Thursday, October 21, 2021

Food: A Simple And Quick Way To Cook “Ofe Nsala”

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This is a soup popular in the eastern part of Nigeria and also popular among easterners living in other parts of Nigeria, so I have decided to write on how this yummy meal “Ofe nsala” can be cooked. For those who do not understand the Igbo dialect, “Ofe Nsala” directly translates to “White soup” in English. It is not just an Igbo meal, but also eaten by the Efik tribe of Nigeria and is called ‘Afia Efere” by them. It is called white soup because of the absence of palm oil which is a major ingredient in most Nigerian meals. Most people would assume that since it is a local dish, therefore it might be very difficult to cook and the ingredients might also be difficult to come by. This indigenous soup is usually eaten with pounded yam. Well then, if you want to perfect your skills when it comes to cooking “Nsala soup” then you are at the right place.
1 medium sized Cat Fish
5 small sized raw yam cubes or yam powder
2 tablespoonful chopped Utazi Leaves
1 tablespoonful ground Crayfish
1 teaspoonful locust beans (Ogiri or Iru)
1 tablespoonful chopped Onions
Chili pepper
1-2 Knorr cubes

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The first step is to cook the meat or dried fish with onions, Knorr cube and salt for taste. When properly cooked, then set aside to cool. Prepare a yam paste for thickening of the soup by peeling the yam cubes and boiling until soft and then pound till it is smooth without lumps, using a mortar and pestle. But if you have grounded yam then boil some hot water, add the powder and stir continuously until you get a smooth paste. After which, set the yam paste aside for later use. Next, place the catfish into a pot with enough water, chopped onions and spice with Knor cube and salt then cover it as it cooks for 10-15 minutes till the fish is properly cooked. Add the the earlier cooked dried fish and meat to the pot of the boiling catfish and include grounded pepper, crayfish and locust beans(ogre/iru).Add the yam paste bit by bit to the soup and leave the soup to cook until the paste is completely dissolved. Finally, add the Utazi leaves which may be sliced or not into the soup for that unique “Ofe Nsala” aroma. Leave the soup to simmer for 30 seconds and the soup is ready to be served with well pounds Yam.Photo Credit: Getty

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