Mango Liqueur

A simple homemade alcoholic recipe for Mango lovers


Recipe

Ingredients

  • 3 medium sized Mangoes
  • 750ml Dry Gin or Vodka

Procedure

  • Wash and clean your mangoes.
  • Chop it up into sizes that fit into a bottle.

I usually chop with skins for more flavour.

  • Use a clean sterile glass bottle.
  • Put the chopped mangoes in the bottle and pour your Gin or vodka into the bottle. Shake and cover.
  • Store the bottle in dark place for not less than 3 days to let the mango infuse. I usually let my fruit liqueur sit for 2weeks at least, for intensity of flavour.

  • Shake the bottle up regularly when it’s being stored

Serve with ice! Enjoy

Eat, Love, Pray, Choose Joy: God got me covered.

“Her husband is here”, i heard a nurse say in my drug induced haze. I had wanted to pee, so i had staggered slowly into the bathroom. I didn’t think i needed help, so i didn’t call for a nurse. I had overestimated my balance, so as i was walking back to my bed in the pre-surgical cubicle, I felt myself free falling and he caught me. “Help me lift her”, i heard him say to the nurses as i blacked out, only to come -to minutes later, after being resuscitated.

Have you found out what is wrong with her, Bode (my husband) asked the doctor, who told him we had to wait for the results.

Timeline : January 24/2017
I had called him at about 1.30 pm asking if he could get off work early to go and pick the kids (our son and our god-children). His tone told me, he was not in the mood for my “Get-out- of- school runs” tactics. But he paused when he heard me catch my breath. I blurted out, “I’m in a lot of pain”, when he asked me what was wrong.
I was having my braids taken out, when the worst pain i’ve ever felt hit me. I broke out in cold sweat, i thought it was horrible case of food poisoning, i asked for a glass of water, i could barely drink it, i wobbled to the toilet. I groaned and pushed and hoped whatever was in me would come out. The pain got worse, it was worse than labour pains {i’ve been in labour twice, so i know the pains of labour}. I was hot and cold at the same time. I stripped completely, doubled over from the pain, then i called him, my voice broke into a sob as i tried to put words to what i was feeling.

He got off the phone and called his mum to go and get me. My parents in law were in my apartment in less than 2 mins (they live in front of my house). “Labake, o kin sick, kilo se e” – Labake you are rarely ill what is wrong-, MIL said. I couldn’t speak, i could manage tears and i gesticulated. “E bami wo so fun” -Help me put clothes on her- she told my staff who were there with me.
Daddy went to get his keys, before i got out, he had started the car ready to take me to the hospital. Typically, Dad’s fastest speed is 60km/hr. On this day he drove like a maniac, we made it to a 20min drive hospital in 10mins!
I told the nurse at the reception, “I’m in a lot of pain!”

They swiftly sprung to action, the doctors were by my side, set an IV line, gave me pain meds that knocked me, took blood work and ordered tests, by now i was drifting in and out of a meds induced sleepy haze. The sonographer, told me it looked like i had a twisted cyst but it shouldn’t cause me that much pain or make me bleed.
That morning, after my regular fitness walk, i had noticed i was bleeding so i assumed it was my period, so i cleaned up, put on a sanitary towel and took a nap.

A more senior doctor came back into the ward and said to my husband and i, “We have to do an emergency Exploratory Laparotomy, your pregnancy result came back positive, you have Ruptured Ectopic Pregnancy that’s why you are bleeding and you are in a lot of pain.”

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An ectopic pregnancy occurs when the fertilized egg attaches itself in a place other than inside the uterus. Almost all ectopic pregnancies occur in the fallopian tube and are thus sometimes called tubalpregnancies.

“Pregnant!!” Bode (my husband) and I exclaimed together! How was that even possible? I still took a pregnancy test the week before, it was negative, how is it even possible?

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Since we resumed trying to conceive (TTC) after losing a pregnancy in 2014, I’ve been doing pregnancy tests religiously on a weekly basis. Firstly because of the treatment plan i was on, then for the heck of it and also because i occasionally indulge in liqueur. And yet I didn’t even know i was pregnant. In fact i had gone 2 weeks before for my routine check up with my doctor and i had a routinely done a blood PT.

While the doctor spoke i realized my tummy had doubled in size and it was uncomfortable, the pain was subliminal, and i was woozy. I would later find out that the increase in size was due to my bleeding internally. I looked at my palms and realized my palms were pale!

The team was called, gyne-surgeon, general surgeon, the anesthesiologist (a wonderful pleasant woman), nurses, and others, the blood bank…
By 9pm i was taken to the theater (I had to wait for a set of twin boys to be delivered by emergency CS and brought out of the OR).
I came out 3+hrs and 4 pints of blood transfusion later, with a PCV of 21 looking like something out of “Greys Anatomy” with all the gadgets hanging on my body.
I opened my eyes at about 2am, saw my sweet darling with his head on a desk, trying to catch a nap, he woke up as soon as i stirred, told me i had to lie still on my back for about 8hrs/12hrs or so. He kept an eye on my fluids, my temperature with was low, and he kept adjusting the cooling system. I felt sorry for him.
He told me later he had been invited into the surgery and he froze at the sight of my insides open like a butchered cow on the operating table. They wanted him to know they also took out the cysts i had in my ovary
So now his favorite saying is , “I know you inside out, you that i’ve seen your intestines”. So he calls me “Intestines” sometimes!
The doctors estimated the gestation period of the fetus based on its size at 8-10wks. Trapped in my fallopian tube till it grew too big to grow there. A baby i didn’t even know was there, never had time to bond with, had to be yanked out with parts of me, to save my life, leaving scars behind.

I didn’t even have time to process any emotions, it was a roller coaster of so many all at once, trumped by the greater desire to live and not die.

Support System

Through all of this my amazing support system kicked in. My friend Marie got off work and went to pick the kids from school, my sister Fifi and my bro-in-law Theo, were in the hospital shortly after my husband arrived and they didn’t leave until 2am. My bff Olajumoke (JBK) called a circle of sisters whom we pray together and raised prayers for me, she was in the hospital with my favorite Pastor Kenny at close of work.
By 6.30am (the next day) my mum was by my side from Ibadan with my brother in tow, my dad who was on the phone with me at least three times a day.
My amazing parents in laws who took shifts checking on me through my 1 week + stay in the hospital, bringing food and love. They had our son with them throughout the time, woke up early to get him ready in time for school and pack his lunch, checked homework. My sweet sweet son Mumila, who though didn’t have a full grasp of what was happening always asked to stop by the hospital to check on mama and pray for me.
My friends, Jumoke Leo, Mojola, Bunmi, who literally flew to my side when they heard 2 days later.
Dunni (Dooneyrooney), she said, all i can think of right now is that your family would need food while you are convalescing. She ordered 5 different types of soups in 7 litres and spicy hot pepper soup from a Nigerian food business and had it delivered to me. Her mum even came to visit.
Many more people i can’t readily recall. The calls, the messages, the love. Priceless.

My amazing staff who kept business running seamlessly and diligently whist i was away.
The wonderful team in the hospital

My priceless, priceless husband Olabode. Can’t put to words how much of a rock, a pillar and support you were to me while we had to both go through the difficult times.

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God had my back

After my ordeal some things started making sense to me. I’m a person of faith and i believe in Jesus, my religious expression is Christianity.

  • In December 2016, my friend Shalewa called me. She relayed a weird encounter her sister Bolanle had the day before to me. Bolanle, had gone for a prayer vigil (in Abuja where they live), whilst at the vigil, the presiding pastor called her out and asked if she knew anyone called Labake. She answered that though she didn’t have a friend called Labake, but her sister’s friend bore the name. She said the pastor asked the congregation to pray to avert any evil concerning Labake and gave her the instruction to call me to pray. I thanked Shalewa, said a little prayer of thanksgiving and protection and trusted that God had heard me.
  • On my birthday January 10th 2017, i had gone to drop my son and was heading off to a business fellowship, when my friend Aisha, turned back sharply and grabbed my arm. She looked uncomfortable while she was trying to say something to me. She said “Labake, i don’t know what is making me do this, i never do this, but i feel strongly that you should wait and pray at the altar before you go”. I said I’m going to fellowship I’d pray there. She said, do it now! Truth is, first i woke up that day feeling “bleh” in spite of it being my birthday, i struggled to get in high spirits. Secondly, I’ve always believed going to a church altar to pray was ceremonial and unnecessary. But i did nonetheless, i broke into tears when i got to the altar, poured out my heart, my pain and gave thanks. ( School is Church owned and so church is right opposite the school) I felt relieved and my spirit was lifted and i headed to fellowship. A special prayer of preservation was said for celebrants that day.
  • January 14th at the Leaders meeting for a small prayer circle i belong, the leader, called me out and asked the other sisters to start to pray for me. I can’t remember what she said but it bordered around safety, protection, mercy etc.

It was when I got home after the admission, and I was tearfully reading my daily confession from Isaiah 60: 1 – 22. I particularly broke in to tears when I read verse 17b- 18

17 b) I will also make your officers peace,
And your magistrates righteousness.
18) Violence shall no longer be heard in your land,
Neither wasting nor destruction within your borders;
But you shall call your walls Salvation,
And your gates Praise.

I was angry, that after believing and confessing these words, God would allow me to suffer the loss of a pregnancy again (i had lost a 22wks old pregnancy in 2014) and this time, a Fallopian tube as well. Then all of these events made sense. I could have easily died, ectopic pregnancy accounts for many maternal mortalities. God kept me for a purpose. God had my back all along! He actually kept his word.
This helped to strengthen me during the course of 2017, when i had to face other challenges in 2017, even when i was down and low and shut down, the assurance that God had me covered gave me strength.

Towards the end of the 2017, I realized how much i had let things get to me, i didn’t know i shoved and bottled things, left it unprocessed. I realized that the hopeless optimist i was, had given room to negativity guised as reality.
I was looking for the happy-go-lucky girl who never really worried about a thing. I tried not to dream too much for the fear of having my hopes dashed. I let the year and all the misadventure that came with it get to me!
Then I remembered how i started my year, how God had my back, then it opened my eyes to see how he did still, in the midst of it all.
It was while I was convalescing, that i finished filling and submitted my Tony Elumelu application, i was selected and became a fellow, later in the year. My business misadventures led me to a new model and structure and pushed me out of what I’ve always known. I wore the strong woman toga, while i let my weakness almost cripple me on the inside.

With the realization that God always had my back, I walked my way back to deliberately choose Joy.

So this year I celebrated my birthday on a high! I’m walking on sunshine through this year.

 

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So I’d EAT, LOVE, PRAY, CHOOSE JOY, because GOD got me

 

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Happy Independence Day Nigeria

To commemorate this celebration I made a simply smoothie with

Avocado, Rice Cereal, Milk and 1 tsp of lemon juice. Sweetened with Truvia.

Both the Green and Creamy coloured part are Avocados.

I used only the fleshy yellow part the avocado for the middle and for the Green I peeled it with the vibrant green layer

Blend, separately and layer.

Garden to Table

This year I started my backyard garden after procrastinating for over two years. As a little girl I really enjoyed gardening. My maternal grandmother had a small garden outside her house in Molete for sometime and the highlight of my visit was helping to weed the garden. My parents also had a small garden behind our kitchen in our first house. They grew Patminger , Snake gourd (It’s a climbing plant that is shaped like a snake, when it ripen it turns bright orange or red. The inside is red and tastes better than tomatoes in stew), vegetables etc. Eventually the garden moved to the backyard beside the well where my dad planted Bananas, plantain and citruses. I even joined the Decor Team in church as the youngest member because it was the team that was tasked with beautification and horticulture in the church. The senior members were very nice and kind to me. They gave me cuttings to plant at home too. Since I got married and got my own place I’ve been paying lip service to starting a garden. I even started by collecting containers I never put anything in, until one morning in July. I was just recovering from malaria I was bored stiff from being indoors. On impulse I instructed my staff to get me soil. With no clear idea or direction I started my garden. First as a vegetable garden and then I added ornamental plants.

Like my friend Ugochi said, the gardening bug that bit me left its fangs. I say it left its jaws too. The Efo Tete I harvested today was one of the first set of plants I planted in July. Today it made it to my table. Absolutely organic. No synthetic fertilizers , no pesticides

And it did have a beautiful natural sweetness.

RECIPE I’m sorry I eyeballed all of the ingredients so I don’t have specific measurements

  • Fresh Vegetables (chopped and unblanced)
  • Blitzed Pepper mix (tomatoes/peppers)
  • Chopped onions
  • Blended crayfish
  • Smoked Mackerel
  • Stock Fish (pre soak)
  • Seasoning cubes
  • Salt
  • Meats of choice ( I used snails)
  • Palm oil

Procedure

  • Heat Palm oil to smoke point, add chopped onions. Fry till tender. Then add pepper mix and crayfish.
  • Cook for 10 mins and add all your fish and cooked meats
  • Season with salt and Bouillon cubes.
  • Let the sauce reduce completemy before adding your rinsed and chopped vegetables.
  • Stir in the vegetables. Leave it on heat for not more than 3 mins. Then turn of the heat and leave the lid on for the heat to finish off the cooking

Ofe Assorted! (An Exotic Soup)

Filing this under food therapies. I’ve called this soup Ofe Assorted because that is what it is, I’ve used the basic principle for cooking soups like Oha, Onugbu, Ofe owerri to make this soup, using 3 of my favourite vegetables together. I have also resisted the temptation of calling this soup Ofe Owerri as I have no intention of offering the “Guardians of ancient recipes”, as that is tantamount to offending the gods of the land.

I have stayed a safe distance from entering right smack into the controversy of what vegetable goes into Ofe Owerri. I understand the importance of preserving ancient recipes, if you must tweak it, by all means mention that you put a spin on it but don’t say that is gospel.

I’m a Yoruba girl raised in Ibadan and I know that something as simple as a Ewedu soup has to be made as simple as it is yo stay true to it. Just Ewedu, iru water, salt ,seasoning and if you want to add potash to soften it. Addition of Egusi , fish and all what else is a spin on it, don’t sell it as the original recipe.

Recipe

  • 1 1/2 cup shredded Oha leaves
  • 1 cup shredded Uziza leaves
  • 1/2 cup shredded Utazi leaves
  • 1 litre Stock
  • 3 tbsp fresh pepper blend
  • 1/2 Cup Palm oil
  • Assorted Meats (cooked)
  • 3 tbsp ground crayfish
  • 1/2 cup mini snails
  • 1/2 cup periwinkle in shell
  • 1/2 cup shredded Stockfish
  • 1/2 cup shredded Bonga fish
  • 1/2 cup shredded smoked Eja Osan
  • 2 Bouillon cubes (I used knorr)
  • 1 tsp Ogiri (optional)
  • 1 tbsp dried Achi
  • Salt (to taste)

Procedure

  • Cook your assorted meats till they are tender and you have about 1 litre of rich stock. To improve the flavour of your stock for this soup add some Stockfish or smoked fish head while cooking your meats.
  • Add your fresh pepper blend and palm oil, ground crayfish and cook for about 10mins.
  • Next add your smoked fish, stockfish, snails and periwinkle , cook for about 5 – 7 mins.
  • Add your achi , stirring it in carefully . Cook on medium heat for about 3 mins.
  • Add your vegetables, giving the Utazi and Uziza a 2 minutes head start before the Oha.
  • Turn the heat off after cooking it for about 5 mins.

  • Enjoy!!!!

Ugba Salad 

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This recipe is courtesy of an amazing lady i met on facebook, Ngozi Ogwuegbu Nnopuechi. She made the “awesomest” Ugba Salad for a hangout some time back  and she was kind enough to share her recipe with me when i asked her. This is a shout out to her. I sent her a picture of my first attempt below.

This was my first try in 2015. Ngozi was quick to commend me.

 

 

 

It was so hard to photograph this, with all the lighting issues i had then

 

Recipe 
2 Cups Ugba,

3 Uziza  leaves sliced thinly ,

4 Utazi leaves sliced thinly,

1/2 tsp Powdered Crayfish ,

Ehuru (2 seeds ground finely),

1 tsp Potash,

1/4 cup Palm Oil,

Salt (to taste)

Pepper (to taste preferably cayenne pepper)

*Stockfish (optional)

*Garden Eggs optional

 

Procedure

  • Soak your stockfish in hot water until the fish is tender. Rinse your ugba thoroughly , some people prefer to wash it with warm water and salt.
  • To make the base, heat up your palm oil in a pot or wok. Dissolve the potash in 1 tbsp Water. Pour the dissolved potash into your heated oil. The oil will froth and cuddle, turn down the heat and stir well.
  • Once base is done add Ehuru it has a strong aroma and salt
  • Add the Stockfish, Ugba and then pepper crayfish seasoning
  • Add the thinly sliced Uziza leaf and utazi leaf and you’re done

You can serve with smoked fish or fried fish. I experimented with dodo (Fried Plantian) and it was absolutely delicious.

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Ugba Salad with Fried Plantains, an amazing discovery!!

 

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HAPPY ANNIVERSARY !!!!!

I’m so excited about today. Thanks to Facebook memories I was reminded the the blog officially launched a year ago today. I’m so happy that in a space of a year I was able to chronicle my food therapies and share them with you all.
Thanks for following me on this journey.

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Recently  I’ve not been so consistent and this is the reason why. Many of you know I run a Fresh Fruit Juice business Vie  Juice . The last few months of any year are usually peak business periods as such I was really busy between October and December. This new year we (my team and i) have been working really hard on some business expansion, expanding our customer base , trying out new business models. So I must confess that this has kept me really away from my kitchen and when I cook up a mini storm I hardly have time to do a photo shoot as I duck right back into all my paper work, staff supervision, quality control, customer service, whilst at the same being wife and mom . 

I love what I do, as it also an extention of food. Creating new juice recipes and experimenting with natural ingredients and fresh and dry spices, who knew chillies, ginger , tumeric, cloves , cardamom … pair so great with basic tropical fruits.

It’s Ounje Aladun’s anniversary!!!! (just before I get carried away talking about Vie Juice)

To show appreciation, I would be doing a give away!!!   Keep your eyes peeled to all our social media pages as we would be announcing what the prizes are and what you need to do to qualify to win. All I can say is …. Get ready to cook.

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Thank you so much for your love and support.

Rice Pudding

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On the last day of our vacation in August, we arrived Virginia very early in the morning very tired – after an exciting week in Florida- and very hungry too. Le hubs cousin -who had been longing to host us-  treated us to a breakfast buffet at a nice Indian restaurant. The food was really good, and for dessert I had rice pudding. I’ve been longing to make my own rice pudding since then. Few weeks ago I did even though I’ve been too lazy to blog.

Looking at the pictures now, I can taste the coconut milk in the rice pudding, the Sorrel and date syrup and the orange slices at the side.

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Recipe

Ingredients

Serves 8

•       4 cups cooked jasmine  rice (I used basmati as I didn’t have any jasmine rice at home) 

•      4 cups coconut milk

•      1 Cup condensed Milk

•      2 Eggs

•      1 tsp grated nutmeg

•       1/4 tsp Cinnamon

•      1 tsp cloves

•        1 tbsp Vanilla extract

•      1/4 cup sugar (optional)

•      1/4 tsp salt

•      1 tbsp lemon juice  (optional)

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Procedure

–      In a pot, add 3 cups of hot water to pre- cooked rice, cook on medium heat, add, cloves , nutmeg. * Jasmine rice is preferred because it gets mushy when it is cooked and has great texture.  I had to mash up my rice a bit because is used Basmati rice.

–      Add Coconut milk and condensed milk. Turn down the heat and let it simmer. Add  sugar, salt, and lemon juice. Stir well and leave to simmer for 5 minutes.

–       Break egg and whisk with vanilla extract,  add the egg to pudding and stir in properly. Let it simmer for about 1 minute and turn off the heat.

FOR SORREL SYRUP

•      1/8 cup dried sorrel leaves (also called zobo leaves)

•      1 cup sugar

•      1 cup sugar

•      *Chopped pitted dates or raisins

Boil the sorrel leaves in water, once boiled, remove the leaves from the water, add sugar and leave to boil till the water reduces to a thin syrup,  add chopped dates or raisins and turn off the heat.

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Serve warm or cold.

Eebolo a fragrant vegetable.

Eebolo is a seasonal vegetable, it comes out with new yams. It has a strong aroma hence the popular yoruba saying “Ko si bi a se le se eebolo ti koni run igbe! ” meaning “No matter how much you cook eebolo it would still smell earthy.”

Some people pronounce it as “Bolo”
Picture below.

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Photo Credit , 9jafoodie.com

Eebolo is a tender vegetable and could quickly disintegrate if left for too long on the heat or if it is blanched.

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Recipe

•     Tomatoes and Pepper depending on how hot you like it, I’d say the pepper should be more. (Roughly blended)

•     Meats (e.g tripe, beef, snail, Goat meat etc)

•     Fish (e.g smoked fish, eja osan, stock fish etc)

•      Powdered Crayfish

•     Seasoning cubes

•      Salt

•      Locust Beans

•      Palm oil

Procedure

–     Pick, rinse and slice your eebolo leaves.

–     Boil your meats or fish or whatever you want to cook it with.

–       In a pot add meat stock, meats, Snails,  stock fish etc and allow to simmer together.

–       Add crayfish, locust beans,  salt and seasoning cubes sparingly. When the water is drying out add your coarsely blended pepper and some palm oil. Don’t cover the pot so that the steam can escape and the fluid reduce too.

–     When the water has reduced down, add the Eebolo leaves 10 minutes after the pepper and turn down the heat. Stir in the eebolo, do not cover, allow to cook for about 3-5 minutes and take it off the heat.

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Pair it with your favourite carbohydrate accompaniment.

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Ofe Nsala

I’ve had this recipe sitting in my draft for a while now. Asides being plagued with a bad phone, I have been very preoccupied. I’m not from the south eastern part of Nigeria but more often that not, people ask me if I’m igbo, probably due to my fair skin. I love soups from the south east of Nigeria, that doesn’t mean I’d give up my love for Ewedu  and Gbegiri any time soon. Nsala soup asides being great with starchy accompaniments, it is spicy and perfect for a cold rainy day or as a remedy for a flu.

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Recipe
I’ve always used the recipe from AllNigeriaRecipes com.  So here it goes

Ingredients

•   Cat Fish: 4 one-inch thick pieces

•   Fresh or dry Utazi Leaves

•    Thickener: RawWhite Yam / Yam Powder / Potato Puree or Achi

•   Scotch Bonnet (Ata Rodo/  Habanero peppers)

•   Salt (to taste)

•   Crayfish (a handful for 4 cuts of fish)

•   1 bouillon  cube

•   Ogiri Okpei

Procedure

–   Wash properly and  cut the catfish into 1 inch thick cylindrical discs and remove the intestines. Place in bowl and pour very hot water on the fish. This process of pouring hot water on the fish toughens the
skin of the fish so that the pieces do not disintegrate while cooking the soup. Leave for about 2 minutes and wash the fish with cold water. You should also wash off any slimy
substance on the outer skin of the fish at this time.

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–    Boil a few cubes of raw white yam. When soft, pound with a mortar and pestle till a smooth
paste is formed, then set aside. You can substitute white yam with yam powder or potato
puree for the thickening.

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–    Wash and pound/blend the utazi leaves, the chilli pepper and the crayfish and set aside.
Utazi is bitter in taste and only used for flavouring so one or two leaves should be enough especially when using the fresh leaves.

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–    Place the catfish in a pot and pour enough water to cover the fish. Add the seasoning and
cook till done. Feel free to add dry fish to this soup recipe.

–   When the catfish is almost done, add the crayfish, pepper and utazi leaves blend. Also add
the yam paste in small lumps and salt to taste.

–   Cover the pot and allow the contents to cook at high heat till all the yam paste have
dissolved.While cooking, if you think that the yam paste will make the soup too thick, you
can remove some that are yet to dissolve.

Your Ofe Nsala is ready to eat alone or with a starchy accompaniment e.g Eba,  Semo,  Pounded yam e.t.c

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