EATING SNAILS ARE NOT ONLY HEALTHY BUT EXPENSIVE:
In my previous article in this website, I wrote extensively the importance of snails as well as their Health Benefits. You will learn more to read this article: "Health benefits of snails"
In Nigeria, we have different names for snails and equally have different folklores, parables and wise sayings superbly woven around snails.In the past, snails eating was made by the poor villagers who use them to make soups. In my native Igbo dialect we call "Ejile or Ejule".
Every ethnic community, I said have their varied names and local pronunciations. In all parts of Nigerian and restaurants, hotels and catering establishments they are universally known as "Congo Meat!" The French people call it "Les escargot".
I grew up in the village and I personally ate snails with palm kernels, ate them with soup and also with beans and plantains and with all kinds of spinach. Little did I know much about snails' food and health values and benefits as I know now or today.
Before I recommend the recipes, I think it is right to tell you about the health benefits of snails and why you should eat them.
HEALTH BENEFITS: THE REASONS WHY YOU SHOULD EAT SNAILS, NOT NECESSARILY NIGERIAN SNAILS BUT ALL SNAILS FROM ALL PARTS OF THE WORLD.
It sounds incredible but it is true that an average snail is comprised of 80% of water, 15 % of protein, and 2.4 % of fat which is primarily healthy fat.A snail contains essential fatty acids,calcium, iron, selenium; and magnessium are also found in snails.
They are equally rich source of many essential vitamins too and highly and incredibly super loaded with Vitamins A, E, K and B12 to mention a few. Snails are an ideal weight-watchers favourite food. Read more from my article.
RECIPES/INGREDIENTS/PREPARATIONS FOR 2 TYPES OF SNAILS SIDE DISHES-STIR-FRY AND VEGETABLE RECIPES:
1. 4 Large snails (Cleaned with lime or lemons, washed and slices into edible sizes)
2. 2 medium onions( peeled and thinly sliced)
3. 1 small tin of tomato puree
4. 1/2 garlic clove (Optional) minced or crushed
5. 4 tbsp of vegetable oil or olive oil
6. 2 lemons or limes(1 1/2 for cleaning the snails and half thinly sliced to add to the finished cooked dish) Many people prefer limes to lemons.
7. Seasonings: A dash of thyme and mixed spices for boiling.
8. 1/2 Maggi knor or oxo cubes add sparingly
9. 1/2 tbsp of salt
10. 1 red sweet bell pepper ( finely sliced)
11. fresh ground fresh chili pepper
12. 4 cups of water to boil the snails
This dish the Exotic Nigerian snail recipes has a rich deep seated blend of taste and flavour and this makes this dish irresistible among those who can afford them in a hotel or restaurant.
The preparation time can be approximately 20 minutes while the cooking and frying time may be about 35-40 minutes However, it is safe to predict that with the ingredients ready and handy, the entire dish will be ready for serving and eating within 50 minutes.
To start, the first thing is to remove the snails from their respective shells. Once this is done, you clean the slimy lubrication with lime or lemon juices.
Another way to remove them from the shells if they are stubborn, is to put them in a hot boiling water for 10-25 minutes then bring them out from the pot and wash them with water and also with lime. But if you have to remove them from their shells raw, after cleaning with lime you have to boil them to be soft and tender before stir-frying.
They will be soft and tender within 20-25 minutes. Then follow up with slicing them into eatable sizes and put them in a large frying pan and stir-fry for 15-20 minutes with the oil, onions, tomato puree, salt, sweet pepper, fresh ground chili pepper. Add or sprinkle crushed or minced garlic (optional) and all other seasonings.This can be a mouthwatering side dish!
If you decide to cook it with vegetables such as all kinds of spinach, including potato leaves, greens, fluted pumpkin leaves as well as scented leaves., all you have to do is to clean them raw, and put them in the cooking boiling pot with selected ingredients and boil and cook all the ingredients with the sliced snails. You can use the fork to test when they are soft and tender.
You can eat these snail dishes as side dishes or with added foods and vegetables. The choice is all yours.
These are all the steps you need to cook Exotic Nigerian snail recipes as well as snails vegetable side dishes.
After the meal , you can wash it down with cold refreshing fresh orange, pineapple, cherry, strawberry or blueberry juices. Health benefits of snails!