Oha soup or Ora soup is another popular delicacy from the eastern part of Nigeria. Preparation of this soup is similar to bitterleaf soup (Ofe Onugbu) with difference being the leaves used.
Oha/ora soup is delicious and has a distinct taste. Oha leaves are seasonal and it took me many visits over many weeks to the store to get the ones used in this post. Infact, they were not perfectly fresh even though I bought them on Wednesday which is when our Nigerian vegetables are taken delivery of in African food stores here in the Uk. If you didn’t know that information before, now you know If you want fresh vegetables like Ugu, moin moin leaves, etc Wednesday is your best bet of getting them in London African food stores 🙂
I got the leaves and could not be happier as finally I can now make a post on Oha soup. So here we go:
Preparation time: 10 minutes
Cooking time: 50 minutes
Total time: 1 hour
Beef and assorted meat
1/2 cup Grounded crayfish
1 cup Palm oil
3 pieces red/yellow Scotch bonnet or 2 tablespoons grounded dry pepper
3-4 Stock cubes
3 corns Cocoyam
Uziza leaves (Optional)
Pluck Oha leaves and shred with fingers
1) Wash the smoked fish by pouring hot water and salt on it, leave the fish in the water for 3 minutes then washout the dirt. Debone and shred the fish.
2) Boil the assorted meat ( shaki, ponmo,etc) seperately and set aside then boil beef in a separate pot.
Remember my tip on not adding water to the beef. Beef brings out water when boiling. Just steam on low heat and watch the meat bring out water.
3) While beef is boiling, Wash the cocoyams, cover with water in a pot and put on separate burner to boil.
You can also peel the cocoyam before boiling if that’s what you’d prefer.
4) When Cocoyam is cooked and soft, make it into a smooth paste.
This is the part where one is meant to get out the mortar and pestle to pound the cocoyam into a smooth paste but as a 21st century woman who loves easy, I brought out my food processor instead 🙂 . If you do not have a food processor you can also use blender.
5) By now, the beef should be tender and there will be stock in the pot from the beef. Add the assorted meat, smoked fish and prawns.
6) Add grounded crayfish, cover and leave to cook for 2- 5 minutes
7) Add Palmoil, pepper and ogiri and leave to cook for another 3-5 minutes
8) Scoop cocoyam paste into the beef, pepper mixture , cover the pot and leave to cook for 5-10 minutes
Cocoyam serves as thickener so quantity depends on how creamy you like Ofe Oha.
10) Leave to cook for another 5 minutes and take off heat.
Serve with Eba, pounded yam or any swallow of choice.
“When life is sweet, say thank you and celebrate. And when life is bitter, say thank you and grow”- Shauna Niequist