Ofe Nsala is another very popular Nigerian dish, locale and peculiar to the Igbo tribe, especially the people of Anambra State, but is also eaten by the Efik tribe, where it is called. Afia Efere. The mouth-watering delicacy Ofe Nsala directly translates to White soup in English.
The translation is not far fetched – Ofe Nsala is simply called White Soup because of the absence of palm oil, which is a major ingredient in most Nigerian meals. One who is not used to the soup may mistake it for Pepper Soup, especiially if made with catfish. Ofe Nsala is a very rich fresh fish soup, traditionally made with catfish and thickened originally with pounded yam. In the absence of fresh yam, yam flour, Achi or Cocoyam may suffice. Some other forms of meat are also used in the place of catfish ands so, the
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.Ingredients
1 medium sized Cat Fish, Pounded yam (can be substituted with small sized raw yam cubes or yam powder), grounded Utazi seeds, 2 tablespoonful chopped Utazi Leaves, 1 tablespoonful ground Crayfish, 1 teaspoonful locust beans (Ogiri or Iru), 1 tablespoonful chopped Onions, Chili pepper (grounded), Seasoning cubes, Salt
How To Make
1. First parboil the meat or dried fish with onions, seasoning cube and salt for taste. When properly cooked, then set aside to cool.
2. If using yam for thickening of the soup, make a yam paste by peeling the yam cubes and boiling until soft and then pound till it is smooth without lumps, using a mortar and pestle. If using yam powder, boil some hot water, add the powder and stir continuously until you get a smooth paste. Set the yam paste aside for later use.
3. Next, place the catfish into a pot with enough water, chopped onions and spice with seasoning cubes and salt then cover it as it cooks for 10-15 minutes till the fish is properly cooked.
4. Add the ground crayfish, ground uziza seed and ground chili pepper (pls taste before adding red pepper, the uziza seeds are also very pepperish).
5. Now 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).
6. Add the yam paste bit by bit to the soup and leave the soup to cook until the paste is completely dissolved.
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7. 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 pounded yam or any swallow of your choice.
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