Tuesday, July 19, 2016

How to prepare and serve Nsala Soup

Nsala soup is one of the most delicious of all Nigerian soups, this year alone I have made and eaten more of it than any other soup in Nigeria.
I enjoy lots of the foods in Nigeria but there are quite some of them that kinda tastes better and more delicious to me. IMHO.
Melon soup (ofe egusi) for instance is like the number one for me.
The reason is because… sometimes we like to eat a combination of two or more different soups in our home and egusi blends perfectly with most of the soups in Nigeria, sometimes I even blend with nsala soup (also called white soup).
The image below is a combination of both white soup and egusi soup.
It is the only soup in Nigeria that is made without palm oil… just like pepper soup and ewedu soup, the use of palm oil is not very necessary.
It is very popular in the south and eastern part of Nigeria, the efiks and igbos are the top makers and consumers of this delicious soup. So if you are dating or married to a man from the south or eastern part of Nigeria, you can try giving him a meal of pounded yam and ofe nsala (as the Igbos call it) tonight.
Below are the ingredients for making this delicious Nigerian soup, the ingredients below would serve about five persons for three consecutive times. Soups in Nigeria can be refrigerated for up to two weeks, most times it is better to make lots of soups and then refrigerate the remainder.

Ingredients For White Soup

Yam (six to eight slices…baby fist size)
Ground crayfish (1 cup)
knorr cubes (3 cubes)
Ground uziza seeds (2 Teaspoons)
Uziza Leaves
Dried fish (two medium sizes)
Snails (Optional)
Meat of choice {I prefer Goat Meat} (2KG)
Utazi leaves (optional)
Salt and Pepper to taste.
Red Ground Pepper to taste
It would take about sixty to eighty minutes to prepare a delicious pot of nsala soup; although, sometimes it goes a little above that… depending on your speed and proficiency.
You might wanna start by peeling and boiling the yam, this should be pounded with a mortar and pestle. Pounded yam serve as the thickener but can also be eaten with other Nigerian soups.
Grind the crayfish, uziza seeds, wash and slice the uziza seeds. You should also go ahead and wash the snail in case you are using them. Snails are quite expensive in Nigeria so if you can’t purchase them it is better you forget about them.
You can wash snails with alum to remove the slimy fluid, although, you would be amazed to learn that there are people in Nigeria that cooks snails with the slimy fluids, sometimes without even removing the shell.
I am talking about a delicious Ijaw Recipe – Keke Fieye
Parboil the goat meat with all the necessary ingredients, I would use two cubes of knorr, a pinch of salt, half cup of onions and half sachet of kitchen glory (beef seasoning). I made this soup with afo anu (goat belle), it’s usually a combination of goat’s intestine, tripe, liver etc. I also added few slice of beef.
Parboil the meat for about twenty to forty minutes… until it is soft enough for consumption then you can go ahead and add the hot-water-washed dry fish. This could be added earlier if you are using a strong dry fish like mangala. Add about 3 cups of cold or boiled water.
The amount of water for nsala soup depends on the ingredients/thickener available and the number of people that you are trying to feed.
Boil the combination for another ten to twenty minutes until they are both soft for consumption then go ahead and add the ground crayfish, uziza seed and ground red pepper (pls taste before adding red pepper, the uziza seeds are also very pepperish).
Taste your soup at this time and add the remaining half of kitchen glory or a cube of knorr/salt to improve the taste if it doesn’t taste nice yet.
You can go ahead and add the pounded yam, you can add half and watch the soup for the next five minutes, if it is not thick enough you can add a little more; I just don’t like the soup to be very thick. I like a very light nsala soup, it tastes better that way.
You can now go ahead and add the sliced uziza and utazi leaves. The utazi should be used sparingly for white soup; the reason is just to add a faint bitter taste.
Allow for the next few minutes and you can go ahead and serve your delicious ofe nsala with pounded yam, fufu or eba.

Video For Nsala Soup

Here is a simple video for making the popular white soup, although we are gonna come out with a better video soon but this would give you a clue as to what the soup really looks like.

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