By Chiomah Momah
Don’t we all love the relish of our own indigenous meals? Find 4 of my evergreen traditional meals with my special twist to preparing them:
1. Vegetable soup – Edikaikong
1 bunch of Ugwu or pumpkin leaves
1 bunch water leaves
1 tablespoon of crayfish
Assorted pieces of meat
1 cup of periwinkle (shelled or unshelled)
Salt to taste
Wash the periwinkle with salt.
Boil the meat with assorted pieces, dry fish and stockfish. Add seasoning and salt.
When meat is boiled, add water leaves first, then after few minutes, add Ugwu. Cook for a few minutes and then add palm oil. You can add already cooked chicken and snails as well. Personally, I prefer to use unshelled periwinkles as I enjoy the process of sucking out each periwinkle.
2. Garden Egg Sauce
Garden egg is the main ingredient in this meal and is known as Anyara in Igbo and Igba in Yoruba. It’s eaten widely at celebrations in the east and is a popular native snack. It is rich in Vitamin C, folic acid and thiamine, amongst others. The garden egg sauce is popular in Edo State and usually prepared with snail. It’s usually served with yam but can also be eaten with boiled plantain, and when prepared with vegetable oil, can be served with rice.
10 big garden eggs (either the green or white variety, if these are not available, use aubergines)
1 small cup of palm oil
3 red peppers
1 seasoning cube
Snail or smoked fish
1 small onion
Ogiri okpei / Iru
Cut the garden egg into small pieces and blend in a blender. Alternatively, you can boil the garden eggs for a few minutes then pound in a mortar (the latter is the more popular method).
Chop the onion and fry in some heated palm oil. Add the pounded garden egg as well as already ground pepper and ogiri okpei. Fry for a few minutes and add the smoked fish and / or cooked snail. Serve with boiled yam.
NOTE: If you choose to blend the garden eggs, you have to fry it for a longer period of time.
3. Unripe Plantain Porridge
This fast and easy recipe is cooked with unripe plantains which are known to be rich in iron and very good for pregnant and lactating mothers.
4 fingers of unripe plantain
A big bunch of pumpkin leaves (Ugwu)
A handful of nchonwu/ effirin also locally called scent leaf (Basil)
1 cooking spoon of crayfish
1 large onion
1 cooking spoon of palm oil
Half smoked or cooked chicken
Cut the unripe plantain into large cubes. Put in a pot and add chopped onion, crayfish and pepper (if chicken is uncooked add at this point). Add water and cook for 15 minutes or till soft. Add the seasoning cube and salt.
Add the smoked chicken and any other meats, smoked fish and / or
cooked snail. Add the chopped vegetables and allow to simmer.
4. Vegetable Soup- Afang
1 bunch of Fresh Okazi
1 cup of periwinkle
2 bunches of water leaves
1 spoon of crayfish
Meat and assorted pieces
Slice the Okazi thinly. When meat is boiled, add water leaves first, then after few minutes, add Ugwu. Cook for a few minutes and then add palm oil. You can add already cooked chicken and snails as well. Use unshelled periwinkles and enjoy sucking out each of them like I do.
Photo Credit: wivestownhallconnection.com
Tags: Afang Soup, Edikaikong, Garden Egg Sauce, Traditional Meals, Unripe Plantain Porridge
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