This is a typical Igbo traditional delicacy prepared and eaten by the Igbos and environs. It is prepared with achi seeds and oha leaves. This article will guide you on how to cook and enjoy the Igbo achi and oha delicacy.
Ingredients required to prepare this dish include:
1. Assorted Meat
Your Achi soup should be garnished with a lot of meats for the soup to be palatable to the eye and to the mouth. You can use any kind of meat or fish you want like, dry fish, oxtail meat, bokoto, beef, tripe, bush meat, pomo , and different kinds of fish and meats 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.
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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 , you should just make sure it is well processed before use.
Crayfish is another important ingredient in preparing achi soup, it is as well a source of protein and gives the achi soup that crayfish taste.
Crayfish is first ground before use, but before it is ground you must make sure that it is well sieved from crayfish chaffs or sand that might have entered the crayfish in the process of handling it in the market place.
Crayfish is brownish in color with tender thungs at its tell. Crayfish comes in different sizes depending on the specie. We have the large size crayfish which they call prawn or oporo in some parts of the Eastern region of Nigeria.
While the other species is the small sized ones which is commonly seen in the market and as well less expensive compared to that of the bigger sized ones called prawn or oporo.
Crayfish is sieved and ground, though some people prefer heating it first in a dry pan or pot before grinding it so as to remove moisture from it.
3. Fresh Oha Vegetable
Oha leave is an indigenous leaf in the Igbo land in the Eastern part of Nigeria. Oha leaf can be used in preparing a lot of local soups like achi soup, cocoyam soup, etc.
Achi soup is what we are going to discuss in this article ,others include oha soup with Egusi, oha soup with ogbono, oha soup with ogiri, oha soup with oho or ofo in some other tongues.
The one we are going to discuss is oha with achi soup, which is the most common amongs these ones. The ingredients for the one we are going to discuss include, a fresh vegetable oha leaf, though we have different species of oha leaves used in preparing different kinds of ohasoups.
For example we have the Anambraoha leaf, which is bigger in size and easier to shred when using it, this specie of oha leaf is mostly good for preparing oha with Egusi soup, other species include Nsukkaoha leaf, umuahiaoha leaf, etc. These are different species of oha leaves that grow in different locations in the Eastern part of Nigeria.
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4. Palm oil
Palm oil is also needed in the preparation of achi soup with oha leaves, as it gives that reddish coloring. 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, achi soup would be dull in appearance ,and consequently may result in people loosing 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 color.
Just like you find in other dishes, onions is vital in cooking achi with oha 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, 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.
Onions comes in different types, we have the white onions and the red onions. Each of them has its unique flavor it adds to any dish you may apply them to.
The white onions is mainly used in preparing such dishes such as fried rice, jollof rice, different types of stews including chicken stew, etc, while the red ones are used mainly in preparing different types of soups.
Every onions is first peeled to remove the outer cover, then after removing the outer cover , you then wash it thoroughly and chop it or slice it, or you may prefer to blend it as the case may be.
Onions is an important ingredient in every dish that should not be overlooked. Below are the list of the remaining ingredients required to cook achi with oha leaves.
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a. 1kg assorted meats, including oxtail, tripe kpomo and bush meat.
b. About 450g ground achi seed.
c. About 225g of ground crayfish.
d. About 25g ground pepper.
e. 1 medium onion
f. About 290ml, palm oil.
g. Oha leaves (cleaned and shredded)
h. 3pt of water.
i. And lastly salt to taste.
Method of Preparation
a. Wash the assorted meats thoroughly and place in a pot,
b. Add the sliced onion, ground chillies and some water.
c. Cook for 10minutes
d. Add the washed smoked fish and stockfish,
e. Cook for more 10-15 minutes, and add a drop of water to avoid getting it burnt.
f. In another pot, heat the oil and fry the ground seeds for 3 minutes to bring out the nutty flavour.
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g. Gradually add the stock and whisk until it draws and bubbles.
h. Add the cooked meats, peppers and crayfish.
i. Add the shredded oha leaves
j. Allow to simmer for another 10 minutes, check seasoning and serve hot with pounded yam.IMPORTANT!: Follow us on Instagram @InfoGuideNigeria
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