Cafe Abuja Is Bringing Traditional Nigerian Food to Houston — Cooking in America

– I’m here in a Nigerian store and it’s like a whole section of palm oil. That’s that fufu right here. Fufu is a staple food that’s
accompanied with Nigerian food, and it’s kind of like poi in Hawaiian, so I’m excited to see that. Oh, Milo. Ah, making me feel like home already. Do you guys drink Milo? That’s like straight up
Filipino breakfast right there. So there’s only two types
of domesticated rice in this world: Asian style being one, and then West African being the other. Oh my god, I love cow skin. There’s a huge population of
Nigerians here in Houston. When they come into Cafe
Abuja they have that moment of just, feeling of home. (intense drum music) – We stepped away from
just a brand, African. – Africa is huge, right? It’s a continent.
– Yeah, Africa’s a continent, – So we just wanted
people to know that, yes, this is an African restaurant,
but it’s a Nigerian cuisine. And we didn’t want to take away from the traditional ingredients,
so, you know, be ready. His background was Nigerian, I’m American, I’m from, you know, St. Louis.
– Alright. We opened it from a customer perspective. What are all the other
restaurants missing? Really, Cafe Abuja’s not
just here for Nigerians, we’re here for the whole community. – We’ve had different cultures
come in to try the food, and they’re eating it the traditional way, with their hands. – [Sheldon] So, this is the egusi.
– The egusi. – [Rasak] We start by
blending the peppers. Now this is palm oil, this one
one comes from West Africa. And then this is like
shrimp, it’s called crayfish, it’s used in many, all
West African dishes. – [Sheldon] Dried fish. – In Nigeria, when they cut
up an animal, they cube it. We use the cow foot of the
tripe, the lining of the stomach, the shakis, nothing goes to waste. – That’s my jam right here. In Filipino, we call this bendongo. – [Tiffaney] Egusi is a melon
seed that’s in a powder form. – So the soup is gonna thicken when this is added in. And then this is to eat alongside. – The egusi. – [Rasak] This is used in
Nigeria to make pounded yam. – We have this thing in
Hawaii where we take a taro, steam it off or we boil it, peel it, and then we mash it. – That’s right, that’s how
you make the pounded yam. – Because of all the time and
energy put into making this, it’s maybe during weddings, new year, yes, celebration.
– Oh it’s for celebration. If your son hasn’t been
home for a really long time and your mom’s like, you know what, I’m gonna make you pounded yam. So it’s a really special dish. – Western worlds, they find a way to make this pounded
yam in a powdery form. You wash your hands. – You roll it in your hands,
a lotta times they’ll roll it. – Roll your hands. – Yeah, that’s right. – You just pick it up like this. – That’s how it goes,
really nice, delicious. – Oh man, got that spice. – We are two miles away
from the Energy Corridor. There’s a lot of professionals that work in the oil and gas industry. – Okay. – They have a lot of professionals that are nurses and doctors that are here,
– Exactly. like second-generation Nigerians. – Some of them have never been to Nigeria, but have had Nigerian food growing up because their parents cook it for them. When we opened, this was a
spot that they could come to and feel at home. Whether you’re from Nigeria,
we’re welcoming all cultures. – So in here we have
the peppers, habanero. – [Tiffaney] Tomatoes, we blend it with garlic, onions, chicken bullion. – [Sheldon] Then we add
a rich goat stock to it. – Garnish it with vegetable,
which is spinach and tripe. In our stew, we have goat,
we have cow foot, shaki, and then we also have the tilapia. – So the three major tribes
are represented here. We don’t have one person
doing all the cooking, we have sort of like contractors of different regions of the country. Like if you are Ibo,
you cook Ibo food here. – How’s Ibo food? – No Ibo food, Isi Ewu, goat head stew. – Okay. – One day I’m gonna give
you that, I just loved it. Goat head is made with brains
of the goat and everything. (laughing)
– Oh man. – No, goat head stew because
there’s all that collagen that’s in the cheeks.
– Everything. And the creaminess
– Yes, nothing goes to waste. of the brain.
– Goat head stew, – That’s an Ibo food. If you come from Yoruba,
you cook Yoruba food. We have Hausa food, which
is the northern food too. – Yes. You walk into this place,
whether you were born in America or you came from the boat, you know you’ll be taken care of. – Tell me about growing
up in Nigeria first. – When I was in Nigeria,
nobody bought anything unless it said made in USA. – Who knew, all the way
in Nigeria, American made, (laughing)
– Yes. – It means they see USA
as one golden place, whatever they see from the
movie and everything so, it’s a place that if
you play by the rules, if you work hard, you can
go all the way to the top, and that’s what we’ve experienced here. But when we first started,
we didn’t have much money. You gotta take some risk, you don’t know how it’s gonna turn out. – We depended on the word of mouth. You know, new business,
– Mhmm. start up, I had to leave
my job to come here and I’m glad I made that choice. – It’s a blessing to this community, whether they’re working
overnight shifts as a nurse or studying hard on their exams,
what these restaurants are is a safe hub where people can recognize and have a feeling of home. In Hawaii, we say mahalo. – Thank you. – E se. – [All] E se. – Yeah, that’s in the Yoruba. (laughing)
– Alright. – This is the secret chicken
sauce, it’s called pupu sauce. It’s like a sweet ginger soy sauce, almost.
– Okay.

88 thoughts on “Cafe Abuja Is Bringing Traditional Nigerian Food to Houston — Cooking in America

  1. All of these restaurants are so close to me, surprised I didn't run into y'all when you came to Houston to film.

  2. braddah is from the Kingdom of Hawai'i…in the language, "I" is pronounced as "ee"…hence "Mee-low"…but those soft, buttery nuggets of naimasness, bendongo tho…hoa, broke da mouth so onolicous!

  3. Mate Milo needs to be represented correctly.
    The way to pronounce it is pretend to have an Australian accent and then say it.

    It will roll of the tongue.

  4. This presenter, Sheldon, is pretty cool. I have yet to be disappointed with any of the videos he's been in — he's very humble, very quickly gels/vibes with his guests and doesn't interject himself into the guest's narrative or stories but knows when to keep the conversation flow going. He's the next Lucas! Keep him on your channel Eater! 🙂

  5. Egusi soup is delicious! He pronounced Milo just the way we pronounce it in Nigeria. I have tons of Nigerian recipes on my channel if you want to learn how to make Nigerian food

  6. Milo, man. I drank it a lot when I was a kid since Nestle advertised it as a energy drink for kids here. When kids drink it, they suddenly become the smartest kid in the class, won the marathon, got the black belt in karate and have the highest score in gymnastic competition in one day.

  7. Pounded yam or fufu is the special way of doing it, if you go to a market in Port Harcourt you get served gari which is cassava flour mixed with water and you eat it the same way with egusi, groundnut soup, okro.

  8. ast two digit is your Starting Lineup

    4.Jason Kidd

    6.YO MAMAl
    9.Mark gasol
    0.Lamelo Ball

  9. I am half Nigerian, but I can’t get my head around the “everything but the kitchenvsink” concept. Maybe it is the point, that I also don’t crustaceans or that I find cubed bone meats in stew a topic of my nightmares? Or that I think, that cubed bouillon shouldn’t be on anyones recipe list who ones a restaurant?

    Suya is dope though….

  10. I'm going to start pronouncing "Milo" as "Me-lo".
    Sounds exotic and anyone that hears me saying "Me-lo" will start to question if they have been pronouncing it wrong.

  11. How are you going to do a video about Nigerian food without Jallof Rice, Plantain, and assorted Meat? Suya? Nigerian food is spectacular though. Genuinely one of my favourites.

  12. Subscribed and clicked the Notif bell just 'coz of Sheldon Simeon!!! 😍 I love the way he handled the whole segment…he's a natural host who shows great passion for food, culture, & history behind the people & the flavors they offer. 😊👍🏼 Now, I'm off to watch all of Sheldon's vids. 😂 More power to you Sheldon!!! Love heaps from Sydney!!!! 😘❤️

  13. I love this channel.. Everybody seems very happy. From America to Africa and India all the way to the Pacific islands. Sharing cultures (food), it's amazing.. and I love Nigeria.. (I'm Filipino by the way.)

  14. Absolute South East Asian and Aussie dhumbarses (i'm pronouncing this the way I WANT TO) whining about the pronunciation of a drink when it had absolutely nothing to do with the food in the video. I am from Singapore and we largely pronounce it as MYLO, but some say Meelo and that is absolutely fine. Goddamn, get triggered over something important will ya?

  15. In Ghana, it sounds similar to Egusi in Nigeria and it’s called Agushi in Ghana 🇬🇭 from the Ga tribe.

  16. Milo grew on me as a kid. But when I moved to America…..nesquick made it seem nasty to me. Don’t hate. Still true Nigerian at heart

  17. Mee-lo?? Lols Kahit sa hawaii ka pa lumaki napagtripan ka ng mga kamaganak mong Pilipino..Intindihin mo muna to tapos ayusin mo ha..Lab you lols

  18. Your not american no one is you just live there. Your black mum dad comes from afrika and your from the part nigeria. Stop playing your self. Plus your want real food go eat turkish kurdish syrian lebanese pakistan indian iranian afghani food and youll know what food is.

  19. Sheldon, you have love for food & so do I. Really enjoy watching your interest in different cuisine. Thanks much & be blessed.

  20. Did this trick just say pounded yam is a special dish lmao. That's every day. Also why is that egusi so damn thick sheesh

  21. If you are Togolese, please do something. Where is your savoir_ faire ? You can do much better when it comes to seasoning, cooking . But this people are bolder.

  22. When I lived in Tacoma, Washington, I worked at a hospital there. There were a many hospital staff members from Nigeria, and I loved it when we had staff potlucks.

    The food bounty was fantastic!!! Nigerian, Kenyan, Filipino, Ukranian, Vietnamese…you name it.

    Wonderful times…

  23. I'm Nigerian in a small town in America and I miss Nigerian food. I'll be moving to a big city soon hopefully and be homing on Nigerian restaurants immediately.

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