of Laura Edet

OWO Soup {serves 4}

Traditional Benin soup cooked and served in earthenware pots and serve as
accompaniment to boiled yam or plantain.

...500g / llb smoked fish (washed)
250g / 8oz fresh tomatoes (ground)
lOOg / 4oz fresh chffiies (ground)
lOOg/4oz ground crayfish
6tablespoon palmoil
§g kan (potash)
3giro ( locust bean )
600mi / 1 pint water taste

Pour the stock into a clean pot, add the washed fish and rest of the
ingredients except the oil. Season, cover and cook for 10-15 minutes. Re move
pot from heat allow to cool for 10 minutes then gradually stir in the oil until
it is thick in consistency and golden yellow in colour. Adjust seasoning and

OGI Soup {EGUSI} {serves 4-6}

This humble melon seed soup is quite popular all over Edo state. Although
cooking techniques and the kind of vegetables used might differ from region to
region it is still absolutely delicious when properly cooked.

250g 8oz fresh beef chucks
500g / llb bushmeat
500g / lib stockfish (pre-soaked)
500g / lib smoked dry fish
250g / 8oz oxtail
250g / 8oz cleaned tripe
2pt stock or water
300g /100z ground egusi
500g lib fresh tomatoes
250g / 8oz fresh peppers
2 large onion
teaspoons iru
4 tablespoon ground crayfish
500g.llb fresh bitter leaf (washed to remove excessive bitterness)
salt to taste

Wash thoroughly the beef oxtail bushmeat and tripe. Place a large pot with
sliced onions season with salt add a drop of water or stock and cook for 30
minutes or until tender.

Add the washed dry fish and stockfish and cook for another 10 minutes. When
cooked mm into a large clean bowl. Wipe out the pot and place back on heat.
Pour the oil into the pot when hot add the ground tomatoes onions and peppers
and fry for 10 minutes. Add the ground egusi and iru stirring thoroughly and
cook for 5 minutes. Finally add cooked meats washed bitter leaf Crayfish and
the stock. Allow to boil then simmer for 15 minutes. Serve hot with any of the
stiff puddings.

Others green leaf vegetables such as fresh waterleaf Soko Tete. Igbo ugwu and
Uzouza leaves can also be used on their own or as a combination m the above
recipe using the same methods.

Umwonmwen IKHIAVBOR (OKRO) Soup servers 5-6

3 pounds beef (optionally, fish or goat meat)
1 cup dried crayfish* (optionally dried shrimp*)
2 pounds okra*, chopped or ground in a blender
1 teaspoon dried red pepper*, powdered or crushed (optional, chopped or ground
red bell pepper)
2 tablespoons salt
1 medium onion, chopped
4 tablespoons red palm oil*
spinach, chopped
7 cups water

mortar and pestle or food processor
large spoon for stirring
cutting board


1. Cut beef in small pieces
2. Place in skillet with water
3. Add onion and salt
4. Boil for 15 to 25 minutes
5. Add okra and stir until blended in
6. Add the remaining ingredients, stir and cook for 10 more minutes
7. Serve warm with Eman (pounded yam), pounded cassava, or éba (fried grated

Umwonmwen óhéré (OGBONO SOUP) {servers 5-6}

Just like the egusi, ogbono soup is thoroughly enjoyed by all Edos.

lkg/ 21b assorted meats (oxtail, tripe, ponmo & bushmeat)
450g/llb stock fish(pre-soaked)
450g / llb dried fish (washed)
225g / 8oz whole dry prawns (cleaned)
225g / 8oz ground ogbono seeds
225g/8oz ground crayfish
25g / 8oz ground pepper
25g / loz iru
I medium onion
290ml / lOfl ozpalmoil
3pt stock or water
salt to taste

Washed the assorted meats thoroughly and place in a pot. Add the sliced onions,
ground chillies and some stock or water. Cooked for 30 minutes. Add the washed
smoked fish and stockfish, cook for a further 10-15 minutes adding a drop of
water or stock as needed to stop it from burning. In another pot, heat the oil
and fry the ground seeds for 3 minutes to bring out the nutty flavour.

Gradually add the stock and whisk until it draws and bubbles. Add the cooked
meats peppers and crayfish.
Dissolve the locust bean in a little stock and add to the soup. Allow to simmer
for another 10 minutes, check seasoning and serve hot with pounded yam.

225g / 8oz washed bitter leaf added to main recipe
500g / llb shredded ugwu leaves added to main recipe.
500g/llb washed watterleaf added to main recipe.
Courtesy of Laura Edet

EFO (Greens Stew) Makes 4 to 6 servings.

* 1 pound collard greens or spinach

* 1 can (8-ounce) tomato paste

* 1 can (8-ounce) tomato puree

* 1 large onion, diced

* l Tablespoon vegetable oil


1. Wash the greens and tear into small pieces.
2. In a large pot or saucepan, place the greens in water and add the oil.
3. Boil greens until tender.
4. Add tomato paste, tomato puree, and diced onion.
5. Reduce heat to medium and simmer until vegetables are tender. Serve.

Lunch and evening meals are typically served on large communal plates and
shared among children according to their gender and age. Young children may eat
from a dish with their mother, but when they reach the age of seven or eight,
the boys and girls are separated and meals are eaten with members of the same

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Comment by Otedo News Update on September 12, 2010 at 2:00am
"How about d popular black soup? Which is either ground bitter leaves (Oyiuwo) or Basil ( Ebhawonghor) Prepared with a variety of meats but preferably with Snails or Smoked/dried fish (Ehen ebevbarie) or smoked bush meat (Oghain/Porcupine...). It is enjoyed with either Pounded yam(Original real yams not packet), Elubo, Eba, or whatever you have available. I have even eaten it with boiled plantain with yams.
Other ingredients r ground crayfish(Izonofua) & lots of palm oil is used when grinding d leaves. U may decide 2 blend both types of leaves (Optional).
Another optional meat is d tiny snails when in season (Irhirion). Pardon my spellings, U just kind of pick some of it with each morsel of pounded yam or Eba. D Ogie Enitan( Dried or smoked Large prawns) may take d place of d tiny snails or a combination of both could be used.
Pick your other seasonings right; less pepper for pepperless taste, low salt for d diabetic. Unien & Ikposa 4 d woman after child birth, of course d new dad may join in this, after all said & done, he did d main job LOL. Evbarie(Locust beans) if U love d taste. In all, this soup is very medicinal.
In certain quarters in Benin it is referred 2 as #1 (One = OWO in edo numerals). I love it with Snails & or Ehen Ebevbarie, or Bonga fish properly filleted & of course Ogie Enitan. Enjoy it with your Yam & Plan...tain boiled in d skin, Then peel when ready 2 send it 2 base with a glass of chilled fresh palm wine or Baba Odeku if that is your choice or even a glass of cold water, d choice is entirely yours. U may choose Champagne or sparkling juice drink or any drink of your choice( Oh la la) I am hungry now. God bless your heart 4 this reminder. "

By Elizabeth Oyairo

Great Benin Bronze


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