Okazi is a traditional Nigerian soup made from the forest plant called centum Africanum, popularly known as Okazi by the Igbo people.
The Igbo’s cherish okazi so much mainly because of its medicinal value which is very good for the human digestive system, it is used to prepare a lot of recipes like okazi soup, okazi yam pottage, etc. Below is therefore steps to guide you on how to prepare a nice and tasty okazi soup.
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1. A Pound of Meat
Your okazi soup should be garnished with a lot of meat for the soup to be palatable to the eye and to the mouth. You can use any kind of meat you want like, dry fish, bunga fish, stock fish, round fish, cat fish, smoked fish, roasted fish , and different kinds of fish available to you or affordable to you, or you may choose meat like beef, pork meat, the one they call shaki gotten from cow, chicken, goat meat, liver, or any type of meat available or affordable to you.
Most importantly as i always advice, you should make sure you thoroughly wash and clean any meat or fish you decide to use, and make sure also you cook it very well for a longer time for in the case of meat, while in the case of fish , youshould just make sure it is well processed before use.
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2. Chillie pepper
Chillie pepper is yet another useful ingredient in preparing okazi soup, it gives it that peppery taste, and makes the soup sharper in taste.
Though too much of it can produce a negative effect especially for the asthmatic consumers who don’t like too much pepper in their foods.
Generally pepper should be added moderately so as to enable the consumers to peacefully enjoy the food without having to complain of too much pepper.
Dry chillie pepper is most suitable for the cooking of okazi soup, though other species can still be used depending on the way you ground it.
3. Sliced Onions
Just like you find in other dishes, onions is vital in cooking oKAZI soup, it makes the soup or it gives the soup that sassy taste. Onions can be put more than one times in the course of cooking the soup. It can be put intermittently as the cooking goes on.
Without it , okazi soup may not be that enjoyable to the mouth because it will not be that tasty as you expect it to be, despite the presence of these other ingredients.
4. Red Oil (Palm Oil)
Palm oil is also needed in the preparation of okazi soup, as it gives that reddish colouring. It is required to fry some of the ingredients that require to be fried slightly like the onions and the rest of them, without red oil or palm oil, okazi soup would be dull in appearance ,and consequently may result in people losing appetite for the soup. Note before using the palm oil, remember to lighten it or warm it a little for it to be lighter in weight and colour.
Periwinkles are important ingredients in the cooking of okasi soup. It is a source of protein and are added to the meat or fish used in cooking okazi soup.
The presence of periwinkles go a long way in making the okazi soup more palatable and appetizing to the eye and to the mouth.
It is used not only to prepare okazi soup, but to prepare most local and international dishes and soups. In Imo state, periwinkle is used to prepare one of their indigenous soups called ofe owerri, which i included in my series of articles.
They believe that even if you cannot afford meat or fish in the market at least with the presence of periwinkle , you can still enjoy your okazi soup because periwinkles are palatable and yet cheap source of meat.
Prawn is another important ingredient in preparing okazi soup, it is as well a source of protein and gives the okazi soup that crayfish taste. Prawn is first ground before use.
7. Okazi Leaves
Okazi leaves is the main ingredient as far as this dish is concerned, it should be pounded in mortar and pestle before applying to the dish, naturally okazi is a dry laef which contains a lot of fibre. Below are outline and quantities of the ingredients required to cook okazi soup:
1 Pound of meat, cleaned and cut into bite-sized pieces
1 hot chille pepper,
1 onion, chopped into slices,
2 pieces dried fish
2 pounds okazi leaves,(cleaned) pounded in a mortar and pestle.
1 pound water leaf, (cleaned and torn into pieces).
1 cup dried prawn, (pounded)
1 cup red oil or palm oil,
Method of Preparing Okazi soup
1. Get a clean pot, then get your stock fish for washing, after you most have washed it you make sure that it is well ed clean properly.
Put your fire on and boil, while it is on the fire you then add already seasoned and boiled meat and simmer for 5 minutes. Note that before you take this step, you most have first cooked your meat with nice smelling seasonings.
2. While still on the fire you add onion and chillies pepper, reduce heat and cover to simmer, In a separate pan bring a few cups of lightly salted water to a boil.
3. Place the periwinkle in the boiling water, then cover and cook for 5 minutes.
4. Remove snails from water, use a small fork to remove the snails from the shells.
5. Rinse the snail meat in a cool water.
6. Drain and sprinkle with lime or lemon juice.
7. Add the properly cleaned periwinkles, dried fish, and water leaf into the pot of stoc k fish. 8. Cover and simmer for several minutes.
8. Add pounded okazi leaves with crushed dried prawn, add palm oil and simmer for 5 minutes till greens are completely soft and tender.
9. It is best eaten with pounded yam or garriIMPORTANT!: Follow us on Instagram @InfoGuideNigeria
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