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.
The first time I tasted Oha (Ora) soup was in 2009 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 in 2011, 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 spicy 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
• Oha leaves a handful
• Cocoyam – 8 small corms or Alternatively 1 1/2 tablespoon of ground Achi
• Red Palm Oil – 2 cooking spoons
• Assorted Beef meats
• Assorted dry Fish
• Fresh peppers (scotch bonnet / habenero /ata rodo) – i like the flavour of fresh Cameroon/Nsukka pepper so i use it. It’s yellow scotch bonnet-.
• Salt to taste
• Crayfish (powdered)
• Bouillon Cubes
• 1 teaspoon Ogiri Igbo (for the traditional taste but optional)
Grind pepper and set aside.
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.
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 i 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. If using achi, just stir it in, starting with 1 tbsp first. Achi is a thicken and it sometimes has a slightly slippery consistency.
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 3 – 5 minutes with the lid off.
I’ve been quite obsessed with Ube the last couple of days. After making a Corn on Cob rubbed with Ube a few days back, I realised Ube can be a great Dip, pretty much like Hummus. Hummus is originally made with chickpeas, it’s of middle eastern origin.
Since Ube already pairs well with Corn, I tried it with some of my favourite things and it paired really well.
Cooked Ube’s is like mashed Sweet+Irish potatoes with a tang.
Makes about 2 250ml Mason jars.
50 medium sized Ube
1/2 Cup Olive Oil
* Optional Ingredients (didn’t use any)
Garlic paste. Procedure
Wash Ube gently but thoroughly to get rid of sand.
Bring about 1.5 litres of water to a boil.
Once boiled, dunk the Ube in it for not longer than 3 minutes and strain. (You can salt the water if you like but it’s unnecessary.
Allow it to cool a bit so you don’t burn your fingers before using a small knife to open the skin and peel the flesh off the seed of the Ube.
Blend in the Ube with Olive oil two batches a blender.
Store in an air tight container and refrigerate. (I haven’t tested the shelf life inside the fridge yet, with do, I’d update this post)