Gizdodo, Star of Nigerian Buffet
Sometimes the simplest food combinations yield the best dishes. This is one such combo. It’s simply Gizzards and plantains (dodo).
I was first introduced to Gizdodo by Mama Cass (an eatery focused mainly on Nigerian dishes) in 2006, when I was in Law School. I had never heard of it prior to that time, so I don’t know the exact origins. All I can say is this really works!
I can remember walking into Mama Cass that day, making a beeline straight to their Ofada section, only to get stopped in my tracks by a strange mixture. I asked the attendant what it was, and he said it was Dodo Gizzard. Of course, I ordered it (really tiny portion). Back at the hostel, I took a bite and I fell in love.
For the rest of my time in law school, Dodo Gizzard (and some very spicy plantain chips sold on the road in front of Law School) became my diet.
Lately, the name has evolved, it’s now being called Gizdodo, or Gizdo, and is now being featured in buffets set up at weddings, and other celebrations. There’s Asun (smoked goat meat) too, but that’s another story, and recipe, altogether.
The problem with Gizdodo to me is that, for some reason, the ones I’ve eaten outside my home are mostly drowning in oil. As I type this, I shudder to think how many gallons (lol) of oil I ingested in Law School. Not only that, but gizzards are really high in cholesterol, so it should ideally be an occasional treat. You can sub the gizzards for some other meat for regular consumption.
My recipe for Gizdodo yields a healthier and tastier dish. It’s also richer, as you don’t cook the tomatoes to death.
This serves 4
- 2 large ripe plantains, cubed
- 1kg of gizzards, cleaned, washed, and cut into quarters
- 8 large tomatoes, chopped (aim for 2-inch pieces)
- 5 large red bell peppers (or Tatashe), deseeded and chopped
- 3 large green peppers, deseeded and chopped
- 2 large red onions, quartered
- Blend of 4 atarodo/habanero, 2 inch piece of ginger and 3 cloves of garlic, divided
- 2 tablespoons of olive oil, divided
- 1 teaspoon of Turmeric
- 1 tablespoon of ground, dried crayfish
- 1 teaspoon of dried thyme
- 3 stock cubes
- 1 1/2 teaspoons of salt, divided
- Boil Gizzards with 1/2 teaspoon of salt, 2 stock cubes, and 1/2 of the blended atarodo mixture, for 10 minutes. Drain, and reserve the stock for another time.
- Preheat oven to 350. Place plantains in a boil. Add 1/2 teaspoon of salt and 1 tablespoon of oil. Toss to combine.
- Grease a baking sheet. Place the plantains and gizzards on the sheet. Bake for 20 minutes. At this point, the gizzards should be a bit crunchy. Remove them from the baking sheet.
- Bake the plantains for 10 more minutes, or till as done as you would like.
- Heat a wok over medium-high heat. Add remaining tablespoon of oil. After 30 seconds, add onions,atarodo, tomatoes, and bell peppers. Sauteé for 3 minutes.
- Add the crayfish, turmeric, and remaining salt. Stir to combine.
- Add the gizzards and the plantains. Stir to combine, then taste. Add the remaining stock cube, if necessary.
- Simmer for 1 minute, then serve
Nutritional Value Per Serving
Carbs: 38.2g (10.9g of sugar)