My Nigerian Tummy; Ogbono Soup

 

Hello again.

My kitchen activities have been majorly interrupted in these past days. I’ve had so many things on my hands – designing my website(never knew I could do that!), drawing up business plans, having meetings with my lawyers, I’m just really stretched! It’s all for good anyway, I’ll be making a big reveal when all the plans are put together.

Okay, to the business of today. I’m not sure how many of you are familiar with Nigerian soups but if you are, you’d know that Ogbono(Igbo name) or Apon(Yoruba name) soup is one of the favorites. Ogbono is the seed of the African/Wild mango but its ground to a powdery form before it can be used for the soup. It’s commonly called draw soup because of it’s stretchy characteristics.

Here’s the recipe below:

  • Palm oil (1 cup)
  • Ground Habanero peppers(to taste)
  • Dry Fish/Fish/Meat/Snails
  • Stock Cubes (I used 2 Maggi Chicken cubes)
  • Ogbono Powder (3/4 cup)
  • Crayfish (3 tsp)
  • Red onion (half, chopped)
  • Bitterleaf/Water leaves/Pumpkin Leaves/Spinach [All thoroughly washed and chopped] (100g)
  • Periwinkles (optional)
  • Salt to taste

Note: when using bitter leaves, endeavor to properly wash and squeeze to remove the bitter taste. You can put it in boiling water for 3 minutes, and then wash out in cool water. You don’t want your soup to be a struggle to eat.

Procedure:

Heat the palm oil in your saucepan, and add the onions, stirring until they get soft.

Add your ground pepper and let fry till it mixes with the oil, then put in your fish/snails/parboiled meat, stock cubes, and stir till all ingredients are well combined. Add about 3 cups of water and cover to boil.

When it’s fully boiling, pour in the Ogbono powder slowly in a circular motion so it doesn’t form a clump on one spot, then stir properly and leave to boil. Don’t cover the pot after the Ogbono has been put in, as it reduces its stretchy ability. Once the soup starts to thicken, you can add your crayfish powder, periwinkles, salt and leaves. Leave for about a minute, then turn of the heat.

Serves 5 – 6.

Enjoy with semovita or any “swallow” of your choice!

Get your ingredients right- Pina Colada.

I decided to give pointers on how to make a tasty glass of PC – without mistakes – and an easy peasy recipe to go with it.

pina

On Friday, a friend and I were at a really nice bar that we frequently visit together – it is one of our many spots. While discussing my blog and how lazy I’ve been to get it going and how specific the content should be, we ordered drinks. His Beach Bum cocktail looked absolutely delicious, but my Pina Colada looked even more tempting. My excitement was short-lived however after I tasted it! To cut the story short, my glass was still more than half-full when I left. I forgive them though, the mixologist probably had a bad day or he was watching How To Get Away With Murder and got distracted…

These are what prevented me from enjoying my drink:

  1. It was SO bitter! It felt like I was drinking rum with just a little cream added to it. I couldn’t deal.
  2. There was not even a tinge of fruity flavour in it.
  3. My glass was plain, no pineapple wedge for decoration, no cherries, nothing…ugh. It was definitely How To Get Away With Murder.

So I decided to just give pointers on how to make a tasty glass of PC and an easy peasy recipe to go with it.

The main ingredients are Rum, Coconut Cream and Pineapple Juice.

Rum: Using White Rum when making Pina Colada allows the Pineapple and Coconut to dominate. Also, a combination of light and dark rum makes for a really rich flavour. I personally prefer White rum, as the dominant Coconut and pineapple flavours make my drink taste more tropical.

Coconut Cream:You can either get already made coconut cream, or you can use a combination of Coconut milk and double cream; the latter is so rich and delicious, it can be ordered as part of dessert.

Pineapple Juice: Some people use blended fresh pineapple, but I think the juice from that is acidic and could be slightly tangy or even fibrous; if you decide to use fresh pineapples, be sure to make a very good selection. However, good Pineapple juice is just right.

The amounts of the ingredients should be measured according to their parts, to avoid something too bitter or too sweet or just plain nasty. There are different variations of Pina Colada, for example,when making the Virgin Pina Colada, rum is left out, some other PC’s are flavoured with other fruits. Check out the recipe for a Basic Pina Colada below:

YOU NEED:

  • 1 oz. (30 ml) white rum (for ight and dark, half parts of each)
  • 1 oz. (30 ml) coconut cream
  • 2 oz. (60 ml) pineapple juice
  • 1 cup crushed ice
  • 1 pineapple slice

Method:

  • Put your crushed ice, rum, coconut cream and pineapple juice in a blender (you can add a dash of lime juice or sweetener if you desire) and blend all till it’s smooth.
  • Pour into a glass and serve with your pineapple wedge.

It’s that simple.

Got any additions or observations? Did something go wrong? Is there a great method you have for it? Comment and let’s gist.