Trust we all had a great and eventful weekend like I did. For some reason, I decided to shop for the month on Saturday, actually I shopped for two months! The elections are coming up in less than 2 weeks by God’s grace and I decided to finish all my engagement outside my house/area until end of the month at least.
Social media has played such an important role in politics this time, all the bantering from both supporters and critics alike have been interesting to read especially on twitter. Generally I don’t air out strong opinions online, I can do that with friends or with my husband with whom I’m on the same team this year unlike the last elections, we were supporting opposite factions, I see his reasons now and I thank God I wasn’t a fanatic then otherwise problem for dey, 😀 lol! Reason being that I’ve come to realise everyone has an opinion and a right to express it, recently I had to steer clear of airing my opinions even with friends totally because one of the days, a senior friend took it so personally that I didn’t share her opinion and got seriously upset, lol!
My motto is live and let others live, we all have our reasons for supporting the people we do and shouldn’t feel hurt when people close to us don’t feel the same way. Please don’t get into unnecessary arguments, my message this season is wisdom in all things. While it might not seem to make sense because of many corrupt leaders we’ve had in the past but the Bible says that ‘the throne is reserved for whom the Lord decides’ that might have applied to ancient times but I’d still like to believe He’s interested in Nigeria and so don’t loose friendships or compromise integrity because of politics, tomorrow after the elections you will just see the same warring politicians hugging on TV and having state dinner together!
So, rather than worry about who will win and the state of Nigeria, for about one hour, let’s learn to cook bitter leaf soup, eat and be merry so that when the politicians make up and start having state dinners together, we too can have a feast in our homes!
Bitter leaf soup also known as Ofe Onugbu is a staple in my state, Amambra. Hardly any traditional wedding where it isn’t served. My husband always thought it bitter which I find strange because in my mouth it is delicious, lol. Growing up, I didn’t like bitter leaf soup for one main reason, the leaves were always too long, too much in the soup and hard. In my place, making sure the leaves stay long and chewy is part of what makes the soup Ofe Onugbu. Well, except for Efo riro , Edikaikong and Afang, I prefer light sprinkles of veggies in soups that have sauce as their base. Soups like Oha , Ogbono and Okra, I always like to have lots of juice. So I have cooked it the way I enjoy it, feel free to add more stringy leaves if thats how you enjoy it. I have also used a healthier ingredient in thickening, instead of ede/cocoyam I used quaker oats.
I assure you there’s no difference in taste or consistency, I used it more because I didn’t have the energy to pound ede 🙂 . Now let’s dig in…
Ingredients – 3 litre bowl
10 pieces old layer/ local chicken
5 pieces beef
4 pieces pomo
2 litres freshly squeezed palm kernel juice
1 cooking spoon palm oil *optional
1 tablespoon ogiri (fermented locust beans)
1 medium sized stockfish
2 medium sized dry fish
1 cup whole crayfish
2 handfuls washed bitter leaf
1 cup meat stock
6 tablespoons quick oats ( soaked in 1 1/2 cups of water = 2 cups blended oats paste)
2-3 fresh pepper/atarodo
2 Maggi crayfish cubes
1 teaspoon dry Cameroon pepper
Salt to taste
Soak oats in water for at leand 30 minutes, blend and set aside.
Wash dry fish with hot water and some salt, break into and set aside.
*Slice bitter leaf into small pieces, set aside.
Wash all the meat, season with 1 Maggi crayfish cube, 1/2 teaspoon dry Cameroon pepper and some salt like we did in seasoning meat 102 . Add the stock fish and once meat is cooked, drain meat stock of at least 1 cup, set aside.
Over medium heat, pour palm kernel juice into a large pot, add the meat stock and cover.
Blend the crayfish with the fresh pepper/atarodo and ogiri together with about 1 cup of water, add it to the pot and let it boil for 30-45 minutes or until the palm kernel juice has thickened slightly.
Add the blended oats, remaining Cameroon pepper and Maggi cube, taste for salt.
Allow the soup thicken with the pot uncovered For about 15 minutes.
Add the washed dry fish, bitter leaf and cooked meat allow it boil for 10-15 minutes.
Turn off heat, enjoy!
Enjoy your week, Azu 🙂 .
**Note: you can use palm oil for this soup; 4 cooking spoons for 2 litres of water.
My husband finds bitter leaf soup ‘bitter’ so in order to get rid of the residual bitterness that I don’t mind, I boiled the leaves for about 15 minutes and rinsed in cold water before adding it to the soup. The leaves turn a little brown in the process but doesn’t change the taste at all.
*Slicing the bitter leaf is a personal preference, leaving it in long strands is okay.