Tamarind Juice (Tomi Dji)

Tamarind juice is one of my favorite childhood drinks, it is easy to make, refreshing and helps beat the summer heat.

I have found different versions of this recipe, some were creative enough to make it into an alcoholic  cocktail, which I never attempted since I prefer it virgin. It is one of those stand alone drinks  that just doesn’t  need it. A chilled pitcher of Tamarind juice TamarindJuice can be quite refreshing and you can toss in slices of lime or lemons for extra freshness. For my recipe, I use Fiji Islands Natural Tamarind ( pictured below) It makes figuring out measurements, water to tamarind/juice ratio so much easier than when using the individual tamarind pods.

Ingredients:

  • 1 cup of tamarind paste (link attached )
  • 1 cup of agave (or less, you can also use sugar, sweetener or honey) 
  • 1 tbsp of vanilla extract
  • 32 oz of water
  • 1 oz of lemon or lime juice
  • 5 oz of pineapple juice (optional)

Preparation:81rdcLEEvtL._SY679_

Place the tamarind paste into a large bowl or pitcher, then pour in some of the water (10-12oz) gradually while stirring the paste. Leave it for about 10-15 minutes in order for the paste to soften and to completely dissolved.

Using a wooden spoon, break up the paste(if any), continue stirring as you add the remaining water. Using a sieve, filter the mixture to separate the pulp.

Now keep stirring as you add the remaining ingredients: pineapple juice, vanilla, lemon juice and agave. Place in refrigerator to cool or serve chilled with ice.

Enjoy and bon appétit!

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African Print Jumpsuit

By Francine Holmes

I found this gorgeous piece on one of my favorite websites for African clothing. This particular piece is handmade,  100% cotton wax print jumpsuit with two side pockets, a pleated waistline and comes with a detachable sash.

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 Available for sale on Zuvaa.com

 

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Happy 4th of July

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Eponge Filet – African Exfoliating Body Net Restocked

Eponge Filet – African Exfoliating Body Net  is back in stock and available for purchase while supplies last!

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Used for centuries in Africa, this net is used in the shower as the perfect tool to clean and exfoliate skin. The washing net is great for the removal of dead skin cells and enhancing circulation. A great exfoliating tool, the net may feel harsh at first, but the texture softens after repeated use.

The net stretches to allow you to get to those hard to reach places like your back with ease. It is easy to use, when done simply rinse and hang it to dry. The net traps less bacteria than a washcloth, so it is recommended disinfecting every 4 months by soaking in boiling water.

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Nets are available in assorted colors and measure approximately:
-Regular:38in long/16in wide*
-Long:60in long/16in wide*
* These measurements are an approximation based on the nets’ stretched length, however it can vary by a (+) or (-) margin based on net’s texture.
–Long is ideally recommended for adults–

 

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African Black Soap

by Francine Holmes

Originating from West Africa, African black soap is a gentle cleanser made from il_fullxfull.844678976_l1adShea nuts, plantain skin, camwood and palm oil through a unique process that has been passed down for generations.

African black soap is an effective cleanser for daily use on all skin types.  It contains an abundance of antioxidants, iron, cinnamic acid, and vitamins A and E.

This soap is all natural, soft in texture and clean, earthy scent has remarkable skin healing properties.

The high Shea butter content makes it ideal for achieving and maintaining smooth, unblemished skin.  The ashes used in making the soap give it wonderful exfoliating properties to soften dry, irritated skin.  African black soap also works great at reducing  breakouts, skin discoloration, and razor bumps, and helps your skin retain its elasticity. Additionally, African black soap can also be used as a makeup remover, a shampoo that cleans out product build up, a moisturizer for dry scalp, and even a dandruff minimizer. 

 

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Memorial Sale

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Yimbégré at BAM

by Francine Holmes

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A few months ago, a couple of girlfriends and I attended the world premiere of Yimbégré, a wonderful performance conceived by talented African choreographer Souleymane ‘Solo’ Badolo, at BAM (Brooklyn Academy of Music).

The show opened on a pitch black stage in absolute silence for what seemed like an eternity, which was then broken by melodic chants of a man perched and drumming on a calabash. He was later joined by two other performers (Souleymane Badolo & Sylvestre Koffitse) They slowly converged in this swaying and chanting cadence until reaching center stage…and then silence!

The entire three-man show was filled with many similar moments. Each twist, leap, and brush between performers was at times fluid and at others deliberately clumsy.  Regardless, it was clear how attuned they were to one another.

After the show, my friends and I had a discussion about our individual perceptions of this wonderful performance. Interestingly, we had different take aways and themes ranging from brotherhood or friendship to love lost between two men–if the latter! I would say it is quite a progressive undertaking for African performers, who have long contended with censorship over some subject matters that are considered “controversial”.

The show was performed primarily in Dyula  and some French was peppered in toward the end (some of which I thankfully managed to understand as both are spoken in Ivory Coast).  We were all pleasantly shocked at the finale, when all three performers dowsed each other with water-filled calabashes and stood center stage once more in silence, as it was at the beginning.  Overall, it was simply a delightful performance by a conceptual visionary (Souleymane Badolo) and we thoroughly enjoyed it.

 About the creator of Yimbégré, Souleymane ‘Solo’ Badolo. He was born in Ouagadougou, Burkina Faso. He started his professional career as a dancer for the DAMA, a traditional African dance company, and in 1993, he founded his own Burkina Faso-based troupe, Kongo Ba Téria, fusing traditional African and western contemporary dance aesthetics. Solo has danced with world renowned choreographers and performed with the National Ballet of Burkina, choreographed for a number of companies, and developed a program at The Center of Dance, Music and Theatre in Rome. (newyorklivearts.org)

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Conceived and choreographed by  Souleymane Badolo  Performed by Sylvestre Koffitse *  Akakpo-Adzaku   Original music by Souleymane Badolo * Mamoudou Konate * Mamoudou Konate  Additional music by Dar-es-Salaam by Diamond Platnumz


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Let’s make a moisturizer

by Francine Holmes

Changes in weather can wreak havoc on your skin no matter the type, that is why a moisturizer is calendula-and-chamomileso desperately needed.

Moisturizers serve many purposes, they  soothe, soften and mostly create a barrier that protects skin and prevents loss of moisture.

 Here’s an easy and generic D.I.Y recipe, it is made with very simple ingredients that can be purchased at any local supermarket or health food store.  Here’s a quick tip, a good moisturizer should always have the following ingredients: an emollient, an emulsifier, a humectant, an absorbent agent and finally the active ingredient. For our recipe we will need:

  • Shea Butter, Coconut oil and jojoba oil (Emollients)
  • Beeswax (Emulsifiers)
  • Glycerin or Honey ( Humectants)
  • Essential oils or infusion* (absorbent agent)
  • Vitamin E (active ingredient)

*infusion is the process of extracting chemical compounds or flavors from plant material in a solvent such as water, oil or alcohol, by allowing the material to remain suspended in the solvent over time (a process often called steeping) wikipedia.org

Directions:

Melt your solid ingredients ( Shea butter, Coconut oil and beeswax ) – If using an herbal or floral infusion, warm it to approximately the same temperature as your melted solid ingredient mixture. If not, add a few drops of  your favorite essential oil scent, mine is lavender, it is so calming and soothing.

Gradually add your infusion to the your melted solid mixture while whisking consistently with your hand mixer. Once thoroughly mixed, leave it to cool; add your humectant glycerin or honey and then your active ingredient Vitamin E.

It is easy, fun to make and most of all you’re in control of your ingredients. Enjoy

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Easter Sale

By Francine Holmes

CELEBRATE EASTER & SAVE 10% – Use coupon code: EASTER10
 Offer ends 4/10/2016

Eastersale

http://www.FancyNaturals.com

 

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Sauce Arrachide – Peanut Soup

sauce-arachideSauce Arrachide, peanut soup or groundnut soup; the name varies according to the region you’re from as well as the recipe. I consider it, ‘sauce arrachide’ as a comfort food, it is easy to make, most of the ingredients can be found in most kitchens and you can put a twist on it by  slightly altering it. You can add some curry powder, as much chili peppers as you can handle or even okra for some texture.

Ingredients

  • 1 whole chicken (chopped into pieces)
  • 6 tbsp of peanut butter
  • 2 chopped onions (easier in blender)
  • 2 tomatoes (diced)
  • 2 chili peppers (optional)
  • Chopped parsley
  • 1 tsp of ground ginger
  • 1 tsp of curry powder
  • Vegetable oil
  • 1 rosemary sprig
  • 1.75l chicken stock

Preparation

1. On a medium heat, lightly cover the bottom of your pot with some vegetable oil, add the chopped onions,  tomatoes, pepper and chicken pieces and stir for a few minutes until the chicken is somewhat brown.

Pour the chicken stock over the mix, on medium high heat. Bring it to the boil, in a separate container mix the peanut butter, rosemary, curry powder, chopped parsley and ginger with a little water.

Add the mixture to your boiling pot, stir and finally reduce the heat to medium.  Leave it to simmer for 15-20 minutes until the chicken is tender.

It is finally ready to serve, it can be enjoyed with fufu, rice or some warm atieke, the options are limitless. Enjoy!

 

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