The familiar green okra used in preparing many delicacies ranging from the popular okra soup with vegetables, ogbono soup and others, is often dried under the sun during the dry season. The dried okra is used in preparing local ogbono soup especially in the eastern part of Nigeria. I call it local because it is mostly prepared by villagers in these areas. One of such areas is Nsukka Province. The Enugu Ezike indigenes call such soup prepared using dried okra and ogbono, ohoi.
Others call it ofe ukpor.
This is because the ogbono is prepared using the ukpo ingredient rather than fresh okra. This is the soup most villagers in this area prepare during the dry season.
Nsukka people prepare ogbono soup a lot, even during big occasions. It is a delicacy to them. For want of fresh okro to use during the dry season, many of these people use ukpor for their ogbono soup. Some shred the okro in bits before sun-drying them while others dry them that way and then pound during cooking. That’s the method I used in this recipe. While some people do not add vegetables to their ukpor soup, majority use oha
leaves while some others use ugwu leaves. I prefer using oha
leaves to prepare mine because of the aroma it leaves in the soup.
I guess it’s time to talk less and get into action. Let’s go straight into the kitchen!
1. One milk cup of Ogbono.
I use Effiom [sic]
type of ogbono. It brings out the taste of the ingredients and doesn’t taste as bitter as Ugiri.
It also draws as much as ado.
If you are grinding your ogbono in the market, ensure they do not grind or blend it together with crayfish so as not to make it break. You need your ogbono to draw as much as possible.
2. Three milk cups of dried okra
3. One medium-sized Okpeyi/moulded locust bean seed. This is usually black in colour and locally prepared.
4. Oha leaves – You do not need much leaves in the soup so the taste of oha leaves does not overpower the taste of the ukpor and ogbono
5. Stock cubes – I used 3 Maggi Naija pot [for that bottom pot taste]
7. Aja azu – this is dried fish shredded into pieces and dust.
8. Smoked fish
11. Salt to taste
12. Palm/red oil
1. Cook the meat with maggi and salt to taste, the set aside.
2. use mortar to pound the dried okra and set aside
3. Put the grounded ogbono in a bowl and melt with palm/red oil
4 Pour a little water in a pot and leave to boil
5 As the water is boiling, scoop the ogbono into the pot and stir immediately to enable it draw
6 Continue stirring once in a while just like tomatoes so it does burn
7 After about 30 minutes, add the grounded pepper
8 After 5 minutes, add the pounded crayfish and okpeyi and stir
9 Add the stock cubes and salt and continue to stir until you get the desired taste.
10. Add the grounded ukpor and stir
11 Leave to boil for about 10 minutes then add the aja azu or dried fish
12 Add the smoked fish and leave to cook for three minutes
13 Finally, add your shredded oha leaves and cook for one more minute and it is done.
Congratulations! Your Ohoi or ofe Ukpor is ready! Know that your have just prepared a local Nsukka soup!
Please do prepare yours and share with us by sending your recipe to firstname.lastname@example.org