I am a lover of soups and everyone around me knows that. Each time I visit a new environment, all I ask about on entering any of their restaurants is the different types of soups available and I opt for those I have not eaten before. Sometimes I get disappointed but most times I am elated especially when I am in the eastern part of Nigeria.
I have to give the credit of this article to a friend Miss Patience Chieme who was willing to share with me the recipe for this soup. When I tasted the soup the very first time, I knew only few Nigerian soups can compete with this in terms of taste, colour and expected nutritional value. It will also interest you to know that the leaves of Oha do not lose their nutritional and photochemical properties easily during preparation. Let’s look straight into how this delicious soup can be made.
What are the ingredients to make Oha soup?
- Beef (700g), stock fish (500g), blackfish (300g) and grained crayfish (As appropriate). Remember, you can increase the quantity of protein source to be used based on your family’s size)
- Water, Palm oil ( Add as appropriate)
- Black Pepper and onions ( Add as you would prefer)
- Cocoyam (6 small corms) or Achi and Oha leaves
- Seasonings and Salt
- Ensure you wash your hands properly to avoid external contamination.
- Grind onions with a hand grater and set aside.
- Also grind crayfish and black pepper together and set aside.
- Wash and boil the cocoyam corms until it is completely soft and remove the peels and use a mortar and pestle to pound the corms to a smooth paste. Some people have also used blender to achieve similar result.
- If cocoyam is not available. Achi can be used. It is commonly sold among Ibo foods sellers. It will also act as thickener. Few table spoons will be dissolved in little water to form a paste. This can be done at that point when it is to be added
- Use your fingers to pick the Oha leaves, wash them properly and cut the (Oha) leaves into tiny pieces using your hands and keep aside. Although, there is report that if you use knife to dice the leaves, the soup will turn bitter but a friend of mine who tried both methods did not notice any significant difference talk less of bitter taste. But hey, to stand on the safe side, use your hands…..it is quite easy.
NOTE: DO NOT FORGET TO PROPERLY WASH ALL THE INGREDIENTS BEFORE COOKING.
Now Let’s Check How The Soup Is Prepared
- Put water in a pot and place on cooker.
- Add meat and blended onion. Allow to cook until almost tender.
- Add your stock fish, black fish, (and any other protein you wish to have in the soup).
- Allow to cook to your own taste of tenderness.
- When it has cooked properly add Palm oil allow to cook up to 3 minutes.
- Add your blended crayfish, black paper, and allow to cook up before adding salt to taste. Cook for another few minutes.
- Add the blended/ pounded cocoyam paste or Achi that had been dissolved in ordinary water to thicken the soup. Ensure you stir to avoid sticking to the pot. Cook for few minutes.
- Add cube seasonings to taste plus Ogiri (optional but it adds a lot traditional flavour to the soup).
- When it has properly cooked, add your Oha leaf (Remember, the Oha leaf is chopped with hands not knife) and after 1 or 2 minutes your Oha soup is ready. Ensure the leaf retains its greenness.
- Serve with any solid food (Wheat, Semolina, Pounded yam, Eba, and Fufu).
Oha soup is native to the eastern part of Nigeria. Just give this recipe a try and you are on your way to making the delicious soup and you will love it. Do not forget to share if you tried it or share your own way of making Oha Soup.
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