(Nigeria Food) Benue state is known as the "Food
Basket of Nigeria" and celebrated this year with an
enormous food festival. The tastes, smells and flavours
of an array of classic Nigerian food dishes were
accompanied by delicious servings of local dancing,
drummers and celebrated musicians.
But the stars of the show are the women from across
Benue who took part in the festival's cooking
"For women -- cooking is like a natural thing," says
Doosuur Tor- Anyiin, a Benue state journalist and cook
in the competition.
Hundreds of women attended to watch the
competition. The prizes included: a new car for first
prize (plus 500,000N), a motorbike for second (plus
300,000N), and a deep freezer for third place (plus
"I learnt how to cook when I was fourteen years old and
I can't quantify," explained Doosuur Tor- Anyiin.
(Nigerian Food) Doosuur cooked a delicious soup recipe
from her local area -- it's called Ikyegh Shashwa -- and
the ingredients include chicken, onions, pepper, local
seed for flavouring, ginger, locust beans and black eyed
"It all goes into the soup," she says.
But she had plenty of competition in the event
(organised by Unilever in partnership with the office of
the first lady of Benue state) as women from across the
state vied with their own Nigerian Food dishes.
"I have been cooking for my husband and he has never
one day said madam you have not cooked well today,"
said Mwuese, wiping her brow as she cooked her Okra
and vegetable soup. "So I'm highly confident that I will
6 years ago