).
After the smell faded, we tried to pick the particular taste of egusi out of the mixture of everything with no luck. Some describe it as having a nutty taste but i didn’t get that. There was a bit of chilli in the sauce.
The semolina like most corn based meals tastes neutral and is very filling. However it has a slightly more flavorful taste than our dear old posho. It was really soft…i mean so soft that you needn’t chew if you did not feel inclined to.
I did not touch any of the food but if i were someone prone to exaggeration i would say the table knife went through the semo (as it is abbreviated) like a knife through butter. If i wasn’t i would say, it was soft without being gooey.
A really nice play list with Shy guy by Diana King. Thank you to the old people who had to listen to my friend singing only the ” Sexy, sexy, sexy” part of the song for not turning around.
Egusi with goat costs 30k, while Semolina costs 15k. It can feed two adults.