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How to cook Bitterleaf Soup (Ofe Onugbu)

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Ingredients :

Washed and squeezed bitterleaf – A handful
10 small corms Cocoyam
3 cooking spoons Red Palm Oil
Assorted Beef: Includes best cut, shaki (cow tripe)
Assorted Fish: Dry Fish and Stock Fish
Pepper, salt and ground crayfish (to taste)
3 stock cubes
1 teaspoon Ogiri Igbo (traditional seasoning)

Notes about the ingredients :

If you are outside Nigeria, you can use dried, washed and squeezed bitter leaves but you need to first of all make the bitter leaves soft and fresh again before adding them to the soup.
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: How to Cook Nigerian Soups with Flour as Thickener.
Ogiri Igbo is optional, it gives Bitterleaf Soup a traditional taste.

Before you cook Bitterleaf Soup : 

Make sure that the bitter leaves are well washed, such that there is no trace of bitterness left. If not, wash and squeeze it more. If the bitterness cannot be completely washed off (which is usually the case with most washed bitter leaves sold in the market), boil it for about 15 minutes and wash in cold water.image: http://www.allnigerianrecipes.com/images/pound-cocoyam.jpg
Wash and cook the cocoyam till soft. Remove the peels and use a mortar and pestle to pound the corms to a smooth paste (as shown).

Cooking Directions :

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.
Wash the beef and add to the pot of shaki etc. and continue cooking. When the meat is done, add 3 cubes of Maggi/Knorr and cook for 5 minutes.image: http://www.allnigerianrecipes.com/images/cocoyam-lumps.jpg
Add pepper, ground crayfish, bitter leaves (if they have not been parboiled) and cook for 10 minutes. Then add the cocoyam paste (in small lumps) and the palm oil then go to step 5.
Note: If the bitter leaves were parboiled to remove the bitterness, then for step 3; add pepper, ground crayfish, the cocoyam paste (in small lumps), the bitter leaves and the palm oil. In other words, add all the ingredients at this stage.
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.
Add salt to taste and the soup is ready

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Meal

Jollof Rice

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Ingredients :

One and a quarter cups of white rice ·

One pound boneless and skinless chicken breast ·

Three cups of chicken soup ·

*One medium sized onion, chopped ·

Two teaspoons of vegetable oil ·

6-ounce of tomato paste

Procedure :

1. In saucepan fry rice and the onion in oil, cover until onion turns translucent.

2. Cut the chicken into small cubes and add to the mixture

3. Add the tomato paste and then chicken soup in succession, simmer the mixture.

4. Cover pan and decrease the heat to low.

5. Cook in low heat until rice is tender, the liquid has been absorbed, and the chicken is fully cooked, about 25 minutes The dish serves 8 people.

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Meal

Afritada Manok

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INGREDIENTS

  • Oil — 3 tablespoons
  • Chicken, cut into pieces — 2 1/2 pounds
  • Onion, chopped — 1
  • Bell peppers, chopped — 2
  • Garlic, minced — 2 to 3 cloves
  • Tomato sauce — 1 cup
  • Chicken stock — 2 cups
  • Fish sauce (patis) or soy sauce — 2 tablespoons
  • Boiling potatoes, peeled and cut into large chunks — 1 pound
  • Salt and pepper — to taste

METHOD

  1. Heat the oil over medium-high flame in a large pot or Dutch oven. Add the chicken, a few pieces at a time and brown on all sides. Remove the chicken to a plate and set aside.
  2. Add the onion and bell peppers and saute, stirring often, until cooked through but still crispy, 3 to 4 minutes. Stir in the garlic and saute for another 1 or 2 minutes. Stir in the tomato sauce and cook to reduce its volume a little, 2 to 3 minutes.
  3. Stir in the remaining ingredients along with the reserved chicken. Bring to a boil, then reduce heat to medium-low, cover and simmer for 25 to 30 minutes, or until the chicken and potatoes are both cooked through.
  4. Adjust seasoning and serve over steamed white rice.
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Meal

Kedjenou recipe

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INGREDIENTS

  • Chicken, cut into serving pieces — 2 to 3 pounds
  • Eggplant, peeled and cubed — 1 large
  • Tomatoes, seeded and chopped — 2 or 3
  • Onions, thinly sliced — 2
  • Hot chile peppers, chopped — 2 or 3
  • Garlic, minced — 2 or 3 cloves
  • Ginger, minced — 1 tablespoon
  • Thyme — 1 teaspoon
  • Bay leaf — 1
  • Salt and pepper — to season

METHOD

  1. Preheat oven to 325°F. Add all the ingredients to a large oven-proof pot with a tight-fitting lid. Cover the pot with one or two layers of aluminum foil and place the lid on top of the foil.
  2. Place the pot in the oven and bake for 2 to 3 hours. Remove the pot from the oven occasionally and shake it to keep the chicken from sticking.
  3. Remove the pot from the oven. Let it rest for about 10 minutes. Serve hot with couscous, attiéké (see note), rice or boiled yams.
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