HOW TO COOK OHA SOUP

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Oha Soup is native to the South Eastern Nigeria. It is a very traditional soup similar to the bitterleaf soup but cooked with Oha leaves.

Oha Soup is special because the tender oha leaves used in preparing this soup recipe are seasonal unlike their bitterleaf counterpart which can be found all year round.

Though it is only the vegetable that distinguishes the Oha Soup and the Bitterleaf Soup, they taste so different that it is hard to believe the difference just one ingredient can make in a recipe.

INGREDIENTS FOR OHA SOUP

Vegetable: Oha leaves
8 small corms cocoyam
3 cooking spoons Red Palm Oil
Assorted Beef: Includes best cut, shaki (cow tripe)
Assorted Fish: Dry Fish and Stock Fish
Chilli pepper, salt and crayfish (to taste)
2 Stock cubes
1 teaspoon Ogiri Igbo

NOTES ABOUT THE INGREDIENTS:

1. Oha is a unique vegetable hence does not have a good alternative.

2. If you cannot buy cocoyam corms where you live, you can use cocoyam flour. An alternative to cocoyam flour is potato flour.

See how to prepare the cocoyam flour or potato flour before adding it to your soup at:

3. Ogiri Igbo is optional, it gives Oha Soup a traditional taste.

BEFORE YOU COOK THE NIGERIAN Oha SOUP

1. Grind the crayfish and pepper and set aside.

2. Wash and boil the cocoyam corms till soft.

Remove the peels and use a mortar and pestle to pound the corms to a smooth paste.

3. Using your fingers, cut the Oha  leaves into tiny pieces. This technique is to prevent the vegetable from becoming darker in colour.

This happens when you cut the oha leaves with a knife.

COOKING DIRECTIONS

1. Boil the shaki (cow tripe), stock fish and dry fish in 1 litre of water till they are well done.

First sign of a done shaki is that the cuts will start curling on itself.

2. Wash the beef and add to the pot of shaki etc. and continue cooking. When the meat is done, add 2 stock cubes and cook for 5 minutes.

3. Add the pepper, ogiri Igbo and ground crayfish and cook for 10 minutes.

Add the cocoyam paste in small lumps and then the palm oil.

4. Cover the pot and leave to cook on high heat till all the cocoyam lumps have dissolved.

You can add more water if you feel that the soup is too thick.

5. Add the oha leaves and leave to cook for about 5 minutes.

6. Add salt to taste, stir and the soup is ready!

By Otti

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