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How to prepare Oha (ora) Soup

How to prepare Oha (ora) Soup

Nigerian Oha soup is definitely going to make a list of Nigerian popular soups.

You are probably here because you want to learn how to make oha soup the exact way an Igbo woman would prepare it, we are still on foods eaten by different Nigerian ethnic group or maybe you got here via the page on All Nigerian soup, Welcome!

Ofe Ora (as the people of Igbo call it) is one of the most delicious soups that is popularly made and eaten by the people of Igbo (a very popular Nigerian tribe), made with the leaves of a tree called oha leaves. Oha soup is often prepared with cocoa-yam, egusi or ofor/achi as the thickener.

I remember those days in the village that you can pluck the fresh oha leaves directly from the tree, this is the exact reason why I prefer foods from the village, almost every ingredient used were freshly harvested from the farm, a luxury we can’t afford here in our current state of residence or other countries of the world.

However, every ingredient used in making Nigerian foods can be bought in almost any Nigerian local or international market, you may not be lucky enough to purchase the very fresh ones but you will most likely find a processed or dried alternative.

The following ingredients are used in making oha soup in Nigeria, you can increase or decrease depending on the number of people you are looking to feed, this would serve 5×3 persons

This soup could be refrigerated for up to two weeks (two weeks is the recommended duration for most Nigerian soups)

The Ingredients For Oha Soup
  • Serving (6×2)
  • Oha leaves (as required)
  • Cocoa yam (see the video below)(about 15 to 20 medium sizes)
  • 2kg Meat of choice (chicken, assorted, beef, goat meat, turkey)
  • 600g Dry fish or mangala
  • Maggi (seasoning) 2 to 4 cubes
  • Ground crayfish (1 cups)
  • A handful of Uziza leaves (optional)
  • 1 big Stockfish head
  • Palm oil 200-250ml
  • 3-4 tablespoons of ofor or achi (as an alternative thickener)
  • Ogiri (local ingredients)
  • Salt and pepper to taste
Whenever I am making soups with cocoa yam, I chose to buy a small quantity of ofor or achi to supplement insufficiency (just in case) maybe about 1 or 2 tablespoons

How To Prepare Oha (ora) Nigerian Soup

Time: About seventy minutes
How to prepare Oha (ora) Soup
Wash the cocoa yam with just water and start cooking, cook until it is soft (you can check with your fingers), then peel off the outer back and pound with a mortar and pestle, the normal traditional way. Grind crayfish and fresh pepper (I like to use fresh pepper for most Nigerian foods)

Pluck off the Oha leaves from the stem and slice with a kitchen knife, I like to shred the leaves with my fingers the exact way I learned from my mother.

In case you want to slice with a kitchen knife just to ease up the process be sure not to slice into very tiny bits.

Parboil meat with the necessary ingredients, allow cooking for ten to fifteen minutes before adding the hot-water-washed dry fish and, (we use hot water to soak and wash dry fish/stock fish just to make sure the accompanying sand is washed off). Add the stockfish and cook until it is tender,

Add more water then add red oil (palm oil), ground crayfish, maggi, salt and pepper to taste. Stir and allow boiling. At this point, it should give a good soupy taste (even though it would be watery)

Then add the pounded cocoa yam (at this point you can add the ground egusi if you choose to make oha soup with egusi, which is also a very tasty recipe. Remember I told you that either egusi, achi or cocoa yam can serve as the thickener for this popular Igbo soup).

Also, add the ogiri at this point.

Stir; allow to dissolve before adding the sliced uziza leaves then oha leave should follow after a minute. Stir and cook for another 3 to 5 minutes and you just made a very delicious oha soup (ofe ora).

Serve with eba, fufu or pounded yam.
What are your thoughts? Let us know in the comments section.

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