The origin of Okra Soup in Nigeria cannot be ascertained as the different ethnic groups have their individual ways of preparing it.
The Yorubas usually cook the okra plain and serve with stew;
The Igbos would prefer to add Ogbono to theirs, while the Hausas will rather cook their okra with pepper, onions and meat.
The recipe is a blend of all the cultures and appeals to everyone especially the kids.
You can choose to cook okra soup with assorted meat but sea foods work better for me.
Okra – about 500 grams,
Palm Oil- 1/2 cup,
5 scotch bonnet pepper (Atarodo)
Pumpkin leaves (Ugu)
1 handful 3 stock cubes
Cut the okra into tiny pieces by making two vertical cuts, then horizontal cuts. How tiny you may want your cuts really depend on personal choice.
You can also grate the okra with a greater.
This way it’s tinier and slimier. • Blend crayfish, pepper and onions.
Set it aside. • Wash, pick and cut pumpkin leaves into tiny shreds, leave in a colander to drain. • Per boil stock fish till it’s soft.
Rinse thoroughly and set aside.
De-bone and wash the dried fish.
Also, clean your shrimps at this stage. • Put the stock fish dried fish and shrimps in stock pot. Season with the stock cubes; add a little salt and bring to the boil.
• After about 5 minutes, add the crayfish, pepper and onions mixture. Add palm oil, cover the pot and allow to boil for another 5 minutes. • Add the okra, stir properly and allow to cook for about 3 minutes; then add the pumpkin leaves.
Stir thoroughly and allow to simmer for about three minutes.
After adding the okra to the soup, do not put the lid on the pot while it’s cooking as this prevents it from drawing.
Your Okra soup is ready and can be served with pounded yam or any bolus of your choice.
By Echika Udechukwu
As the name implies, Bitter leaf is a bitter plant whose leaf extracts, stem and bark is used for culinary, medical and curative purposes. The leaf may be bitter to taste but is very nutritional as it contains vitamin A, vitamin C, vitamin E, vitamin B1 and vitamin B12.
Scientifically it is known as Vernonia amygadalina, and is also called onugbo, shawaka and ewuro by the Igbo, Hausa and Yoruba in Nigeria respectively.
It is an indigenous African plant species, which can be found growing wild along the edges of agricultural fields. It can be cooked, both as a leafy vegetable and also used as a flavour in making soups commonly in Africa. Bitter leaf soup is a popular dish in Nigeria and is cooked differently in each region.
This recipe is from the eastern part of the country and is thickened with cocoyam.
1kg meat 5 cups of stock A heap of bitter leaf, properly washed and coarsely chopped 2 cups cocoyam, mashed 500g dried fish 500g stockfish 200g kpomo 1/2 cup crayfish, ground Chilli pepper to taste 3 seasoning cubes 2 cups palm oil Periwinkle 2 medium size onions, chopped 2 tsp ogiri (optional) Salt to taste.
Wash all the ingredients properly and keep them separately in clean bowls or a tray Season and boil the meat to get your stock Boil the periwinkle with salt and wash properly When the meat is almost soft, add the stockfish and kpomo Add water to desired quantity and allow to boil Mash the cocoyam into a paste with 2 tablespoons of palm oil When the water starts to boil, scoop in the mashed cocoyam to thicken it Add more palm oil if necessary Add the dried fish, pepper, crayfish, ogiri and periwinkle Cook for about 15mins for it to thicken Add the chopped bitter leaf and then salt to taste Cooking time is 1 hour 30 minutes, and it serves four people.
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