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Bambara groundnut, or simply Bambara nut, is another name for Okpa beans. It is a popular eastern Nigeria street delicacy and known as Jugo Beans in several regions of the world. It comes in a variety of species. It comes in little pods that must be cracked open in order for the seeds to be released.

Okpa di oku! Okpa di oku! Okpa di oku! These yells from Okpa sellers will remind you that you are approaching Enugu, Nigeria, if you are traveling from Onitsha, Lagos, or anywhere west of Enugu.

Because the Bambara nuts have a naturally excellent flavor, the trick to producing the best Okpa is to use as few additives as possible. When individuals start seasoning their meals with a lot of salt and pepper, the flavor is damaged.

Okpa is also known as Igba and Ntucha.

How To Make Okpa

The are a few things to note before making this street delicacy;

The seeds are extremely difficult to ground into powder, and only heavy-duty industrial grinders can handle them. So, this isn’t a task for your dry mill in the kitchen.

Also, bambara nut flour can be purchased on Amazon if you live outside of Nigeria. You might also ask family or friends in Nigeria to send you bambara nut flour. Because it is dry powder, most countries’ customs will let it.

You’ll need enough oil to give the okpa a bright yellow color and a better flavor.
Because it doesn’t require much seasoning, the items stated in the recipe box below are all that’s required.

The original exquisite flavor of okpa is ruined by onions and crayfish. So, you should avoid those spices. When making it, the mix may appear watery, but you only need 1.2 litres of water for the perfect  texture. You’ll end up with a rock hard and rough Okpa if you use a lot less water.

What To Do Before Preparing Your Okpa

  • Prepare the banana leaves by washing them in plenty of salt water. If you have a banana/plantain tree in your backyard, you need to wilt the leaves by passing them over a low flame, then leave them to dry up before using them. You cannot wrap with fresh banana leaves.
  • Crush the stock/bouillon cubes.
  • Slice the habanero pepper into small pieces.
  • Prepare 1.2 litres of lukewarm water.

How To Wrap Okpa

Wrappers For Okpa

In addition to the wrappers below, you will also need a strong food safe string/twine for tying the wrappers. You can use the strings from rice bags; the 50kp bag.

It is advised that you use bowls as a last resort because it needs to be completely immersed in hot boiling water for an even texture when done. This cannot be achieved with bowls.

Dry banana/plantain leaves.
Tough transparent plastic bags that can withstand high heat.
Aluminum foil bags.
Bowls (use as a last resort).

How to wrap Okpa with Banana Leaves Enugu Syle

This method is common in Enugu State, Nigeria.

  • Place two sheets of banana leaves on a flat surface.
  • Fold one end to meet the other (vertically).
  • Roll up the open end like a mat till you have enough fold to prevent a leakage.
  • Gather one end together and tie it up securely with the string.
  • Stir and pour the mix into the bag.
  • Tie up  the other end and it is ready to go into the pot of boiling water.

How To Wrap Okpa with Banana Leaves Anambra Style

This method is common in Anambra state, Nigeria.

  • Place two sheets of banana leaves on a flat surface.
  • Fold it into 2 (horizontally).
  • Roll up  one the open end like a mat till you have enough fold to prevent a leakage.
  • Pick it up and place the pointed end in the cup of your palm.
  • Stir and pour the mix into the bag.
  • Fold the other end like a mat and gather the only open end together and tie it up securely with the string.
  • And it is ready to go into the pot of boiling water.

How To Wrap Okpa With Plastic Bags (If You Do Not Have Banana Leaves)

You can simply scoop the mix into plastic bags, tie it up and place in the pot of boiling water but this is how to get the classic shape when using plastic bags.

  • Double the plastic bags and tie the end with a string.
  • Stir and scoop the mix into the bag.
  • Tie it about half way up the bag.
  • Stir and scoop the mix into the second half of the bag.
  • Tie again and it is ready to go into the pot of boiling water.

What To Serve Okpa With

  • Cocoa Drink (Milo & Ovaltine drink)
  • Akamu Or Ogi
  • Custard Meal OR
  • Oatmeal
  • Soaked Garri (asoki)
  • You can also eat it as a snack with a cold drink.

Some suggestions for Amazon links to “Cooking con Claudia”.

Cooking con Claudia

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This is an eastern Nigerian special street delicacy.
Prep Time 25 minutes
Cook Time 45 minutes


  • 3 cigar cups
  • 450g 1lb Okpa flour
  • 15 tablespoons red palm oil
  • 4 small stock/bouillon cubes
  • Salt (to taste)
  • Habanero pepper (to taste)
  • 1.2 litres lukewarm/tepid water


  • Sift the Okpa flour into a big enough bowl.
  • Add salt and the crushed stock cubes. Mix very well.
  • Add the palm oil.
  • Mix the palm oil and flour very well till the palm oil is well incorporated into the flour.
  • You will have a nice eveb yellow colour when done.
  • Pour a generous quantity of water in a big pot and set on the stove to boil.
  • Start adding the lukewarm water to the Okpa flour and mix till there are no lumps.
  • Crush the lups thoroughly.
  • You can also use a blender to get the smoothest mix. But that's a lot of washing up to do later.
  • Add the sliced habanero pepper.
  • Check for salt and add more if necessary and it's ready to be scooped into the wrappers!
  • Now the water in the pot should be boiling.
  • If not, wait for it to boil and add some spare wrappers or plastic bags before moving on to the next step.
  • These wrappers and plastic bags act as a base for the Okpa wraps.
  • Tie the other end with a string and place the wrapped okpa in the pot of boiling water.
  • It is important that the Okpa is completely immersed in the hot water.
  • Repeat the above step for the rest of the mix.
  • Make sure you stir the mix, scoop into the wrapper, tie with the string and put in the pot of boiling water before wrapping another one.
  • When done, cover the wraps with more leaves or plastic bags.
  • Cover the pot and start cooking medium to high heat.
  • Cook for at least 1 hour before checking it.
  • The Okpa is done when it is solid all over.
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