Oha Soup

Oha soup is native to the South Eastern Nigeria. Oha (also spelt and pronounced as Ora) is a delicate vegetable and has a very unique flavour.

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The first time I tasted Oha soup was 6 years ago in the restaurant of the High Court of the FCT. I had gone to court early that day and by lunch time I was famished, especially after sitting through all the proceedings, I was in the mood for something more exciting. Food is exciting, that is why I don’t miss practice. So back to my story, they had Oha on the menu, I had no idea what it was but I was willing to try. I was hooked!
I remember when I had my son, I came down with a bad flu, adjusting to my new life as a mum was stressful. My husband’s aunt made me a bowl of Oha Soup. That was the only food I could ingest, it worked like a charm and my appetite came back. I love Oha Soup.

Recipe
Credit; Allnigerianrecipes.com

Ingredients

•     Oha leaves a handful

•    Cocoyam – 8 small corms

•    Red Palm Oil – 2 cooking spoons

•    Assorted Beef meats

•    Assorted dry  Fish

•    Fresh peppers (scotch bonnet / habenero /ata rodo)

•    Salt to taste

•    Crayfish (powdered)

•   Bouillon Cubes

•    1 teaspoon Ogiri Igbo (for the traditional taste but optional)

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Procedure

–    Grind pepper and set aside.

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–    Wash and boil the cocoyam corms till soft.
Remove the peels and  in a blender , blend to a smooth paste you can also use a mortar and pestle , that is the more traditional approach.

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–   Wash oha leaves.  Using your fingers, cut the Ora (Oha) leaves into tiny pieces. It is said that this  technique is to prevent the vegetable from becoming darker in colour which  happens when you cut the ora leaves with a knife. I’ve tried cutting oha with a knife and it didn’t turn dark, but then o cut and used immediately. I’d say whatever rocks your boat. Set it aside.

–   Season and  boil the meats, when then are tender add stock fish and dry fish.

–    Add the pepper, ogiri Igbo and ground crayfish and cook for 10 minutes. Add the cocoyam paste in small lumps and then the palm oil.

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–    Cover the pot and leave to cook on high heat till all the cocoyam lumps have dissolved. You can add more water if you feel that the soup is too thick. * Remove smoked catfish Ifyou are using any at this point to prevent disintegration

–    Add the oha (ora) leaves and leave to cook for about 5 minutes.

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Serve with your favourite starchy side dish.

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Yam Pottage

Growing up i was not a huge yam pottage fan , most people call it yam porridge  . My dad cooks the best yam pottage, he made me like it. Well maybe because the man would nearly finish all the ingredients in the pantry that was meant for four pots of soup into one pot of pottage.   Before I cook yam pottage,  the yam has to be right, and by right I mean it has to be the variety that crumbles when you pierce it with a fork when it’s cooked, sweet and  preferably white Yam. I like my yam pottage to have some broth and chunky pieces of yam so I eat it with a spoon -squishy and chewy-. I really love to have vegetable in my pottage, le hubs doesn’t really  care for vegetable so I add mine separately.

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Recipe

Ingredients

•    Yam

•    Blended peppers and onion

•    Meat stock

•    Powdered Crayfish

•    Bouillon Cubes

•    Palm Oil

•    * bits of meats,  fish

Procedure

–    Peel, wash and cut yam into chunks. Add some water, salt, bouillon cubes and if you have meat stock, add the meat stock. I’ve found that yam cooked in meat stock yields great tasting yam pottage.

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–   When the yam is cooked  (you can pass a fork through )add palm oil,  blended pepper,  powdered crayfish. If you need to, you can add more water but be careful not to add too much.

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–   Add your bits of precooked meats, fish, egg or fresh prawns .

–    Stir all together and Cook on medium heat still all the ingredients are well incorporated and the broth has a slightly thick consistency.

–   *If adding vegetable,  add just before you turn off the heat. This is so as not to over cook, the heat would cook it through even after the heat has been turned off.

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Obe Ori Okuta

When I was I the university,  a friend shared one of her fondest memories of her grand mother. It was her pepper stew, called Obe Ori Okuta, loosely translated as Stew made on Stone. Basically it was stew made with pepper ground with locust beans on a traditional grinding stone, fried in bleached palm oil with no bouillon cubes,  just salt. The stew is served with any meal that calls for stew.

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Recipe

Ingredients

•    Peppers (Jalapeño / Scotch Bonnet Ratio 5 : 3)

•    Tomato  (optional)

•    Whole locust beans

•    * Powdered Crayfish

•    Salt

•    Palm oil

Procedure

–   Blend  the pepper and locust beans to a smooth paste. I didn’t use no stone to grind it,  ain’t nobody got time for that.

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–    Bleach palm oil,

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–    Fry the blended pepper , season with salt and blended crayfish. Add pre cooked meat or fish and cook till well cooked.

This stew graced Ewedu that accompanied Amala tonight.

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How to make Beef Sausage Meat

Following my posts on Sausage Roll and Scotch Egg,  I’ve had a couple of mails asking what is beef sausage is and where to get it. My answer has been,  you can get it from the frozen goods section of any good supermarket or store. I prefer to use the CHI brand or the UAC brand. Beyond knowing the brands, you can actually make yours. I’ve been hoping to do post on this, and as fate would have it, I realised late this evening that I didn’t have any sausage in the freezer and I am making sausage rolls for my mother – in – law tomorrow morning. I quickly called Le hubs to pick up a pack for me from Spar but when he got there they were closed. There is no way I would be disappointing this sweet woman, she needs it for a fellowship meeting tomorrow. So i went into my freezer to get out a pack of beef. This is what I did . You need. 1. 350 grams of beef, cut up into small pieces image Use a knife to cut off the sinew. image Other ingredients 1/8 cup Vegetable oil 1/8 cup water 1/2 tbsp cayenne pepper  (Ata gigun) 1/4 tsp salt Ginger (just a small piece, peeled) image Season the meats with salt, pepper and ground ginger In a good blender, blend seasoned meat with oil and water till a you get a soft  smooth paste of meat. image Wrap it up in cling film or a polythene bag and put in a freezer bag and keep in the freezer till you need it. You can use it immediately. image image

Ponmo Alata

Spicy Ponmo.  Ponmo is a delicacy!  I don’t know what the government thought they were saying, sometime last year, they  want to  ban Ponmo! We should put this curly cow hide on a national emblem already. I know a lot of people agree that ponmo is the truth. It’s said that Ponmo has no nutritional value but that does not take away the fact that it melts in your mouth when it is well cooked or for the slightly tough ones it is crunchy. Some weeks back in the Lagos Island market, i observed people rushing to buy Peppered Ponmo,  they had been waiting for the hawker to come around and when she did they swarmed around her. My first introduction to Ponmo Alata was also in the same market years ago. I love to eat it as much as I love to cook it. Cooking it is very easy. image Recipe Ingredients •    500 g Ponmo •    1 1/2 cups coarsely blended pepper mix (tomatoes + pepper + onion) * pepper content should be a little high. I like mine really spicy so I do a ratio of 1 tomato to 5 peppers (2 scotch bonnet + 3 jalapeño ) and quarter of a medium sized onion. So people can’t handle that kind of heat. •    1/8 cup Vegetable oil •    1 small onion •    Bouillon Cubes •    Salt Procedure –    Wash the ponmo throughly, cleaning and peeling out any unnecessary stuff on it. image –    Season with salt and bouillon cubes,  add onion and boil the ponmo image –     When the ponmo is tender, take it off the heat  and set aside. Heat up some oil and add the pepper.  Add stock from cooking the ponmo. Add more seasoning if you want. image image image –    Cook with lid off till the water reduces completely and the pepper starts to fry. Stir the ponmo into the pepper sauce,  cook for an additional 3 minutes and turn off the heat. –    Allow the ponmo to stay in the pepper for at least 30 mins before serving image image

Gizdodo

image Gizdodo is a happy marriage of fried plantain, fried gizzard and peppered stew. I’ve been trying to find the history of the dish but one thing I’m certain of is that it was made popular by caterers who served them at parties and events. Usually it is served at parties as a side dish or it accompanies some other dishes, but it can be served just by it self. I love gizzard, cooked or fried, I just love the crunch, it’s like eating beef that taste like chicken with the crunch of a soft cartilage.

image Okay Enough of my rant, I craved gizdodo last night but Le hubs ordered beans, so I spent all of today dreaming of dinner.

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Recipe

•    1 Kg Frozen Gizzard

•    6 Ripe Plantains

•    2 Large Onions

•    4 Tomatoes

•    Jalapeño peppers ( Bawa / Sombo / long tatashe ) As many as you want depending on how much heat you can handle. I used more than 10 pieces

•    1 large sweet bell pepper  (i used 1/2 Yellow and 1/2 Orange sweet bell peppers)

•    Scotch Bonnet  (Ata rodo) as many as you want

•    1 cup gizzard Stock

•    4 Bouillon Cubes (knorr beef cubes in this instance)

•    Salt to taste

•    Vegetable oil ( to fry )

Procedure

–    Rinse gizzard, put in a pot and   chop one large onion, and season with bouillon cubes, and salt. Cook till it is well cooked.

image image –     While your gizzard is cooking prep you other ingredients. Coarsely blended your tomatoes, onion and peppers. You can use as little or as much of any of these ingredients. What we want to get is at least 2 1/2 cups of the coarsely blended pepper. Chop you bell peppers. When the gizzard is cooked, save the stock,  chop and fry. image image

–     Dice up your plantains and fry till golden brown and set aside. (I like to fry my plantain first and use the same oil to fry the gizzard)

image image –     Using some the oil you fried the gizzard in, in a pot or wok add the pepper blend, add 1 cup of the gizzard Stock,  taste for seasoning, if necessary season a little more. Cook with lid off till the water is reduced completely and the pepper starts to fry in the oil, turn the heat down a notch, then add chopped bell peppers.

–     Turn the heat down completely and  add the gizzard,  stir it in well and add the fried plantain and stir in using a wooden or plastic spoon/ladle  so as not to mash up the plantain.

–     Stir in well and turn off the heat. Serve warm.

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Le hubs came in 1 hr early from work and came straight to the kitchen, the aroma of the gizzard pulled him in, he says “Ki lon ta san san? ” (What smells goods), he spies the gizzard and the says “Ope o! Gizdodo ” He had second helpings. The little man in his own case was upset, because I had given him just dodo and fried egg earlier since he had  an early dinner. -Bedtime is 7 – 7.30 pm on a school night and school is back in session. –

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No Fuss Steamed Vegetable

This is probably the easiest vegetable dish you’d ever make. No oil, no pepper , and can be paired with any dish you like. I’ve over indulged in all the sweet and highly calorific stuffs, it’s time to come clean.

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Recipe

•   1 bowl (1 litre bowl) of washed and shredded vegetable  (Ugu in this instance)

•   1 Large Onion

•   2 Smoked Mackerel (deboned and shredded)

•   Salt to taste  

•   Bouillon Cubes

•   1 tbsp Powdered Crayfish

Procedure

–   In a pot or saucepan add about 1/8 cup of water, chop onions and set in medium heat.

–   After about 5 mins, add the vegetable, salt,  bouillon cubes,  and crayfish.

–   Stir well and add deboned and shredded mackerel.  Stir till all is well incorporated. Don’t cook the vegetable too long, let it retain its fresh green colour.

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I’ve been having a little too much fun with mine.  Portion Control! *winks

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Corn Moinmoin

Savoury Steamed Corn pudding. It is also called Abari, Ekoki, Ekusu, Sapala, Nri Oka etc.

Yesterday I bought some fresh corn with the hope of making Adalu. I started reading some comments on my Ekuru post on Facebook and some commenters made reference to Abari/Sapala.  I decided I was going to give it a try. I combed through the internet for recipes and I realised it was same as moinmoin only that people put their own spin on it.

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Recipe

•   Fresh Corn

•   Jalapeño peppers ( Bawa / Sombo / long tatashe )

•   Onions

•   Smoked Mackerel

•   Smoked prawns.

•   Vegetable oil

Procedure

–   If you corn is still in cob, use a knife to take it off the cob

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–    In a blender purée corn

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–    Blend pepper, onion, and smoked prawns and add to the paste

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–    Add vegetable oil and smoked mackerel

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–   Wrap in leaves (traditional) or in a polythene bag or tin foil or ramekins… whatever rocks your boat.

–    Steam cook till it is set and all cooked through.

This is my first time trying this or tasting it and I nailed it, it tastes so good, I don’t know why I’ve never had it before. Le hubs also liked it but because he is not adventurous, I’m foresee me being the only one relishing this 3 times out of 4 when I make it again,

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In keeping with my portion control and keeping my eating clean I served mine with Steamed Vegetable – Ugu, onions and mackerel – .

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Doughnuts

I’ve been making snacks all weekend, let me quickly share my Doughnuts recipe with you. This is a very  basic recipe. image Recipe (Yeilds 16 – 20) All Purpose Flour 500g Margarine 50 – 100g Sugar 75g 1 Egg 1 1/2 tbsp Dry Active Yeast 1 cup warm  Milk 2 tablespoons water Procedure –  Sieve flour into bowl, add yeast and stir, then add sugar, margarine and rub in. –   In another bowl, measure 1 cup warm water, add milk, beaten egg and mix. –   Make a well in the centre of the flour and pour in liquid mixture the mix with your hands. Knead until elastic or place on a mixer and knead using the dough hook until elastic or smooth. –   Leave to rise. Once risen, knock out the air. –   Roll out with a rolling pin, use a cookie cutter or any round object to  cut rounds, scoop jam into the middle of rounds , using a pastry brush or the tip of your finger wet outer edges of rounds with water, liquid milk or egg, cover with another round of same size and seal edges allow to rise or double in size, then fry in hot oil until golden brown. Alternatively instead of filling the middle of the round with jam first, fry till golden brown first then use a syringe to insert jam into the doughnut.  For doughnut with a hole in the middle, skip adding jam and use a small cookie cutter or any small round cutter, press it in to cut the hole in the middle. –  When cool roll in granulated or caster sugar if you want. image image image

Scotch Eggs

Scotch Egg is hard-boiled egg enclosed in sausage meat, rolled in breadcrumbs, and fried. It is a very tasty snack and it’s easy to make.

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Recipe

•   6 Peeled Hard Boiled Eggs

•   300 grams  Beef Sausage Meat (You can make your own Sausage Meat, find the recipe HERE

•   2 cups Bread Crumbs

•   1 Egg

•   1/4 cup flour

Procedure

–    Roll Eggs in flour,

–    Cover the eggs with beef sausage
* taste your beef sausage, if it is bland and unseasoned, season lightly with salt and pepper. I used the Chi brand and it comes seasoned.

–    Dip in beaten egg

–     Roll in bread crumbs and Fry till golden brown

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–   Serve warm or cold. You can eat it alone or with dipping sauce or some salad like I did for dinner. Still enjoying my romance with mangoes

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