- 5Cups Egusi (toasted and blended)
- Precooked meat(your choice of proteins)
- 2Bell peppers
- 2Rodo (adjust to your preference)
- 1Cup Spinach (or vegetable of your choice)
- 2Onions (divided)
- 1Tablespoon Iru/locust beans
- 1cup mixture of shredded dried shrimps and fish (soaked in hot water and salt)
- 2Tablespoons grounded fish and crayfish
- ¾Cup Diced cooked liver
- 1Cup Palm oil (or more)
- Seasoning powder/cubes
- Salt to taste
- If you’re using uncooked meat, clean and boil, with onion, seasoning powder, garlic, seasoning/spices of your choice, salt to taste. Cook until soft, you can fry, or roast a little bit in the oven, or use as it is. Save some of the meat stock. Add the dried shrimps and fish in a bowl of hot water and salt for a few minutes, remove all the dirt, rinse and set and set aside.
- Heat oil in a large pan over medium heat and sauté one sliced onion until soft, add half of the ground crayfish and fish (you can use just ground crayfish), iru and fry for a few seconds. Make sure it’s not burned or better still add the iru later.
- In a bowl, add the blended roasted egusi (melon) then add the remaining ground crayfish mixture, grated ½ onion, small quantity of water/stock and combine make sure it’s thick if you need to add more liquid make sure you don’t add too much at the same time if you mistakenly add more than you needed then add more egusi to absorb the liquid.
- Use your fingers to scoop small balls of egusi mixture and add to the frying onion and fry on low heat (if you use high heat it will burn so also is the locust beans) do not stir.
- After the egusi has absorbed the oil, stir and continue to fry for about 10 minutes stir as you fry to avoid burning fry until you’re satisfied, you’ll see the difference when it is well fried.
- While the egusi is frying clean the pepper and blend with the remaining onion to smooth until smooth. When egusi has fried to how you want it, add the blended pepper, cooked diced liver, and the cleaned dried fish and shrimps, add about one cup of meat stock/water combine, cover and cook until fully cooked.
- Add the meat, season with salt and seasoning powder/cube (be gentle with the seasoning because the meat was already seasoned) combine and continue to cook until the meat absorbs the egusi mixture. While waiting for the meat to absorb the soup, thaw the spinach (if you’re using frozen) squeeze out the excess water, if you’re using fresh vegetable, cut and rinse, then drain in a strainer.
- You’ll notice the oil has floated over the egusi soup. It can be eaten as it is or you can continue to add vegetables.
- Add the vegetable to the egusi mixture, check the seasoning and readjust if necessary. Cook further for about 3 minutes.
- Serve with your favourite side and enjoy it.
To cook Nsala soup with catfish, you would need the following ingredients.
- 1 Cup Ground Crayfish
- 2 Cubes Seasoning
- 2 TBSP Ground Uziza Seeds
- 1 Cup Uziza Leaves
- 2 Mid-size Dried Fishes
- 5 Kg Goat Meat
- 2 TBSP Ground Pepper
- 1 TBSP Salt
- 1 Small Bulb Onion
- 5-7 Mid-size Yam Cubes
- Utazi Leaves
The first step, peel the yam cubes, wash and boil. After 10 minutes, drain the yam slices then pound till it is a smooth paste with a mortar and pestle. If you do not have a mortar and a pestle, you can put the boiled yam cubes in blender or food processors, add a little water, until it is a smooth paste. (You can use the water used to cook the yam).
The pounded yam serves as a thickener for the soup, once this is done, put it aside. Next thing to do is to wash the goat meat, and spice it onions, a seasoning cube, and salt. Leave to parboil for at least thirty minutes. While the beef is parboiling, wash the dried fish in a bowl. While washing, remove the entrails to avoid eating the bile, which is bitter and unpleasant. After cleaning the fish, add it to the meat that is being parboiled.
After the proteins in the soup have been softened, the next thing to do is to add the quantity of water needed to make the soup. The amount of water you add depends on the number of ingredients you have, plus the number of people who would be eating.
While the stock (a combination of fish and meat and water) is boiling, add pepper and the thickener (Pounded yam). Ensure that the thickener melts into the stock water. This is to avoid lumps while eating the soup with swallow. After 10 minutes, add the ground Uziza seeds and leave to boil.
Wash the Utazi leaves; they should be in small quantity because they are bitter. Chop the Utazi leaves.
Add the ground crayfish and Utazi leaves, leave to boil for 2 minutes, then turn off the light.
Your Nsala soup is ready to be eaten. You can either eat it with semolina or fufu.
Moving on, this is the procedure for cooking Nsala soup with catfish. Though similar, there are a few differences.
- 1Lb meats(I used turkey and smoked turkey)
- 4tbsps of dry grinded crayfish
- 4tbsps of Iru ie locust beans(optional)
- 1 Knorr cube
- 2tbsps dry grinded pepper or red chili flakes
- 1 habanero pepper or Ata-rodo
- 6 plum tomatoes
- 1 large red bell pepper
- 1 crushed clove of garlic(optional)
- 1 inch of grated ginger(optional)
- 1 medium sized onion
- 2lbs of spinach or any vegetable of your choice
- 1 large dry fish(washed and soaked in luke warm water)
- salt to taste
- ½ cup of Palm or vegetable oil(very optional)
- Blend the tomatoes, ata-rodo and half of the onion with minimal water or none. Pour it through a fine mesh sieve to drain off the excess water
- In a soup pot, season the meats with the other half of the onion, crushed garlic, ginger, knorr, 1 tbsp. of grinded pepper and salt to taste. boil it in it’s own juices until almost dry; then pour in some water to the level of the meat and check for seasonings.
- If using smoked turkey, wash and bring to boil in a separate pot. Once it has softened, drain and remove the salty skin and set aside.
- Once the meat is almost soft, add the boiled, smoked turkey into it; along with the blended tomato and pepper. Cover the pot slightly, reduce the heat and let it cook. There should be a sweet smell wafting through your kitchen. After about 15 minutes, add the crayfish, iru and dry fish. At this point, if using any oil, it would be okay to add it. Taste for seasonings, and cook until the tomato has reduced. If you used any oil, the oil should float to the top; if not the tomato would just be slightly thick with no sour or acidic taste to it. Add the spinach and the other tbsp. of the dry grinded pepper. Stir and cook for another 5 minutes to prevent the Spinach from over cooking.
- Turn off the heat and let the soup rest before serving
instead of tomatoes, you could use 4-6 red bell peppers