- Oha Leaves1/2 to 3/4 CupsWashed and chopped. The leaves are soft enough so just use your hands to tear them apart. Actual quantity depends on how leafy you want the soup but a handful is a great place to start
- Palm Oil3 Cooking Spoons
- Scotch Bonnet Pepper2 to 3 PiecesLocally called ata rodo. Finely chopped or blended
- Ogiri Okpei2 1/2 TeaspoonsDifferent from locust bean (iru). See 3rd picture above for what it looks like. It has a naturally awful smell so take note
- Cocoyam7 PiecesI used the one typically used for thickening soups. See 3rd picture above for what it looks like. It is smaller than the regular cocoyam, white and not pink/purple. Actual quantity depends on how thick you want the soup. If you are using a larger sized cocoyam, about 3 to 4 pieces should be enough
- Uziza Seed1 TeaspoonsUsing a grinder, grind it to powder form. You can substitute with uziza leaves. Use about 1/4 cup of chopped uziza leaves if you are substituting
- MeatAny QuantityYou can use any type; beef, tripe (shaki), goat or you can skip the meat and use fish instead
- StockfishAny QuantityWash and soak in hot water for a few minutes
- Dried FishAny QuantityWash and soak in hot water to soften
- Dried ShrimpsAny QuantityLocally called oporo
- Ground Crayfish2 to 3 Tablespoons
- Chilli Powder1/2 to 1 TeaspoonsGround Pepper
- Onion1 PiecesChopped
- Salt and Maggi Seasoning CubesTo Taste
- Meat StockAt least 4 CupsActual quantity depends on how much soup you are making.
How to make Oha Soup
Step 1. Wash the cocoyam, add water to a pot, add in the cocoyam and boil until it is soft and done. Boil it with the peels on. You’ll know it is cooked when a knife or fork easily goes through it and the peel comes off easily.
Step 2. Peel off the skin, put it in a blender, add a little hot water to get the blades rolling and blend until you get a smooth, soft, lump free paste. Set the cocoyam paste aside.
***If you can’t use a blender, you can pound it traditionally using a mortar and pestle until you get a smooth and lump free paste. Be sure to add some hot water when pounding so you get a soft and smooth paste that will easily dissolve in the soup.
Step 3. Wash the meat, put it in a pot, season with salt and seasoning cubes to taste, chilli powder, a little onions. a little garlic powder (optional), add water and boil the meat until it is almost tender. Make sure you add enough salt and seasoning cubes to taste because you want the stock to be tasty enough. Tasty stock equals tasty soup.
Step 4. When the meat is almost tender, add the stockfish and dried fish and cook until everything is tender enough. At this point you should have at least 4 cups of rich, tasty stock.
Step 5. Add the palm oil, stir and let it simmer for about 2 minutes then add the blended pepper, ground uziza seed, chilli powder, ground crayfish and dried shrimps.
Step 6. Stir and let it cook for about 5 to 10 minutes to give the palm oil time to combine well with the stock.
Step 7. Add in the ogiri, stir and cook for about 3 to 5 minutes or until it dissolves completely in the soup.
Step 8. Add the cocoyam paste. Add it in little bits and stir as a you add. Do this until you have added in everything.
Step 9. Taste for salt, stir and let it cook until all the cocoyam dissolves and the soup thickens.
***Depending on how thick you like your oha soup, the cocoyam should do its job of thickening the soup. If your soup happens to be on the watery side but you don’t have any cocoyam paste left, use flour or corn flour to thicken. It may be frowned upon traditionally to thicken the soup with flour but it’s a good last resort and it won’t affect the taste of your soup. Just add a few tablespoons of flour to a bowl, add in a cooking spoon of your soup to the flour and mix everything together until the flour completely dissolves. Then pour the whole mixture into your soup and give it a good stir and let the soup simmer for a few minutes. The soup should thicken quite nicely after this.
Step 10. Add the oha leaves. Stir and let it cook for about 3 to 5 minutes.
**If you used uziza leaves instead of uziza seeds, add it in before adding the oha leaves and let it cook for about 3 minutes
Step 11. Switch off the burner and let the pot of soup sit on the burner for another 5 minutes. Make sure the pot is covered.
Done. Your oha soup is ready. Serve with any swallow of choice