When I shared the recipe for Owho Soup the Urhobo version, a Facebook friend asked if I had tried out the Bini version. I told her I hadn’t and I would love to. She sent me a couple of video links. And it was quite intriguing. The cooking method is different from that of the Urohobos. This requires a tomato stew base.
And it also has a sweet taste! The moment I added the Kaun (Potash) I noticed the sauce became sweet. I need to know the science behind that. I didn’t need salt in cooking this at all. In one of the videos I watched, the person mentioned Kaun being salty, I have never considered Kaun to have a salty taste, I tasted it today, and it tastes minerally but definitely not salty.
“Although it is called Potash, Kaun is a mineral called Trona, which is a crude mixture of various salts and other components. Kaun is sold as small stone like pieces”Funke Koleosho blogspot
The sweetness of the stew might account for why the Bini’s eat it with unripe plantains.
Not only did I enjoy cooking it, but I also enjoyed eating it. I decided to eat it with boiled yam and unripe plantains.
Ingredients (Serves 3-4)
- 1.5 cups fresh blended pepper mix (Tomatoes/Scotch Bonnet -Ata rodo/Tatashe- Capsicum)
- 1 tbsp Kaun (Potash)
- 1 tbsp powdered crayfish
- 1/2 kg of Fried or smoked mackerel
- 1 smoked fish
- A few smoked prawns
- 2 seasoning cubes
- 1 cup palm oil
- Bring your blended pepper to a boil
- Add kaun, crayfish, fried fish smoked fish, smoked prawns, seasoning cubes and let it cook for about 10 minutes.
- Turn off the heat.
- Let the soup cool down.
- Add the palm oil, stirring it in with a ladle, you will see the soup thicken and change to pale shade as the palm oil is added. Kaun does that palm oil.
- Turn the heat back on and let it cook with lid on for about 5-7 minutes.
2 thoughts on “Bini Owo Soup”
Very interesting recipe. The ‘kaun’ and powdered Crayfish are entirely new to me. I would love to learn more.
Kaun (Or Akaun) is also called Edible Potash. It has a mineral rock like taste and it is has a brownish grey colour. It’s used in cooking some native dishes in Nigeria like Ewedu (Jute Leaves) ,Nkwobi (Cow Leg Sauce), Owoh and several many more.
For powdered crayfish, here in Nigeria we have dried and smoked dry crayfish , shrimp, prawns. When you blend dried crayfish to a powder you get powdered crayfish.
All of these are usually available in African stores that carry West African Spices.
Thanks for reading this recipe.