WORDS the Lazy Tigers

It would be easy to assume that August in Lagos is the apogee of lazy living for Lazy Girls, both residents and visitors. Looked at from a certain angle, you could be right. The sun is so hot, the sea so calm, there’s nothing to do all day but drift in and out of consciousness with a long drink in one’s hand – lovely. But not so fast! August brings with it the horror of the dilemma “won’t cook, can’t book.” This is when we are all exhausted by dinner time, but all the restaurants are full.

So, this month we have for you a no-cook main course, a cheat’s pudding, and a refreshing pick-me-up.

Don’t forget that if you plan, you can still get a table in your favourite local eatery, but there will be competition. And remember how lovely it is just to walk out in the evening and have a sundowner outside your favourite bar. Come and see us at London Tiger Coffee in the Old Town, and we’ll mix you a cocktail or two.

Rua Marreiros Neto 14 8600-754 Lagos, 

www.facebook.com/londontigercoffee

Summer Rolls

Serves two for a main course or four for a starter:

  • Assorted veg cut into matchsticks (or a big bag of pre-cut veg)
  • 1 pkt of rice paper wraps (folha de arroz)
  • Some fresh green herbs (mint, basil, coriander) chopped
  • One cooked chicken breast or a small pork steak (cut into matchsticks)

It is crucial to keep the rice paper wraps moist. Follow the instructions on the pack to rehydrate them and have a plate with moist kitchen paper ready to store the prepared rolls.

Take one moistened wrap at a time, add some veg, meat, and herbs, and roll like a spring roll. Store between moist paper towels in the fridge until served with dipping sauce.

Peanut dipping sauce:

  • 175ml coconut milk
  • 2 tbsp of your favourite premixed curry powder
  • 75ml peanut butter 
  • 1 tsp soy sauce
  • 1 tsp of any fruit vinegar 
  • 60 grams of brown sugar
  • Some water to thin

Put everything except the water and the second tablespoon of curry powder in a pot and heat until the sugar is dissolved. Adjust the taste and thickness with the second tablespoon of curry powder and add a little water.

Easy Peasy Nicey Ricey 

This rice pudding tastes much more authentic than opening a (well-known) can. It takes minutes to prepare and keeps well in the fridge.

Serves 4:

  • 150 grams of condensed milk
  • 1 tbsp of vanilla extract or vanilla bean paste
  • 500 ml of milk
  • 2 x 250-gram pouches of microwave rice

Fruit coulis

  • 200g of soft fruit (raspberries, strawberries, blueberries etc.)
  • 2 tbsp of icing sugar

Mix the pudding ingredients in a pot on a medium heat till the rice absorbs the milk and is tender. While this is cooking, whiz the fruit and sugar together and sieve if you feel you need to. Divide the rice into 4 bowls and top with the coulis.

This can be served right away or chilled for later.

Espresso Granita 

If you need a cool pick-me-up to get you mobile in this weather, try an Espresso Granita. The flavoured syrups can be bought in bottle shops locally and come in a wide variety of syrups (some pretty exotic).

Serves 4:

  • 500ml of very strong black coffee
  • 175ml of flavoured syrup (almond, caramel, hazelnut, or gingerbread)

Put the hot coffee and syrup in a shallow freezer tray and cool. Then freeze for an hour and a half. Take a fork to the edges where ice has started to form and mix into ice crystals in the centre. Repeat every 45 mins or so. 

The granita will be ready in about three hours. The aim is to achieve the consistency of a slushie. Serve straight away on its own or with cream.