Obe Ewedu (Ewedu Soup)

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Ewedu Soup is popularly eaten by the Yoruba people of the South Western Part of Nigeria. Slimy is not a nice word to use to describe Ewedu Soup so we call it draw soup because of the way it stretches. The taste is amazing and it pairs well with red stew and and gbegiri. Any Buka worth it’s salt in Ibadan, Oyo State, would make the biggest portion of its sales from Amala and Ewedu.

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Amongst Yoruba people, one of the first solids a baby is introduced to is Amala and Ewedu. Ewedu helps the starchy solid slide easily down the baby’s throat. It is also a great way to add other nourishing goodness in the meal for the baby to eat e.g Mashed Mackerel,  Crayfish , liver , locust beans… etc.

**  For those who live outside Nigeria, these  are other names for Ewedu and you might find them in the frozen goods section in your African or Asian store. Jute Leaves, West  Africa Sorrel, Jam leaf, Krin-Krin, Saluyot, Rau day, Jew Mallow, Melokhia, Meloukhia, Mulukhiyah, Mulukhiyya, Malukhiyah

Recipe
(Serves 8 – 10)

Ingredients

•   200g Ewedu Leaves

•    1 (4 cups)litre water

•    1/2 tsp Kaun (edible potash)

•    2 tbsp Iru (locust beans)

•    1 bouillon Cube (Knorr)

•    Salt to taste

•    *optional Crayfish, flaked mackerel, egusi powder.

Procedure

–    Pick the leaves off the stem of the Ewedu and rinse thoroughly to get rid of sand.

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–    Place a pot on heat, add water and the Kaun.

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–    As the water starts the heat, the Kaun dissolves and froths like this. Add the Ewedu and cook till tender.

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–    To check for the tenderness of the Ewedu , use a spoon to scoop a leaf and use your thumb to press it. It should break apart with little pressure applied.

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Now add your Iru, cook for about a minute longer, turn off the heat and pulverize your Ewedu.

* As shown in the picture below, there are two popular variants of iru sold in the market, Woro (left)  and Pete(right). Woro is whole fermented locust beans while Pete is the Mashed fermented Locust beans. Use which ever one you prefer.

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–    Traditionally a short broom called Ijabe is use to beat the Ewedu to tiny bits to complete the cooking.  Ijabe is not any broom used in the house converted to use for cooking. It is made for the purpose of cooking.  I haven’t use an Ijabe in more than 5 years. I bought this for the purpose of this post. I use a blender .

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–   This is how  an Ijabe is used. The Broom is moved up and down in continuous swifts motion this all the leaves are completely broken up.

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* If like me you are not crazy about ijabe please use your blender but not without allowing the Ewedu to cool down first.

–    Once done, return to low heat, add bouillon cube and salt.  Cook for about 3 minutes and turn off the heat.

When you use an Ijabe this is the consistency you end up with.

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When you use a blender, this is the consistency you end up with.

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