Owho Soup

Law school 2008! That was when my friend Efe, enchanted me with this soup. I remember there were about 4 of us that sat on the floor with yellow garri and devoured the entire contains of the bowl of soup her sister Anthonia had brought for her.

I couldn’t understand the soup and I didn’t care. It was so good. It was orangey in colour but not as light as gbegiri. It was thick but without the viscosity of Ogbono. At first glance it looked like a light pepper stew, but it was creamy.

I called it “The soup Efe jazzed me with”. When I begged her for the recipe, she laughed and replied, “I will not, It’s juju soup”. Lol. So off I went and I learnt by myself, so I can continue jazzing myself. You should see me eating this with starch! Fada lawd!

Owoh Soup with Starch

Owo soup is native to the people of the Niger-Delta. It’s eaten by the Delta people, Urhobos, the Bini’s and more people in the riverine areas. You will find slight variations in recipes from one ethnic group to another.

Recipe

 Ingredients (serves a family of 6)

  1. 2kg Assorted Meats
  2. 1/4 Cup Palm nut oil also called Banga. (In the absence of that palm oil)
  3. Dryfish(stockfish and catfish)
  4. 2 tbsp thick starch dissolved with double the amount of water (alternative is smooth fine Garri about 1/4 cup – you may need less)
  5. Powdered Crayfish
  6. Blended or dried Pepper (I like a combination of yellow and red scotch bonnet, rodo)
  7. Kaun roughly bigger than one knorr cubes
  8. Seasoning Cubes (max 4)
  9. Salt
  10. Water

Procedure

  1. Cook your meats with the dryfish, blended pepper, crayfish, salt and seasoning cubes. It’s good to start will enough water to cook the entire soup, or your be adding more as you.
  2. Once the meat is cooked, taste to check the seasoning, if need be, adjust the seasoning.
  3. Add palm oil and then let it cook for about five to seven minutes
  4. Dissolve the kaun in a little water and add to the pot, you may want to lower the heat at the point because there is a chance the soup will froth over into the fire. You will observe that the palm oil will take on an orange hue. Let is cook for about 2 minutes or a little more.
  5. Then add the dissolved starch (or garri if you are using garri), stirring continuously as you add into the pot until the soup is thick. (It should have the consistency of runny cooked custard or pap, enough to coat the back of a metal spoon and still drip)
  6. Turn the heat down and let it simmer for roughly 10minutes before turning off the heat.
  7. Serve with Eba, Starch or your favourite swallow.
Owoh Soup with Cow leg

Egusi Soup

Yesterday i got my favorite type of fufu, from Oja Odan in Ogun state. So i ditched the traditional Sunday Pounded yam or Fried rice and we had fufu instead, and egusi of cause to go with it.

Recipe

  • 2 cups Egusi (Melon Seeds)
  • Assorted Meats (Cowleg, Goat meat, ponmo, offals)
  • Assorted Fish (Stock fish, Smoked fish)
  • Smoked Fish
  • Ground crayfish
  • 2 cups Thinly sliced Ugu leaves
  • Peppers (4 Scotch Bonnet + 5 Jalapeño/Bawa/Sombo/ long tatashe)
  • 1 Onion
  • Meat Stock (from cooking the meats)
  • Bouillon cubes
  • Salt
  • 3 tbsp Iru (locust beans)
  • 2 cooking spoons Palm oil

Procedure

This is one of the methods i use in preparing egusi.

  • Cook your meats, season with bouillon cubes, salt, ( i like to cook with smoked catfish head for a richer flavour). Cook till tender and well done.
  • While cooking your meats, Rinse your Ugu leaves to get rid of dirt, then slice thinly.Blend your melon seeds with pepper, onion and water. Blend to a smooth consistency.
  • Heat up your palm oil till it reaches smoking point, pour in your blended melon and fry for about 10 mins, don’t let it burn.
  • Now add the rich stock from your meats and allow to cook till the fried melon paste and the stock are well incorporated.
  • Next add crayfish powder,Iru. Taste for seasoning, may not have need to re-season your soup, if your stock is rich in flavour.
  • Cook with lid off to allow the water to reduce faster in the soup.
  • Once the water content has reduced to at least a quarter of what it initially was, add your assorted meats stock fish and other condiments like those listed in the recipe.
  • Cook till the water has reduced completely and the soup won’t run off the back of the soup in a watery manner.
  • Now add your Vegetable, and stir in gently with a ladle. Reduce the heat to the minimum and turn it off after cooking with the vegetables for 3 minutes.
  • Serve with any swallow of your choice.

Edikang Ikong

So i woke up to tend my vegetable garden, which i had left unattended for a about two weeks or a lil more. I wear many hat’s like many people and the month of April right to the first two weeks of May was very busy. First i got NAFDAC approval for my products FDVie Juice yaaay! Then we were vendors at the GTB Food and Drink fair , then renovation of the production facility , plus daily life!

So my garden was overgrown with Waterleaf! I remember my first attempt at planting waterleaf with seeds, i waited many months it didn’t yield until my staff told me to propagate using stems instead. Now the plant is in every pot in the garden, just dispersing its seeds. That means I’d be having a lot of waterleaf soups.

Freshly harvested waterleaf from my container garden

So after pulling out a lot of waterleaf yesterday, i made Edikang ikong

Recipe

Ingredients

  • 800g washed and choppedWaterleaf
  • 500g washed and chopped Ugu leaves
  • Assorted Meats
  • 1 cooking spoon blended pepper mix (Scotch bonnet -ata rodo/Bawa)
  • 3/4 cup palm oil
  • Stockfish
  • Smoked Fish
  • 1 tbsp blended crayfish
  • Bouillon cubes
  • Salt to taste

Procedure

  • In a pot, season your meats with salt and bouillon cubes (to your taste) *Don’t* season with onion. Add water and cook till the meat is soft and tender. I usually cook my meats with smoked fish heads for rich flavour

  • When your meat is cooked and the water is properly reduced, add your blended pepper mix and palm oil.

  • Taste to see if it requires additional seasoning, if it does add some more. Add, stock fish, smoked fish, crayfish and cook till the water is reduced completely.
  • When the water is completely reduced and you can see the palmoil glistening on the meats, add chopped water leaves.

  • (Let your washed water leaf and Ugu leaves strain in a seive to allow all the excess water get away, your chopped leaves should be near dry)

  • Stir in properly , the water leaf will wilt into the pot, let it simmer for about 3 minutes
  • Next stir in your Ugu leaves, stir it in well till it incorporates well with the waterleaf.
  • Cook with lid off , on medium heat for an additional 8 – 10 minutes.
  • Serve hot with your preferred accompaniment.

Please don’t tell my Yoruba ancestors that i almost denounced Efo Riro in favour of this tasty pot of goodness that is native to the Efik people.

Oatmeal swallow

Seafood Ogbono

SEAFOOD OGBONO

I’m in love with seafood and that is no secret. Making this was inspired by making Seafood Okra.

Recipe
1. Ogbono Seeds (a 170g milk tin size)
2. Uziza leaves (a handful of thinly sliced leaves)
3. Assorted Fresh Seafood (shrimps/crabs/prawns/fish)
4. Smoked catfish and stockfish
5. 1/8 cup dried crayfish
6. 1/2 tsp Uziza seeds
7. 5 dried Cameron Pepper
8. Cayenne pepper ( ground dried chilli pepper )
9. 1 tbsp palm oil
10. 1 tbsp ogiri
11. Salt
12. Seasoning cubes

Procedure

I used a slightly different method to cook this. I cooked the Ogbono separately before adding it to a lot of cooked seafood

To cook the Ogbono

  • Grind Ogbono Seeds with crayfish.
  • Blend Cameroon pepper and Uziza seeds together.
  • Rinse Uziza and Ugu leaves .
  • Put a clean dry pot on heat and add palm oil, next add the ground Ogbono and stir till all lumps are dissolved now add your meat stock, if you don’t have meat stock add water. The soup starts to thicken and get stretchy.
  • Now add ground Uziza seeds and Cameroon pepper, and a little cayenne pepper for extra heat -if you can take it-
  • Now add your dissolved -dissolve with water- ogiri, and allow to cook for about 5 minutes now add the Uziza leaves and turn off heat after 3 mins.

Preparing the seafood

  • In another larger pot, cook the seafood starting with the fish, cooked with water, onions, seasoning cubes, salt, shredded stockfish, bonga fish.
  • When the fish is almost done, add the Carbs and cook for 3 mins, then add the Prawns.

At this point pour cooked Ogbono into the pot of Seafood and shake it together to mix.

I stirred very carefully with a wooden ladle , cooked for 5 mins and lastly I added the periwinkle. Cooked for 1 1/2 mins and turned off the heat.

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Black Soup  

Bubbling hot Black Soup in an earthen pot

Black Soup is a rich herby soup with a delicate balance of aromatic flavours if well cooked. 

Recipe 

  • 1 1/2 cup blended Bitterleaf (before blending it must have been washed till it is no longer bitter, it would have a little bitter sweet taste 
  • Efinrin leaves 
  • Utazi Leaves 

*combine in this propositions 1 part Efinrin to 1/2 part Utazi Leaves and blend together. You would need 1 Cup of a mixture of this blend to cook with 

  • 2 cups Palmnut Cream (Banga)
  • 1/2 cup blended pepper /onion/crayfish mix (you can use more if you like)
  • Smoked and dried fish variety (obokun,stockfisk, bongafish)
  • Boiled meats (beef or goat meat, cowfoot, shaki, ponmo…)
  • Rich stock 
  • Salt to taste
  • Bouillon cubes. 

Basic Ingredients: (Back-Front, Left-Right) Smoked Eja Obokun (blue catfish), blended washed bitterleaf, blended Utazi and Efirin leaves, blended fresh pepper and dried crayfish, boiled meats of choice, palm nut cream.

Procedure

  • In a pot heat up your stock and add your cooked meats, bring it to a boil and add your palm nut cream and pepper mix.
  • Cook for about 10 – 15 mins.
  • Add the smoked fish and cook. If you pre-soaked the smoked fish you may not cook longer than 3- 5mins, if it is not pre soaked cooked the fish in the soup for about 10mins.
  • Add your blended vegetables to the broth on medium heat and cook. 
  • Taste and add your desired amount of salt and seasoning 
  • Cook with lid off and let the water reduce, be careful also not to over cook the vegetables. Personally I try not to cook vegetables longer than 5-7 minutes. 

Procedure in pictures

Serve with your side of choice. Enjoy

I find the earthen ware gives it a very local appeal.

Garden Egg Sauce

My sister came into the kitchen this morning as I was preparing to make garden egg sauce and  she said, “Sis, isn’t this that sauce we hated as kids”. I told her, “Believe me, I now eat many of the things I hated as a child, so why not this one too”. 

Today probably is the first time I would eat Garden Egg sauce in probably 16 years. My husband on the other hand likes Garden Egg Sauce and for the 6 years we have been married, he has asked me several times to make it. My memories of garden egg sauce kept me from making it, well today I did and I loved it, so going forward I’d make new delicious memories of my own and share with my children.  


Recipe 
●    10 Garden Eggs

●   9 Tomatoes 

●   5 Jalapeño peppers ( Bawa / Sombo / long tatashe ) 

●   3 Scotch Bonnet ( Ata rodo ) 

●    1 large Onion 

●    De-boned , shredded mackerel fish

●    1/2 Cup Vegetable Oil

●    2 Bouillon Cubes 

●   Salt (to taste)

Core ingredients

Procedure 
–    Wash and take off the stalks on the garden eggs. Then boil till the garden eggs are tender, and the  skin can peel easily. Peeling the skin is optional 


Douse the boiled garden egg in cold water so it is easier to peep the skin off.

–    Mash up the  softened garden egg

Mashed garden eggs with skin on

–    While boiling the garden eggs, blend your tomatoes and pepper. Chop onions 

–     Heat up vegetable oil in a pan, and add the onions.  Fry the onions lightly and add blended tomatoes and pepper.
–     Add your seasonings,  if you have stock, add a cup.
–     When the pepper is cooked and the water has reduced completely,  add the garden egg and the fish. Cook for an additional 7 – 10 minutes with the lid on. 


Garden Egg Sauce is most popularly served with boiled yam,  you can pair  it with anything you want. Serve warm.

*the grilled garden eggs tastes good too.