Christmas Lunch

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Christmas Lunch, 2005

My Recipes for Christmas Day Lunch

By Grandma

Grandpa (The Webmaster) and I are planning a Christmas Lunch with a difference this year. At first, I wanted to keep the plan a secret and spring it as a surprise on Christmas day. But the webmaster wants the story in advance for this page, so I'll let you into the secret now. Maybe our family members and others around the world will like to plan a similar project for their own Christmas day lunch with my recipes!

Traditionally, Nigerian lunch consist of only one complex dish - the main meal with the soup thrown on it - unlike western meals which starts with an appetizer followed by the soup, then the main meal and a dessert.

I am planning a buffet lunch for at least 20 guests. Really, this is not a single recipe but an assembly of the best of my recipes with the introduction of an appetizer and Iyan with spinach/melon soup (pounded yam). The appetizer will keep our guest's jaws busy while waiting for the the main meals.

Here is the line up:

1. Appetizers: Beef and Chicken pepper soups; Coconut snacks;  Meat Balls; Nigerian Suya.

2. The main dishes: Iyan (pounded yam) with spinach and melon soup; Asaro Oniyeri (yam portage); Jollof Rice with Chicken stew garnished with Moyin Moyin; Amala with Ewedu soup. Some of these are in my recipe archive and I will not repeat those recipes here

3. The desserts or sweets: For dessert, there will be choice from pineapple and water melon fruit salads, cakes and pastries with puddings.

4. Drinks: We have ordered our Palm Wine from the best palm wine taper available in town. It will be delivered fresh a day before Christmas. This will give us ample time to bottle it and keep it in the refrigerator to cool. Palm wine is best taken chilled.

There will be ample supply of our best wines and soft drinks like maltina, coca cola, sprite and fanta. In addition, we have harvested a lot of oranges from our citrus trees in the garden this year. We are keeping some for Christmas, and they will be squeezed fresh for the buffet lunch.


Here are the recipes for the new items that are not in my archive.



Recipe for five dozen meatballs.

  • One Kilo of Ground beef

  • Half a cup of chopped onion

  • One teaspoon salt or to taste

  • A dozen beaten eggs with yoke

  • Hot water as required

  • Half a cup of melted butter or margarine

  • Four cups of flour

  • Six tablespoons tomato sauce

  • Two tablespoon of spice

  • Add the onions, salt, eggs, flour, tomato sauce to the ground beef and mix thourouly using a mixer. Make into small balls and fry in groundnut oil.

  • Keep in your cooker oven before serving.

  • Serve with the drinks.

2. NIGERIAN SUYA (meat on sticks)

  • Two Kilo of tender beef.

  • Cut thinly to tiny bits.

  • Put 5-10 pieces on each stick. (the sticks can be purchased from a meat shop or make your own).

  • Brush with groundnut oil.

  • Sprinkle some ground roasted groundnuts and ground pepper and ginger on each.

  • Make an open fire with charcoal in the garden and arrange the sticks with the meat around the fire to roast.

  • Turn often to avoid burning.

  • Keep in low temperature oven before serving.

IYAN (pounded yam)

  • Fresh yam tubers. Quantity depends on number of Guests.

  • Peel the yam, cut to pieces and boil.

  • Pound in a wooden mortar or use electric yam pounder.

  • Put in a large warmer bowl with cover and keep warm before serving.

Spinach/Melon Soup for the Iyan

  • Spinach as required from the garden or market.

  • Ground pepper.

  • Ground melon seed

  • Ground tomato

  • Ground onions.

  • Wash the Spinach in warm water.

  • Cut into bits.

  • Put in a bowl and poor boiling water on.

  • When tender, transfer into the soup pot.

  • Mix with the pepper, melon, tomato and ad salt to taste.

  • Boil on the cooker and add palm oil as desired.

  • Stir to prevent burning and set aside by the cooker to keep warm.


The other appetizers, soups and meals for the buffet lunch are in my Recipes Archive. They are:

  • Asaro Oniyeri (yam portage)

  • Jollof Rice  

  • Moyin Moyin

  • Amala with Ewedu soup.

  • Beef and Chicken pepper soups

  • Chicken stew

  • Coconut snacks.


Sufficient plates, spoons, forks, knives and serviettes will be set on the dinning table. The meals, in the different warmer bowls, will also be there.


The drinks and glasses will be on a side table. As the guests arrive they will start with drinks and the appetizers. After the drinks the guests will move to the dining table and take whatever  they like into their plates and find a place to seat. Traditionally, men usually eat first but our men have now imbibed some Western cultures and so they will allow the women and children first.


Oh, I forgot. There will be Nigerian music for the background. Enjoy!



Notes: Weights and measures are not used in Nigerian traditional cooking. However, educated housewives now use "some" weighing and measuring when convenient. Mostly, we judge the required quantities visually and with experience. Young people learning to cook watch experienced family members and try it out on their own.


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Sanya Oloruntoba: Family Webmaster, 2001 - 2005