As a girl who hails from the ‘Big Heart Of The Nation’ one of my favourite local soup is ‘Ofe Nsala’. It is also known as white soup, as no form of oil is added in making it, very healthy, fast and easy to prepare that has its origins in the riverine areas of Nigeria. You can prepare Ofe Nsala with any protein of your choice be it; Beef, Chicken, Fish, Offal, etc. But I prefer making mine with assorted meat and offals. Below are ingredients needed and procedure on how to make this sumptuous meal.
Ingredients you would need:
- Assorted meat/Offals (as desired)
2. Fresh or dry Utazi Leaves (Gongronema latifolium). (I prefer to use the fresh leaves but in little quantity, because it adds a slightly bitter taste. You can skip this you want)
3. Thickener: Raw White Yam / Yam Powder / Achi powder (You can get the Achi powder at your local market)
4. Habanero peppers also called black pepper
6. 1 handful crayfish.
7. 1 stock cube (Maggi / Knorr)
8. 1 large Ogiri Okpei (Nigerian traditional seasoning)
9. Dry fish/Stockfish
- Wash, clean and cut the assorted meat/offals, dry fish/stockfish into sizeable pieces and place in a bowl.
- 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 Achi powder for the thickening. (Personally, I prefer the pound my yam, I feel it tastes different compared to the other thickeners.
- Wash and pound/blend the Utazi leaves, black pepper, and the crayfish and set aside. Utazi is bitter in taste, so only one or two leaves should be enough especially when using the fresh leaves.
- Place the assorted meat/offals and dry fish/stockfish in a pot and pour enough water to boil. Add the seasoning, some of the blended crayfish, black pepper add salt and cook till done.
- When the assorted meat and fish is almost done, add the remaining crayfish, black pepper, Ogiri Okpei, and sliced Uziza leaves. Also, add the yam paste in small ball size lump. Taste if the seasoning and pepper meet your requirement, if not add more as desired. I like my ‘Ofe Nsala’ extra spicy and hot.
- Now cover the pot and allow the contents to cook at high heat till all the yam balls have dissolved.
‘Ofe Nsala’ Soup is ready! And it can be served with Eba Semo, Amala, Pounded Yam, and Fufu. I like mine best with Pounded Yam. Which would you have yours with?
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