Food: How To Make Abacha, The Mouth-Watering African Salad

African salad, Abacha, is a delicious west African food that is peculiar to the Igbo tribe of Nigeria. There are many dishes that are common to the Igbos in particular, but Abacha is one that cuts across Igbos in the South-East and South-South and have been adopted t be eaten by other tribes across the country. It is a popular cassava dish made using dried shredded cassava, palm oil, potash, chopped onions, salt, dry pepper, ground crayfish, sliced utazi, stock cubes and Ugba. Abacha can be eaten as a snack or a full meal served with dry fish or ponmo (cow skin).
As one of the most popular food peculiar to the tribe, it is best served with kolanut and as a matter of fact, is the only food some villages in the Eastern part of Nigeria offer to their visitors and even visitors have come to love and desire the delicious delicacy.FOOD: How To Make Abacha, The Mouth-Watering African Salad
Step 1

 Abacha (dried shredded cassava) 100g Ugba (Ukpaka), 200 ml Palm Oil, 2 tablespoonful ground Crayfish, 1 teaspoon ground Ehuru (calabash nutmeg) (optional), 1 level teaspoon ground Potash, 1 Stock cube/ powder (seasoning cube), 1 large or 2 small Onions, Chili Pepper/ any hot pepper (to taste), Salt, 1 tablespoonful finely chopped Garden Egg leave (you can use thinly sliced utazi leaves or spinach leaves as an alternative), Boiled Dried fish or Stockfish and Kpomo (cow skin)
How To Make
First; wash and slice the cow skin into tiny bits then season and cook. Soak the dry prawns in hot water to soften them a bit and strain. Cut the fresh fish and fry. Shred the boiled dried fish/ stock fish. Dissolve the potash in about 3-4 tablespoonful of water and pass through a sieve to remove particles. Rinse the Ugba in lukewarm water and strain. Place the dry Abacha in a bowl and soak in cold water for about 8 minutes until it goes from pure white color. You may also pour hot boiling water over the dry Abacha, stir well and leave to soak for 1-2 minutes then sieve and let the water strain. Slice one onion bulb into rings then dice or pound the other onion bulb and set all aside.FOOD: How To Make Abacha, The Mouth-Watering African Salad
Then; pour the palm oil into a clean dry pot, add the potash liquid and mix until the color begins to change from orange to yellow and the mixture becomes a thick paste. Add in the crayfish, pepper, diced/pounded onions, the ground ehuru (calabash nutmeg), ogiri and stock bube, mix thoroughly until all is well combined. Place the pot on low heat, add the strained Abacha and taste if salt is okay or add more if necessary. Mix well and put off the heat as soon as the Abacha is warmed up. Ensure you don’t leave the Abacha for too long on heat, or else, you’ll end up with Abacha pottage.
Read also: Food Recipe: 7 Easy Steps On How To Make Yamarita {Dun Dun Eleyin Alata Yeri Yeri}
You can choose to serve the meal as it is, along with the accompaniments, but if you choose to go further and mix them all in one pot, then, add the ugba (ukpaka), chopped garden eggs, cooked dried/stock fish, softened large prawns, and the cow skin. Mix well until all the ingredients are well blended, add in the sliced leaves and stir well. Your African salad is ready! Ensure you garnish the prepared Abacha ncha with the onion rings and the fried fish.FOOD: How To Make Abacha, The Mouth-Watering African Salad
Step 2
All as above including Ehu seeds
How To Make
Heat or soak the dry Abacha in boiled water for about three minutes, sieve and keep in a separate bowl. Blend the crayfish, also slice the onions and garden egg leaves and dissolve the potash in about half a cup of clean water. This trick will easily filter out unwanted solid materials that are often embedded in the potash. Filter the dissolved potash into a mortar or pot leaving out the residue then add about 100ml of palm oil and stir to form a yellowish paste (ncha, as addressed by the igbos).FOOD: How To Make Abacha, The Mouth-Watering African SaladAdd in the ground crayfish and pepper, stir, then add in the ground ehu. Next, add the ugba to the mixture and stir, add the abacha and salt (it is important that the Abacha is not cold before use so you may want to keep warm when you heat at first).FOOD: How To Make Abacha, The Mouth-Watering African Salad
The garden eggs, the leaves, and the onions are used mostly to spice up or for decoration purposes and not added during preparation but while dishing out. They are often sliced and kept aside in different plates or bowls, then added while individual plates are dished out; this also goes for the meat or fish used. Serve with the meat and also add the garden eggs (sliced) and leaves to individual plate, most people in the rural centers like to take African salad with palm wine. So get a bottle of palm wine or your favorite soft drink and let the Abacha slide down your throats to your stomach with joy!FOOD: How To Make Abacha, The Mouth-Watering African SaladPhotos Credit: Getty

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