Ofe Owerri recipe is a delicious,nutritious vegetable soup!
OFE OWERRI RECIPE
OFE OWERRI RECIPE IS NOT ONLY A NUTRITIOUS AND DELICIOUS VEGETABLE SOUP BUT IT IS LOVED AND COOKED BY MAINLY THE INDIGENOUS INHABITANTS OF OWERRI IN PARTICULAR.
Ofe owerri or Ofe(owerre) is definitely one of those mouth-watering and finger-licking soups cooked and enjoyed by people from Imo State of Nigeria but Owerri in particular! Owerri is the capital city of Imo State.
Personally my wife and children lived in Owerri for almost 10 good years! We cooked Ofe owerri but it is not my favourite soup. I have said it before, I'm definitely an Egusi soup addict. Once in a while, we cook other types of soupS. My wife comes from Anambra state and she can boast of being one of the best cook of Ofe-Nsala soup.
In the Eastern part of Nigeria in particular, some people of the states or cities and towns are noted and famous for the type of soups they cook and eat. For example people from Umuahia in Abia state are famous for Ofe Achara, People from Owerri noted for Ofe owerri, Anambra, Ofe-Nsala; People from Rivers state, cook similar soup like Ofe-Nsala because they are rich in fresh fishes.
People from Cross river,and Akwa-Ibom (Efiks) are noted for Afang and Edika-ekong soups. The Yorubas are equally noted for Efo,banga and Ewedu while the Hausa and Fulanis are famous in cooking their own type of soup called Miyan yakuwa and Miyan kuka to mention a few.
OFE OWERRI RECIPE IS GENERALLY EATEN AT LEAST EVERY TWO DAYS IF NOT EVERY DAY IN SOME FAMILIES IN OWERRI.
Like many other types of soups mentioned, Ofe owerri recipe is rich in the way and manners as well as the ingredients that are used in cooking it. As a vegetable soup,a prospective cook has a choice or choices of assorted vegetables to use. Mainly, the famous fluted pumpkin (Ugu) leaves, Okazi, Uziza, spinach and Oha to mention a few.
Each of these vegetables have healthy eating properties for the maintenance of a healthy body or living! Okazi for example is a climbing plant like Ugu and Uziza and it contains iron and iodine. Uziza is for favour but it equally alleviates and prevents the symptoms of allergies.
Fluted pumpkin (Ugu) leaves are rich in dietary calcium, iron, and magnesium. Most importantly, it is alleged by researchers to have antioxidant properties, protect our hearts and liver as well as assist in restoring damaged cells and skins in our bodies.
Oha is uncommon but it is a vegetable mostly used in cooking Ofe Owerri. It is one vegetable that is not a climbing plant. It is rather a kind of leafy tree called Oha tree! Oha tree can grow from 1 year to up to 100 years and from a small feet to tower up to 200 feet or more.It bears no fruits or seeds compared with other leafy vegetables. All the young shoots of the leaves are eatable. It starts to yield or to produce eatable leaves from one year. As it grows and towers in height, people always employ climbers to climb and pluck the leaves for sales and for home consumption. It is sold in bunches and a bunch can be very expensive during dry seasons.
ALL THESE FRESH VEGETABLES USED IN COOKING OR PREPARING OFE OWERRI RECIPE CAN BE OBTAINED IN MOST OF THE MARKETS IN LONDON.
If you are an Ofe Owerri recipe lover, say no more, because all the vegetables can be obtained here in London fresh as if they were collected in Nigeria. You can find fresh Oha, Ugu, Uziza,and Okazi in Brixton , Shepard Bush, Barking and Dalston markets every Wednesday and Thursdays. They are imported into the country by Nigerian sellers here in London. They arrive by planes every Tuesday and Wednesday evenings respectively.
RECIPE/ INGREDIENTS, PREPARATION AND COOKING OF OFE OWERRI!
Do you really,want to know the recipe for Ofe Owerri? If your answer is yes, well get ready. I can visualize an already cooked one with the sweet aroma that oozes out from the pot! If you haven't, don't worry you will soon embrace one cooked by you!
Apart from the assorted vegetables, one of the famous and most important addition to Ofe Owerri recipe is "Cocoyam!" If you miss it then you are not cooking Ofe Owerri. What does it do you may ask? The answer is "It thickens the soup!" BEFORE YOU SET TO COOK, YOU HAVE TO DECIDE WHICH OF THE VEGETABLES YOU ARE GOING TO USE. Depending on availability, you normally chose one or two types. The choice is all yours!
1....Large quantities of Ugu leaves (Shredded or cut into small pieces)
2.... About 6 leaves of Uziza leaves (Crushed) or a few seeds(ground) . The function is to spice and season the soup. If you put a large portion, it will blanket the taste.
3....Goat meat and chicken. Goat meat with skin are the best and tasty. Nigerian goats are all organic and so are the various vegetables.
4....Stock fish (Okporoko)several large pieces
5....Smoked or dry fishes
6....About 4 cups of water (Add more if required)
7....About 5 tubers of cocoyam (Peeled, boiled and mashed to form a kind of paste. Used to thicken the soup.
8....A heap of ground crayfish or large quantity of ungrounded.
9....Ogiri ( a kind of fermented ground melon seeds wrapped in special leaves. (Alternative is oxo, nor or magi cubes).
10....1 or 2 tablespoons of palm oil
11.....1 tsp salt and dry pepper or fresh pepper.
Once you have all these handy, the cooking is so simple. First you soak the stock fish, wash it and boil the pieces until tender. Be warned, an average stock fish can take up to one hour or more to become soft and tender. In such cases, you can use pressure cooker or add (potash or( Okanwu) to reduce the time of cooking.
The goat meat and chicken can be cooked separately before the main cooking of the soup.I love Nigerian goat meat with its skins on. Here in Uk, eating the skin is tabooed. Nigerian goats are organic and eat only natural grasses and leaves. The meat are succulent, tasty and delicious! I love to eat lots of goat meat whenever I'm in Nigeria.
As soon as the stock fish, goat,chicken are cooked,you put them into the pot on the boil and cook for a few minutes and then add all the ingredients, including the crayfish and dry or smoked fishes. Then mix and stir intermittently for 10 minutes and add the mashed cocoyam and mix until it disolves and thickens the soup.
Allow to boil for 25-30 minutes and follow up with intermittent stirs. Allow to simmer for another 10 minutes. You can now breath in and out and enjoy the sweet aroma oozing out from the pot.
You can eat Ofe Owerri recipe with pounded yam, akpu, garri, semovita, fufu, amala;and ground rice etc.
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