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October 07, 2022

What’s Cooking @ HEPL: Ep 10

By: Heidi Herald

Saka Saka by Anto Cocagne

Welcome back to What’s Cooking @ HEPL! I am Heidi Herald, a Public Services Librarian at Hamilton East Public Library. I will be reviewing one of the library’s cookbooks each month. This month, I selected Saka Saka: Adventures in African Cooking, South of the Sahara by Anto Cocagne with Aline Princet. I tried several recipes from this cookbook, and enjoyed making some sauces called nokoss. I made both green and red nokoss that were used as ingredients in the dishes that I made. Although the recipes I tried from this cookbook were plant-based, there are many recipes that include meat in the cookbook.

Red Rice
I made red rice which appears to be a very simple dish. However, it has many ingredients and was a fairly complicated recipe. The recipe calls for red nokoss which contains 10 ingredients including red chiles, fresh ginger, tomato, garlic, and soumbala powder among other spices. I used jasmine rice to make this dish so it maintained its texture. It is a delicious, tomatoey dish.

Sauteed Okra with Mushrooms
I really enjoyed the sauteed okra with mushrooms. This is almost a vegan recipe. If you wanted to make it vegan, you would just omit the dried shrimp in the green nokoss used in the recipe. I served this with white rice.

Green Nokoss
Here’s a close-up of the green nokoss. It is very flavorful, and often used for fish and crustaceans. I only needed a few tablespoons for the recipes I was making but the recipe made a lot of nokoss! A chef friend of mine suggested freezing the nokoss in an ice cube tray. She also suggested mixing it with cream cheese for a dip.

Black-Eyed Pea and Beet Hummus

Finally, in the video below I make Black-Eyed Pea and Beet Hummus. This is great served with toasted garlic bread. Make sure to wear gloves while peeling the beets if you don’t want red-stained fingers!

I hope you will borrow Saka Saka: Adventures in African Cooking, South of the Sahara by Anto Cocagne with Aline Princet from our library collections! It is available in print. Happy Eating!


Explore our HEPL YouTube What’s Cooking @ HEPL playlist for access to the entire cooking series at your own pace.

Missed last month’s episode? You can find the recipe here. Also, be sure to check out our exclusive interview with author Christopher Kimball, as he discusses his latest book, Cookish, and shares what three ingredients he would keep in his kitchen for flavoring!

Follow HEPL on Facebook, Twitter, Instagram and LinkedIn the first week of each month as we share a new featured cookbook and recipe on What’s Cooking @ HEPL?  Be sure to tag us and use #HEPLFoodies to share what’s cooking in YOUR kitchen!

Credit goes to Danielle Acton, HEPL’s Adult Engagement Coordinator, for producing the videos and for her help and advice.