Igbo soups come in varieties and are all rich in nutritional value. If you ever meet one, it would be almost impossible to restrict the temptation of tasting it. And today we are taking a look on how to prepare one great Igbo soup, the oha soup (ofe oha), also called ora soup.
The soup is prepared from the highly medical oha leaves, after which the soup was named. In the preparation of oha soup, cocoyam is used as the traditional thickener, and it takes some level of finesse to prepare the soup perfectly.
Now, let’s get cooking and prepare the Nigerian oha soup
How to Cook Oha Soup: The Ingredients
- A bunch of Oha leaves.
- Bunch of uziza laves or seeds.
- 8 small corms of cocoyam (achi or ofor) for thickening. In the absence of these, we can make do with some cocoyam flour, potato flour or egusi; in fact, any kind of flour can be used to thicken oha soup, but difference flours give different taste to the soup.)
- Palm Oil.
- Assorted Beef/ chicken/ goat meat or any meat of choice, pomo (cow skin), shaki (cow tripe)
- Dry fish and stockfish.
- A handful of crayfish.
- Chilli pepper/ yellow Cameroon pepper (to taste)
- Salt and Stock cubes to taste
- 1 tablespoon Ogiri or iru
How to Cook Oha Soup: The Preparation
- Wash and clean the cocoyam thoroughly, in order to wash off the sand, and peel off the brown skin. Blend/grate or pound the cocoyam to a paste.
- Grind the crayfish to a powder form by blending or pounding.
- Tear up your oha and uziza leaves. If you are using uziza seeds, grind them up and set aside.
- Boil the shaki (cow tripe) in 1 litre of water till the meat is tender. Add season to taste.
- Boil the thoroughly cleaned and deboned stockfish and dry fish, or just soak in some boiling water till it’s soft.
- Clean your meat, spice it, add it to the pot of the shaki and continue cooking the meat with the shaki for 5 minutes.
- Add your stock fish and dry fish to the boiling meat.
- Add the pepper, ogiri or iru and ground crayfish, and cook for 10 minutes. Add the grated cocoyam paste or any thickener you are using in small lumps and then add palm oil to the meat.
- Simmer on medium heat till all the cocoyam is dissolved.
- Add your uziza leaves or seed powder and leave to cook for about 2 minutes, after which you add your oha leaves and simmer for another 2 minutes.
- Add salt to taste, stir, and your soup is ready!