The season to be jolly is here! Yipee!
One of my favourite times of the year, the harmattan, excess food, dry lips, five alive, excess food, Christmas lights, decorations, excess food, Christmas tree….. :-).
Christmas wouldn’t be the same without the excess food you know, ehen so, that’s why it’s repeated.
Todays recipe Oha, has become a staple Christmas soup in my home mainly because Oha is freshest this season. It reaches its peak in February then starts to go scarce again.
No long thing today….
Ingredients: 4 litre soup
4 medium bunches of fresh Oha leaves
1 big bunch of Uziza leaf
3 small wraps of ogiri
12 pieces cocoyam
15 pieces of goat meat
1 big pieces of bush meat *optional
1 medium stockfish head
4 cooking spoons of palm oil
3 pieces of dry fish – Mangala
2 handful whole crayfish
4 bunches fresh uziza seeds
3 fresh Cameroon pepper (yellow pepper)
3 Maggi crayfish cubes
2 Maggi cubes
Dry Cameroon pepper to taste
Salt to taste
Pick the Oha leaves from the the stalk, wash thoroughly, cut into big slices, set aside.
Pick the Uziza leaves, also from the stalk, wash multiple times to get rid of sand, slice thinly and set aside.
Remove hairs from the cocoyam cut a thin slice off the head. Wash until the water is clear and rid of sand.
Soak the dry fish in hot water and salt for at least 15 minutes, break up and wash thoroughly.
In 2 cups of water, blend crayfish, ogiri and peppers. Crush uziza seeds in a motar, then add it to the crayfish mix and blend until a smooth puree is formed.
Wash and soak bush meat in hot water for 15 minutes.
Wash goat meat and season with 1 Maggi crayfish cube, 1 regular Maggi cube, 1/2 teaspoon of dry Cameroon pepper and salt to taste. Monitor the water content, add only when the natural one from the meat dries up. Wash the stockfish and add to the pot, add a cup of water at a time, boil for 20 minutes or until meat is tender.
In the meantime boil cocoyam in water for 20 minutes or until soft. Peel the back off carefully and pound in a motar until smooth and sticky.
Remove the meat from the pot once cooked. In the same pot with the meat stock, add the crayfish blend, palm oil and 800ml of water (almost a litre), boil for 40 minutes or until pot content has reduced in half.
Rinse the bush meat and break up into pieces. This particular one was cooked before grilling so no need to boil with the meat.
Add the dry fish, bush meat and 2 cooking spoons of the cocoyam paste. Leave the pot uncovered, add remaining Maggi cubes, taste for pepper. Boil for 20 minutes.
Add the cooked meat back into the pot.
Stir the soup properly and check for thickness, add more cocoyam paste if necessary.
Add the sliced Uziza leaves and let it boil for 10 minutes.
Stir in the Oha leaves, let it boil for 2 minutes then turn off heat.
*Tips: there will likely be left over cocoyam paste, boil 1 unripe plantain, pound until smooth. Mix it the cocoyam paste and pound until both have mixed properly. Use it as your swallow for the soup, healthy with minimal starch, it is ideal for weight watchers and diabetics.