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Nsala Soup Preparation

Nsala soup or white soup a tasty , fast and easy soup recipe that has its origin in the riverine areas of Nigeria.

Ingredients required to cook this delicacy include:

1. White Yam

In igbo land yam is called ji, it is used to cook soups like oha soup, nsala soup, etc. For this particular dish yam is required for making the base or forming the base of the soup.

About a tuber of yam is required to prepare a standard nsala soup. For specification, there are different kinds of yam, for instance, there is the white yam, which is usually bigger in size and used mainly in preparing fufu or utara or soups like the ones mentioned above.

Read Also: The Preparation Of Edikang Ikong Soup With Goat Meat And Oha Leaves

Nsala Soup Preparation
Nsala Soup – Photo Source:

The other species are like the yellow yam, which is yellowish in colour. Yam when used to cook soup serves as a thickener that thickens the soup.

Yam contains a lot of starch and that is the reason why apart from being used as thickner in cooking soups, it is also used as yam fufu or pounded yam.

Yam is first peeled to remove the outer brownish layer and then wash and cut into pieces depending. Yam can be cooked, roasted, fried, and processed as yam flour for those who are into bakery.

Yam can be eaten as yam porridge, yam pottage, white yam with palm oil, vegetable yam, yam with stew, yam with ngo, yam with pepper sauce, roasted yam with utazi sauce, fried yam with pepper sauce, pounded yam with egusi soup, pounded yam with nsala soup, etc.

Read Also: How To Prepare Egusi Pepper Soup

2. Fresh Pepper

Pepper is yet another useful ingredient in preparing nsala 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.

Fresh pepper is most suitable for the cooking of nsala soup with chicken, though other species can still be used depending on the way you want it.

Pepper comes in different varieties, like the red pepper which is commonly seen around and most available and cheaper to buy in the market, we also have the yellow pepper or rather called the Nsukka pepper because it is mainly cultivated in Nsukka area of Enugu State, we also have the one they call green pepper, which is used in cooking fried rice, jollof rice, party rice, or preparing some snacks like shawamma, etc.

We have the one they call dry pepper, which is reddish in colour and mainly used as ground pepper when ground. There is also the tatashe, which is another species of pepper that is used to cook certain delicacies.

3. Crayfish

Crayfish is another important ingredient in preparingnsala soup, it is as well a source of protein and gives the 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 tall.

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.

Read Also: How To Prepare Otong Soup With Beef

4. Utazi leaves

Utazi leaves is a bitter leaf that is not so commonly used unless for some special recipes like, utazi with roasted yam, nkwobi, isi-ewu, nsala soup, etc.

It is a highly medicinal leaves that can be taken alone , without using it to cook. Medically utazi is used to control or manage high sugar level problems or insulin problems in patients suffering from diabetics.

Utazi when added to any dish provides a unique bitter taste that makes the dish more palatable in taste. It can be used as a sauce just like we find in roasted yam with utazi sauce and so many of them.

a. Cat fish

b. Utazi leaves

c. Raw white yam

d. Chili pepper

e. Ground crafish

f. Salt

g. Ogiri or okpei

h. 3 cubes of maggi

Read Also: How To Cook African Beef Pepper Soup

Method of Preparation

a. Cut the catfish into 1 inch cylindrical disc, and remove the intestines

b. Place in a bowl and pour water on the fish to remove the slimy substances on the outer skin.

c. Leave for 2 minutes and wash the fish with cold water

d. This process of pouring hot water also toughens the fish, so that the pieces do not dissolve while cooking the soup

e. Boil a few cubes of white yam, when soft, pound with mortar and pestle till a smooth paste is formed

f. Wash and cut the utazi leaves into tiny shreds

g. Blend the chilli pepper, the crayfish, and the shredded utazi leaves and set aside,note that utazi leaves is a bitter leaf, and so should add only one or two leaves to the dish

h. Place the catfish in a pot and pour enough water to cover the fish

i. Add the sweasoning and cook till done.

Read Also: How To Prepare Kuka Soup

j. When the catfish is done, add the crayfish,pepper, utazi leaves blend. Also add the yam paste in small lumps and salt to taste

k. Cover the pot and allow the contents to cook at high heat till all the yam paste has dissolved.Whilecooking , if you feel that the yam paste will make the soup too thick, you can remove some that are yet to dissolve.

l. Once it is done , you can the serve it with amala,eba, yam fufu and semolina, etc.

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Onwuk Tobby

Onwuk Tobby is a Cook and Content Developer at InfoGuide Nigeria is a team of Resource Persons and Consultants led by Ifiokobong Ibanga. Page maintained by Ifiokobong Ibanga. If you need a personal assistance on this topic, kindly contact us.

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