How to Make nkwobi, one of the Nigerian’s most popular evening meals.
Over the years I have received a countless number of questions from members of the Nigerian Kitchen who require tips on making Nkwobi.
This evening meal has been around for a very long time, initially, it was made with just bush meat (edible wild animals), the likes of squirrel, grass cutter, rabbit and even antelopes could be used to make nkwobi but along the line people starting experimenting with domestic animals and even poultry birds.
I remember vividly the first time I had a plate of Nigerian nkwobi, it was very delicious and very pepperish. Although you can use pepper to your taste. The last recipe I ate was made with chicken, but like I said initially, your choice of meat can vary but the methods remain the same.
Here are the ingredients that are used in making Nigerian nkwobi (for five to ten persons.)
- 1 kg Meat (chicken, wild meat, goat, cow foot, assorted meat)
- 2 cubes of knorr
- 10 leaves of utazi
- Edible potash (one teaspoon)
- Palm oil 200ml
- Ugba – 1 cup
- 10 Peppers (Scotch bonnet)
- Onions – 2 slice
- 3 seeds of ehu (calabash nutmeg)
- Salt to taste
This is necessary because nkwobi, as well as Nigerian pepper soup, is basically made with very soft meats just so it is not hard to chew.
This is what you get.
Most preparation processes take place in a small mortar, (an African carved hollow wood), but you can use a pot if you are not in Nigeria. This is just how it has been, some of the Nigerian food customs have been around for years and we probably haven’t found a credible reason why they should be revoked.
Slice the onions and utazi, then set aside on a plate, some people choose to add these two during the preparation process while others use them for decoration purposes. One way or another, Utazi and onions should be part of the ingredients used in preparing Nigerian Nkwobi.
You can boil the ugba in a small amount of water for about 2 to 3 minutes, this technique helps eliminate the fermenting bacterias. Note that this ingredient is processed with the help of a harmless bacteria. This is just to be on the safe side even though most Nigerians eat ugba without heating it.
Cook the meat until it is almost dry, check to see the level of water. This is necessary so you don’t end up with another kind of pepper soup, Stir the cooking meat in the pot to be sure that it doesn’t burn. Did I say that it is also necessary to cut the meat in small sizes?
Add about half a cup of palm oil into the pot, stir to obtain a thick yellow paste (ncha) and you are just a few steps away from having a very delicious nkwobi, also add two spoons of ground crayfish, Ugba, pepper and salt to taste, then stir very well before adding the meat.
Once you have the “ncha” add the ugba, a pinch of salt, a stock cube and [utazi leaves, ehu and peppers] (all pounded together)
Stir together and add the meat.
Note: If the meat is too hot, it would dissolve the “ncha” and turn it redish> allow the meat to cool for 20-30 minutes before using.
Stir and serve. This is what you get.
Most times I serve nkwobi and boiled white yam, that’s just why you have the extra sauce. Alternatively, it is served in this wooden thingy as an evening snack.