Preparation of White Amala and Ilasa Soup

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Nigerian white amala and Ilasa soup are traditional dishes from the Yoruba people, predominantly found in the southwestern region of Nigeria. While these dishes are enjoyed across Yoruba-speaking areas, Ilasa soup is particularly associated with the town of Igbo-Ora in Oyo state, where it is a local specialty.

Health Benefits of Ilasa Soup  

1. It helps to boost pregnancy:  Ilasa soup contains 15% of the recommended daily intake of folate, which is an essential nutrient for expectant mothers. Folate helps to reduce the risk of neural tube defects, which can affect the brain and spine of developing babies. 

2. It promotes heart and brain health: By preventing blood clots and limiting the damage caused by free radicals, polyphenols lower your risk of developing heart issues and stroke. The antioxidants in okro leaves may also benefit your brain by reducing inflammation.

3. Okro leaves promote healthier bowel motions: The high fibre content helps to maintain intestinal wellness. Fibre gives food weight and aids the meal’s easy passage through the intestine. So, including okro leaves in your diet will aid in preventing constipation, bloating, and indigestion.

Health Benefits of White Amala

1. May help improve metabolic markers

Human and animal studies suggest that resistant starch may improve metabolic markers, such as blood sugar and cholesterol levels, which are linked to non-communicable diseases (NCDs).

NCDs are chronic disorders that appear due to a combination of genetic, physiological, environmental, and behavioral factors.

Some of the most common NCDs are type 2 diabetes and heart disease due to high blood pressure and cholesterol levels.

Nevertheless, resistant starch may help improve your blood sugar control. It does this by slowing down the rate of digestion of foods, leading to a slower rise in blood glucose levels improving insulin sensitivity, meaning that your cells respond better to the hormone insulin. Studies also show that it may help lower blood cholesterol levels.

2. May Aid Weight Loss

Resistant starch in cassava flour may aid weight loss by regulating your appetite and reducing fat mass.

Human and animal studies show that when bacteria in your gut digest resistant starch, they produce short-chain fatty acids (SCFAs). These trigger the release of the hunger-reducing hormones peptide YY (PYY) and glucagon-like peptide 1 (GLP-1).

As for the effect of resistant starch on body fat, a 4-week study in 19 adults found that taking 40 grams of resistant starch per day significantly reduced two types of belly fat — the fat just under the skin and the visceral fat that lies between the organs.

It’s important to note that this was a specific type of resistant starch that came from high-amylose maize, not cassava. In addition, participants took high doses.

Therefore, it’s unknown whether eating normal amounts of cassava flour would have similar effects.

3. May Improve Gut Health

Cassava flour’s resistant starch content can benefit your gut health in more than one way. Because resistant starch gets fermented in the large intestine, it serves as a prebiotic or food for your gut’s friendly bacteria.

As a prebiotic, resistant starch promotes microbial growth, helping counteract gut dysbiosis — an altered microbiota — which has been associated with diseases such as obesity, diabetes, inflammatory bowel diseases, and colorectal cancer.

In addition, resistant starch in cassava flour may have a protective effect on your gut’s mucosal epithelium or lining by increasing production of an SCFA called butyric acid.

Damage to your gut’s lining may increase intestinal permeability, increasing the risk of diseases such as inflammatory bowel disease.

White Amala and Ilasa Soup

White Amala and Ilasa Soup

Avatar photoTaiwo Oladapo
Prep Time 20 minutes
Cook Time 40 minutes
Total Time 1 hour
Course Main Dish
Cuisine Nigerian
Servings 4 people


For Ilasa Soup

  • Fresh pepper
  • Tatase
  • Egusi (ground)
  • Palm oil
  • Seasoning
  • Crayfish
  • Water
  • Salt

For White Amala (Lafun)

  • 400 g cassava flour
  • 2 cups water


Procedure for Ilasa Soup

  • Put water in a pot and add egusi. Boil for about 15 minutes.
  • Add chopped okra leaves. Whisk with a cooking broom. The outcome will look like ewedu.
  • Add crayfish, one seasoning cube and salt to taste. Turn off heat.

Procedure for White Amala

  • In a pot, boil two cups of water.
  • On a medium heat, pour in cassava flour and stir and turn with a wooden spatula. Keep turning until it is smooth and not lumpy.
  • Serve with Ilasa soup!
Keyword Ilasa Soup, Lafun, White Amala
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