In a few weeks we will be celebrating Christmas. Thinking of what to cook to excite and interest the family is always a challenge. Come to think of it we eat Jollof rice, rice and stew, fried rice and so on at least ones in a week, so it’s time to cook up some other interesting but simple dish.

Christmas time in Nigeria is when cost of tomatoes and pepper jumps through the roof. So this is sharing an interesting rice recipe that does not require tomatoes but will still make Christmas special and tasteful. It's Calabar style coconut rice called Edesi Isip. Pair this dish with simple vegetable salad and dodo and you will have your cheek smoldered with kisses. Merry Christmas.

Recipe (serves 6)


2 cups Rice

5 cups Coconut milk (from about 4 medium size coconuts)

3 tablespoons ground Crayfish

1 teaspoon dry Pepper

8-10 pieces fresh Prawns

2 cups smoked Fish

6 pieces Pork feet (optional) or any other meat of choice

1 medium size Onion cut sliced in rings

Crayfish seasoning to taste

Salt to taste


1. Grate or blend coconut flesh and squeeze and strain out the milk

2. Pour milk into a pot and bring to boil. You may need slightly more or slightly less milk depending on the type of rice you are cooking.

3. Add the pepper, crayfish, smoked fish, onion, previously steamed pork foot, seasoning and salt to taste. Boil for about 2 minutes

4. Wash the rice very well and add to the coconut milk. Add the prawns. Taste and correct seasoning. Cook the rice till soft and the water dries up.

5. Serve warm with some side vegetable salad.

Iquo Ukoh is a trained nutritionist/dietitian from the University of Nigeria. She loves cooking and entertaining and cares about what she eats. She is also the Founder 1Q Food Platter.