Nigerian Dishes: Peppered snail

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A lot of Nigerians would do anything for a bowl of peppered snail, although we must also admit that not everyone one goes haywire for this Nigerian delicacy. However, if you consider the health benefit of snails, you might just add it to your food timetable every now and then.

Why you should eat snail

Snails contain Protein, which provide a low calorie source of protein and Protein is essential for building and repairing muscle, and is also better at filling you up than carbs and fat. Iron which are  essential for building red blood cells and carrying energy around the body. A lack of iron can lead to extreme fatigue and anaemia. Vitamin B12, which is needed for making red blood cells, keeping the nervous system healthy, releasing energy from the food we eat and processing folic acid. Luckily, snails have lots of it, Magnesium, which our bodies need to maintain a normal blood pressure, strengthen bones and also keep your heartbeat regular and Omega-3, which is good for your heart.

What you need to make it

Snails ( 5 large snails)

4 habanero peppers (or to your taste)

5 tomatoes(Optional but that means if you’re not using tomatoes at all, then you would be needing more pepper which would make your snail a lot more spicy hot – depending on what you like)

1 onion

1 cooking spoon vegetable oil

1 big stock cube

Salt ( You need to be very mindful of the quantity of seasoning and salt you add to the snails. We know its not like beef and chicken  and can hardly absorb much seasoning.

Get the Snails ready

-Break the shells of the snails with firm stone and clean out the snail slime using lemon, lime, salt or alum

-Cut onion(into half) and peppers into tiny pieces. and if you’re using tomatoes, remove the seeds from the tomatoes and cut them into thin slices.

 How to make peppered snails
-Put the cleaned snails in a pot and pour water to cover them.
-Add the stock cube and the other half(onion which you have cut into large chunks).
-Cover pot  and start cooking on medium heat. Always check for water and top it when necessary so it does not burn.
-Put the sliced tomatoes, pepper and onions in another pot and start cooking on medium heat. The aim is to steam them till they are soft. Stir from time to time so it does not burn.
-The snails should be well cooked in about 30mins.
-Then take out the chunks of onion from the snails. Increase the heat to high and stir constantly till all the remaining liquid in the pot is absorbed. The aim is to ensure that all the flavour is absorbed nor is thrown away. Set it aside.
-When the water dries from the pepper, tomatoes and onions, add the vegetable oil and fry for about 5 minutes. Stir continuously so it does not stick to the pot.
-Add salt and stir very well.
-Add the cooked snail. Stir very well and taste for salt. If you think you need more salt, then add. Set aside after a while and allow to cool. There you go, your peppered snailed is ready to be consumed.
It can be eaten alone with a chilled bottle of your favourite drink or can be served as a side dish to Fried Plantains , Jollof Rice or while rice.
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  1. In as much that this delicacy is loves by people doesn’t mean that most people have an insight on how to prepare it , so I guess someone people should learn it , although am not left out.


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