This is a tasty and simple soup that will turn out delicious no matter how it is prepared. It is a soup recipe that originates from Nigeria’s eastern region. It’s one of those traditional Igbo soups that you’ll always relish.
Oha soup isn’t an everyday kind of soup. This is because its leaves —Oha leaves are seasonal. The leaves are shredded by hands. There is an age-long myth that forbids people from slicing oha leaves with a knife. It is said that chopping the leaves with a knife will make the soup bitter.
Oha leaves are harvested from an African evergreen tree. Pterocarpus mildraedii is the botanical name for the plant. It is high in fiber, amino acids, calcium, iron, potassium, and vitamin A, among other components.
Health Benefits of Oha Leaves
- Helps in the formulation of collagen.
- Aids in brain function.
- Boosts energy.
- Regulates blood pressure.
- Helps in body building.
- Protects the nervous system.
- Helps in ensuring healthy eyes.
- Reduces inflammation.
- Maintains the PH balance in the body.
- Good for pregnant women because of its richness in vitamin C, iron, calcium and folic acid.
How To Prepare Oha Soup
Cocoyam is typically used to thicken Oha Soup, however Achi or Ofor can also be utilized. The people of Anambra use Akwu (raw palm kernel oil) to make Oha soup, while the people of Imo use Palm oil.
There is no good substitute that will give the exact taste that Oha gives so its best made with its unique oha leaves.
Cocoyam or cocoyam flour can be used as thickeners for this soup. However, if those are not available, potato flour can be used.
- Assorted meats (Beef, goat meat, Ponmo, Shaki are ideal), the head especially (Okporoko)
- 2 cooking spoons Palm oil
- 1 bunch Oha leaves
- Handful Uziza Leaves or 1 Teaspoon ground Uziza seeds
- 3-4 Medium size Cocoyam (Ede)
- Smoked FishStockfish
- 4 tbsps Ground Crayfish
- 1 tbsp Ogiri Igbo
- 2-3 Yellow Scotch Bonnet
- 2 Maggi Crayfish
- Salt to taste.
- Soak and wash your Stockfish and Smoked fish with hot water to remove all traces of dirt, then set aside.
- Start by boiling your meats, start with the tougher meats like Cow leg, Shaki first, also add the Stockfish.
- Add the Maggi crayfish and salt to taste, leave to cook till soft.
- While the meats are boiling, boil the Cocoyam with the skin on, do not add salt, boil till tender. This should take roughly 20 minutes on medium heat.
- When the cocoyams are soft, gently peel the skin off and pound till smooth in a mortar, alternatively, chop them into small chunks and purée in your electric blender till smooth, then set aside…
- Blend your yellow scotch bonnet peppers and set aside.
- When the meats are soft, add the smoked fish and blended pepper, leave to combine for 5 minutes. You should end up with at least 4 cups of rich stock, if you don’t, add more water and seasoning if needed.
- You may want to remove the Smoked fish at this time if you don’t want it to disintegrate in the soup. Add the Palm Oil.
- Add the crayfish and combine
- Allow to boil for 6-8 minutes or until the oil is fully incorporated into the stock, then add the blended Cocoyam into the stock in small dollops, be careful not to add too much. The consistency should be semi fluid.
- Taste for salt/seasoning and adjust if necessary.
- The Cocoyam will dissolve; thickening the soup, leave to fully dissolve and combine for 5-6 minutes, then add the Ogiri, leave for a minute then add the washed and chopped Uziza leaves or Uziza seeds, leave for a minute then add the Oha leaves, switch the heat off and leave to simmer with the residual heat for 2-3 minutes.
- Now, it’s ready. Enjoy with any swallow of your choice!