Thursday 30 November 2023

Smoky Jollof Rice | Easy Delicious Recipe

Jollof rice, a staple in West African cuisine, is renowned for its vibrant, spicy flavour and rich aroma. This recipe adds a delightful twist by roasting the vegetables to infuse a deep, smoky flavour that elevates the dish to new heights. 

Perfect for any occasion, this smoky Jollof rice is not only easy to make but also incredibly delicious.


(Serves 6)

2 large red bell peppers

6 tomatoes 

2 red onions 

1 scotch bonnet chilli 

1/2 tbsp dried thyme 

1 tbsp hot curry powder 

2 bay leaves

1 vegetable stock cube

1 tbsp tomato purée 

Salt, to taste

3 cups Golden Sella Basmati rice

2 cups water 


1. Roughly chop the bell peppers, tomatoes, one of the red onions and scotch bonnet chilli. Place on a lined baking tray, drizzle 2 tablespoons of oil and bake in a pre-heated oven for 25 minutes at 250 degrees Celsius. Once roasted, blend the vegetables until well pureed. 

2. Heat 2 tablespoons of oil in a large pot and sauté sliced red onion. Add the blended mixture, along with the seasoning (thyme, curry, bay leaves, stock cube, tomato puree and salt). Cook on medium heat for 5 minutes. 

3. Add the rice and 2 cups of water. Stir well to combine all the ingredients. Cover and cook over low heat for 25-30 minutes until the rice is well cooked. Serve with any sides of your choice, such as fried plantain, salad etc.

Vegan Madeleines | Easy Recipe with Signature Bump!

So, my love for French madeleines? It kicked off in a pretty unexpected way. Back in my Oxford days, juggling an English and French degree, I encountered Marcel Proust’s ‘Du côté de chez Swann’ (Swann's Way) on my first year reading list. In the first part of the book, he eloquently describes the power of involuntary memory evoked by the taste of a Madeleine.

It wasn't long before I stumbled upon these petite, shell-shaped cakes in real life. Just around the corner from my college was a quaint delicatessen called Olives. They had these madeleines that were just... wow. I'd grab one (okay, maybe a few) on my way to classes, during late-night study sessions, or whenever I needed a pick-me-up.

Thirteen years later and I finally decided to try making them myself. It started with an impulsive purchase of a madeleine baking pan, fuelled by a mission to master this French treat. However, the added challenge is that I am now vegan, meaning no eggs or butter, both of which are central to the original recipe. The mission was to whip up the perfect vegan madeleine without losing that classic taste and texture, and hopefully achieving the characteristic bump. I came close, but still want to keep trying until I get it just right.

After a couple of tries and some kitchen fails, I’ve come up with a recipe that’s pretty close and delicious, just vegan. It’s still a work in progress, and I will likely update this post when I get it the way I want. 

After posting the initial recipe/results on Instagram, I received a lot of great advice on how to improve the madeleines. Chilling the batter for 1 hour before baking, and baking the madeleines at a high temperature led to even better results! The signature hump formed much better this time. In the updated recipe below, I also added a tablespoon of cornstarch to the batter which I believe gives it some extra lightness. I'm sure I will discover more ways to improve this recipe but for now here's where I'm at:

Signature bump achieved!


120g self-raising flour

1 tbsp cornstarch 

1 tsp baking powder

75g sugar

Pinch of salt

60ml soya milk

60ml plain vegan yoghurt

45ml melted vegan butter

1/4 tsp lemon zest

1/2 tbsp lemon juice

1 tsp vanilla extract


  1. Preheat your oven to 250C.
  2. In a large bowl, mix together the flour, baking powder, sugar, and salt.
  3. In a separate bowl, whisk the soya milk, vegan yoghurt, melted vegan butter, lemon zest, lemon juice, and vanilla extract. Then, stir this mixture into the dry ingredients to form a thick cake batter. Cover the bowl and chill the batter in the fridge for 1 hour (you can also make the batter ahead of time and chill overnight).
  4. Grease and flour your madeleine cake tin. Divide the batter among the moulds.
  5. Bake for 6-8 minutes, or until the madeleines are golden brown and a toothpick inserted into the centre comes out clean.
  6. Allow them to cool on a wire rack before enjoying.

Each bite of these vegan madeleines takes me back to those days at Oxford, to the delightful delicatessen, and to the literary journey with Proust that started it all. I hope you find as much joy in baking and savouring these madeleines as I have in perfecting them. Happy baking!

Friday 21 April 2023

Banana and Almond Butter Cake | Easy Vegan Recipe

Are you tired of tossing away those overripe bananas that have been sitting on your counter for a bit too long? If so, get ready to be amazed by this scrumptious banana and almond butter cake recipe! This delightful treat combines the natural sweetness of ripe bananas with the creamy, nutty richness of almond butter to create an utterly mouthwatering dessert. 

Not only is this cake incredibly delicious, but it's also an ingenious way to make the most of those browning bananas, reducing food waste while satisfying your sweet tooth. So, tie on your apron, grab your mixing bowl, and let's get started...

  • If you are using plain flour or all-purpose flour, add 2 teaspoons of baking powder and half a teaspoon of baking soda to create self-raising flour.
  • The more ripe bananas you add to the cake mixture, the more gooey the final cake texture will be. If you don't mind that, feel free to add in an extra banana or two.
  • The vegan yoghurt is optional but definitely add it if you have some on hand, as it gives the cake added richness.
  • Try to use unsalted or lightly salted almond butter, such as this one, so that you don't throw off the taste of the cake. If you're only able to find salted, you can omit the added salt in the recipe.


(Serves 10-12)

2-3 ripe bananas, peeled
1 cup granulated sugar or coconut sugar 
3/4 cup soya milk 
2 tablespoons plain vegan yogurt (optional)
1/2 cup sunflower oil 
2 teaspoons vanilla extract
2 cups self-raising flour 
1/2 teaspoon mixed spice
1/2 teaspoon salt 
Almond butter


Preheat the oven to 180 degrees Celsius.

Add the bananas to a large mixing bowl and use a fork to mash until smooth. Add the sugar, soya milk, vegan yoghurt, sunflower oil and vanilla extract. Mix with a wooden spoon until well combined.

Add the self-raising flour, mixed spice and salt. Mix until you have a smooth cake batter (although it's perfectly fine if there are a few banana lumps).

Pour the batter into a lined or lightly greased 20cm cake tin. Use a teaspoon to drop 8-9 dollops of almond butter over the top of the cake and use a knife to swirl them into the batter. 

Bake in the middle of the oven for 35-40 minutes or until a toothpick inserted into the centre comes out clean.

Allow the cake to cool completely before cutting and serving. If you are really impatient, you can serve it hot/warm with a scoop of ice cream on the side. For extra richness, drizzle some room temperature almond butter over the top. 

Thursday 20 April 2023

Planet Health Podcast x The Vegan Nigerian

I recently joined Chris Carra on his podcast, Planet Health, to discuss all things Nigerian cuisine, and I would love it if you could give the episode a listen! It's the perfect thing to have on while you cook up your next meal, or while you're winding down for the day. 

On the episode we discuss some of Nigeria's famous dishes, creative ways to cook with plantain, and I even share a bit about highly nutritional ingredients such as fonio.

So intrigued was Chris by fonio that he wrote a comprehensive blog post on this ancient African superfood and it's health benefits. Be sure to read the full article HERE.

Easy Vegan Cornbread Recipe

I made this cornbread recipe for the first time when I was visiting Texas back in 2022. They are perfectly moist, with a hint of sweetness, a satisfying gritty texture, and are ridiculously easy to make!

They are honestly so delicious on their own, served warm with a dab of vegan butter, and can also be served alongside any stew or soup of your choice. If you're attending a potlock, they are perfect for sharing with a crowd and a worthy contribution to any food spread.

Watch the recipe video HERE. Scroll down for the written recipe.


 (Serves 8)

1 cup cornmeal or corn grits 
1 cup (plus 2 tbsp) plain flour 
1 tsp baking soda 
1 tsp salt 
2/3 cup caster sugar 
1 and 1/4 cup vegan milk 
1/3 cup sunflower oil


Preheat the oven to 200 degrees Celsius.

Combine all the ingredients in a mixing bowl and mix with a wooden spoon until you have a lump-free batter. 

Pour the batter into a lightly greased baking tin and use the bake of a spoon to smooth out the top.

Bake in the middle of the oven for 20-25 minutes, or until a toothpick poked in the centre comes out clean.

Tuesday 18 April 2023

Soupy Beans and Sweet Plantain

Spring is finally here in the UK and with the sporadic April showers we've been getting, soup season is not quite over in my mind. This black-eyed bean soup is comforting and delicious; a true hug in a bowl. Paired with some extra sweet fried plantain, it's completely irresistible. 

For this recipe, I used dried beans which I soaked overnight and cooked until tender but if you want to cheat or save time, you can certainly use tinned black-eyed beans and skip the first step.

As always, if you give this recipe a try and you like it, share your feedback with me over on Instagram. I love seeing and hearing about your food attempts :)


(Serves 4)

- 250g black-eyed beans (soaked overnight and drained)
- 1 large red bell pepper, deseeded and roughly chopped
- 1 tin plum tomatoes
- 1 red onion, peeled and roughly chopped
- 3 cloves garlic, peeled
- 1 tbsp fresh grated ginger
- 1 scotch bonnet chilli
- Sunflower oil
- 1 tbsp all-purpose seasoning
- Salt, to taste
- 1 ripe plantain, peeled and diced into cubes


1. Place the drained beans in a large cooking pot and cover completely with water. Bring to a boil then reduce heat and let simmer, partially covered, for about 1 hour or until the beans are tender. Check the beans halfway through the cooking time to ensure the water hasn't dried up. This shouldn't happen, but if it does, simply add a bit more water. Once the beans are cooked, drain any excess liquid. 

2. While the beans are cooking, blend the red bell pepper, tomatoes, onion, garlic, ginger and chilli in a food blender (with 1 cup of water) until very smooth.

3. Add the blended mixture to the pot of beans, along with the sunflower oil, all-purpose seasoning and salt. Adjust the water quantity to make it as soupy as you would like. Taste as you go and add more salt/seasoning if needed. Simmer over medium-low heat, covered, for 20-25 minutes.

4. Meanwhile, heat some sunflower oil in a frying pan (enough to deep-fry) and fry the diced plantain. Use a slotted spoon to turn the plantain in the oil, to ensure they don't stick together, cook evenly and turn golden on all sides. Drain the plantain on some kitchen paper.

5. Serve the beans hot with the diced plantain on top. Enjoy!

Tuesday 21 February 2023

Fluffy Vanilla Vegan Pancakes

Happy pancake day peeps. If you’re after a simple pancake recipe that’s light, fluffy and gets the job done, look no further. Chances are you already have all the ingredients at home, making this perfect if you find yourself in the “I-forgot-today-is-pancake-day” camp. 

These pancakes turned out pillow soft thanks to the vegan buttermilk, in combination with the self-raising flour. Remember that you can create your own self-raising flour by combining plain flour with baking powder. Another tip for making sure the pancakes are fluffy is to combine the wet and dry ingredients gently. Do not over mix or mix too vigorously. If there are still a few small lumps, that's perfectly okay.

Basic as this pancake recipe is, you can top it as you wish and get creative. Fresh fruits, syrup, chocolate, nuts, seeds, yoghurt or ice cream... choose your fighters.


Watch the recipe video on Instagram and tag me when you share your creation!

🥞 Recipe (makes 12):

• 2 cups unsweetened soya milk 

• 1 tbsp lemon juice or apple cider vinegar 

• 1 tbsp vanilla extract 

• 1 tbsp sunflower oil (plus extra for frying)

• 4 tbsp sugar (I used coconut sugar but any type will do)

• 2 cups self-raising flour

• pinch of salt

🥞 Method:

1. Mix the soya milk and lemon juice (or apple cider vinegar) together in a large mixing bowl and leave to rest for 5 minutes.

2. Whisk in the vanilla, sunflower oil and sugar. 

3. Add the flour and salt. Mix gently until well combined; it’s okay if there are a few small lumps.

4. Heat a small amount of oil in a frying pan over medium heat. Scoop the pancake batter in and cook until bubbles form around the edges or on top. Flip over and cook the other side for another 2-3 minutes.

5. Serve with any toppings of your choice. I went for vegan yoghurt, jam, banana, crushed peanuts and a little drizzle of brown rice syrup. 

Wednesday 15 February 2023

10 Years of The Vegan Nigerian

 Ten years ago today, 20 year old me was sprawled across the sofa at home with my pink mini Dell laptop open and search results for 'how to start a blog' plastered across the screen. One spicy bean burger recipe later and The Vegan Nigerian officially came to be.

Since then... I mean, how do I even begin to list all the ways that this niche blog has radically changed my life? From the dear friendships and relationships I have now, to the career opportunities I have gotten to explore, to the lessons in consistency and passion and going after the things you want in life (no matter how weird or odd they may seem). To experiencing first-hand the power of community and connection and service. To continuous learning and unlearning. To falling more and more in love with the beautiful vegan lifestyle that has a far-reaching positive impact on how we relate to the world around us (animals, planet, people). I can trace all these things back to that afternoon on the sofa.

In every direction work and life has taken me over the years, it's always felt good to return to the blog as a home base. A reminder of where so many of my cherished memories started.

In terms of what comes next, here are a couple of things I'm currently working on and what I hope to work on in the near future:

1. Online cooking workshops. In an effort to become more laser-focused, I will be expanding and becoming more intentional about hosting online cooking workshops where I teach participants delicious vegan recipes and cooking techniques. Targeting teams and groups that want a unique bonding and/or learning experience. Think office team-building events, bachelorette parties, fundraisers, black history month activities, etc. To make this particular service more streamlined, my husband (who is very tech savvy) helped me create a sister website - Cook With Tomi - which is still under construction but has most of the key details on there already. I hope to be booked out every month if possible so if you're reading this and you're part of a team or group that would be interested, I'd love to hear from you. 

2. Another cookbook. I'm in the early ideas stage (i.e. still mulling things over in my head) for another recipe book, this time focused on creative, one-of-a-kind desserts inspired by West African ingredients. Aside from being a fun and tasty project to get stuck into, I truly believe there is room for innovation when it comes to the sweet side of our cuisine. The desserts will be mostly healthy, perhaps a bit wacky and experimental. Now that I've put this out there, I hope it provides some accountability and that it's not too long until I have some new updates to share. 

2023 is going to be a super eventful year in more ways than one. I hope yours has gotten off to a great start and that you already have a ton of exciting things to look forward to. Thanks for supporting my work over the years. My door is always open if you ever want to swap ideas, share your updates or share ways that I can support your work in return.

Tomi x

20 years old; early days of my vegan lifestyle in France

Creamy Chocolate Avocado Dip | Vegan, Gluten-Free Recipe

It’s date night and you want to spend less time on prep and more time on romance. This quick, healthy and delicious chocolate avocado dip, made using avocados, is the perfect recipe for you. The slightly nutty flavour profile of the avocado complements the chocolate beautifully in this dip.

Avocados are a great source of beta carotene, magnesium and Vitamin E (which promotes the production of hormones that support attraction, mood and desire). With their high number of phytonutrients, it’s no wonder they are considered a natural aphrodisiac.

Watch the recipe video on Instagram and don't forget to tag me if you try this out!


(Serves 2)

1 large ripe avocado

2 tbsp cocoa powder

Pinch of sea salt 

2 tbsp maple, date or rice syrup

6 tbsp unsweetened soya milk

1 tsp vanilla extract

To serve: fruit, pretzels, crackers, biscuits, chocolate shavings/chips etc.


1. Place all the ingredients in a small blender and blend until completely smooth and creamy.

2. Serve with 'dippable' snacks such as pretzels, crackers and fresh fruit.

Beans and Plantain Waffles

Gluten-free, vegan waffles never tasted so good!

I was recently asked to develop a recipe using a legume of my choice. This black-eyed beans and plantain waffle recipe might seem like an unusual direction to go in considering that we often associate legumes with savoury dishes, but trust me when I say that it just works. Paired with deliciously sweet plantain, you have a winning breakfast or brunch dish.

No fancy ingredients or techniques required. Simply plonk all the ingredients in a blender, heat up your waffle iron and you're good to go. I served mine with fried plantain and brown rice syrup but you can customise it in any way you wish - fresh fruits, whipped coconut cream, peanut butter, strawberry jam, etc.

You can watch the recipe video on my Instagram page. If you try it out, I'd love to know. Feel free to tag me in your post :)

Legumes are a healthy superfood, packed with iron, vitamin B, minerals, fibre, and gut-friendly probiotics. As if all that isn’t enough, they are also highly sustainable, with a low carbon and water footprint. So let's get into the recipe!

Makes 8 waffles


  • 2 cups dry black-eyed beans, soaked overnight and drained
  • 1 cup water
  • 1 ripe plantain, peeled and cut into chunks 
  • 1 tsp baking powder
  • pinch sea salt
  • 2 tablespoons sugar
  • 4 tbsp sunflower oil 

To garnish:

  • pan-fried sweet plantain 
  • maple or brown rice syrup 


  1. Blend all the ingredients until you have a smooth batter
  2. Cook the batter in a pre-heated waffle iron (3 minutes for soft waffles or 6 minutes for crispy waffles)
  3. Garnish with slices of fried sweet plantain and syrup of your choice