My wife, the ultimate cook – Idris Kuta

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By Ebun Sessou

Idris Kuta

Alhaji Idris Kuta, the Permanent Secretary, Federal Ministry for Women Affairs and Social Development, is our guest on this edition of Celebrity Tummy Talk. He shares the secret of his good health and how his wife satisfies him with healthy food.

You look younger than you age, what is the secret?

I think my wife is in the best position to tell you what she does to me. She preparers my food and I spend quality time to eat her food. She is a mother, a sister and a friend to me.

Looking at your work load, when do you have time to eat?

Eating is not a problem to me at all. I make sure that I eat good food. Although the nature of my work hardly gives room for eating but I still carve out time to eat.

What kind of food do you eat?

Like every other Nigerian, I eat good food as far as it is African. In fact, there is need to ask my wife about the secret of her cooking.

How do you relax?

There is no time to relax because the work is demanding but over the weekend, I go to Minna because I have to keep in touch with my base, my community. I have a title in that community, and I stay with them often. I’m always happy having them around me and I try to make the work less stressful for my colleagues in the office.

Your drinks?

I drink much water on a daily basis.

Food prices rise as schools resume

Mrs Foluke Folorunso is a mother of two. Her children are in the secondary school. The first, Nike Folorunso is in Junior Secondary School, JSS 3 while her brother Robert is in JSS 1.

After a long holiday, she decided to do some shopping for them seeing that school was about to resume. The children would need some food items because they were going to boarding school.

When Foluke got to the market to buy some food items, she found out that prices of food had risen.

Little did she know that a paint bucket of garri which was sold for N120.00 had been increased to N150.00. The reason for this was not far fetched. The prices of foodstuff and other essential commodities had risen in most markets across the country.

Nobody can tell what is responsible for the increase which has systematically affected sales of goods. As sellers cry over low demand, consumers complain of increase in food prices which prevent them from buying what they need.

This writer who monitored market prices in some state capitals noted that the prices of foodstuff and other essential commodities, such as rice, beans, groundnut-oil, soyabeans, genuine corn, corn, palm-oil, fruits, vegetables, eggs and beverages have soared.

Could the increase have been caused by students who are about to resume school? This question was posed to one of the marketers who opined that the increase in prices of goods has been there before the resumption of the students. According to him, Everybody is complaining. “We are only pleading with the Nigerian government to assist us.”

He said a bag of sweet beans goes for N25,000 as against the initial N12,000. While a bag of big brown beans sells for N17, 200 as against the former price ofN15,000. “I don’t have a bag of beans in my shop because of the price. Although, people consume beans a lot yet, it is very expensive and it affected the sales.

Now, a bag of rice is sold for N9,000 against the initial N5,000. Some people said government’s restriction from importing it has affected it. Further investigations show that the prices of a bag of the various brands of imported rice have gone up to between N9,500 and N10,000 as against the former price of between N7,000 and N7,500.

The price of fruits like oranges, pineapples and banana have also risen with a bag of oranges being sold between N7,000 and N7,500 from N4,000 and N5,000. A big bunch of banana goes for N700 and N1,000, while water melon remains fairly stable at N300 and N400. The survey also showed that the price of perishable goods like tomatoes has gone up.

With a big basket of the commodity selling for between N19,500 and N12,000 as against the former price of between N8,500 and N9,000. Prices of frozen fish, and vegetable oil have also skyrocketed. The cost of frozen fish has increased with a medium sized fish selling for between N250 and N350 as against N130 and N180, its initial price.

The Day’s Menu

Jollof rice, chicken, plantain & vegetables

Spicy rice cooked in tomato sauce _ This is our most popular dish. If you haven’t tried African Food yet, this is a must! It’s a staple dish in quite a few West African countries. prepared and served at all parties. Any type of meat can accompany it including fried plantain served as side dish.

Ingredients

Chicken pieces

Tablespoons oil

Onion

Canned tomatoes

Chicken broth

Bay leaf

Teaspoon ground ginger

Teaspoon cinnamon

Teaspoon thyme, crushed

Teaspoon salt

Teaspoon ground red pepper

Rice

Tablespoon parsley, chopped

Preparation

In a large skillet brown chicken on both sides in hot oil about 15 minutes; remove from skillet. Set aside chicken, reserving drippings.

Add the onion to drippings; cook till tender but not brown. Drain off fat.

Return chicken to skillet.

Combine undrained tomatoes, broth, and seasonings. Pour over chicken. Don’t stir

Bring to boiling

Cover; simmer for 30 minutes.

Skim off fat.

Add rice, making sure all the rice is covered with liquid.

Cover; simmer for 30 minutes more or until rice is tender.

Remove bay leaf. Sprinkle with parsley.

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