IN the eastern part of Nigeria, particularly in the Igbo-speaking areas, bitter leaf soup occupies a prominent position in the culinary treats of the people. In the past, this soup was such an important meal that any housewife lacking the knowledge of its preparation was not considered worthy of her status. Even with the knowledge of other soups from other places now increasing, bitter leaf soup still retains its appeal among the people.
Bitter leaf as it name implies derives its name from the popular leaf called Onugbu, which is medicinal and good for everybody. It is a good source of vitamins, fibre and antioxidant vitamins. Intake of this nutritious soup helps in fighting against many diseases.
Studies have shown that intake of bitter leaf helps maintain a healthy weight and also lower chances of developing breast cancer. Taking this nutritious soup also helps in prevention of anaemia, constipation, diabetes mellitus and other ailments. Take this nutritious soup and enjoy all it therapeutic properties.
Bitter leaf 1 large bunch
Cocoyam (thickener) 5 small size
Fresh meat 6 medium pieces
Dried fish 1 medium size
Snails 2 medium size
Stockfish 1 medium size
Palm oil 2 cooking spoons
Crayfish (ground) 3 tablespoons
Ground pepper 1 teaspoon
Castor oil (ogili) 2 wraps
Iodized salt To taste
Seasoning cube 2
Water 2 litres
Method of preparation
Wash bitter leaf for about 15 to 20 minutes with ordinary water.
Boil the washed bitter leaf with potash for 10 minutes and wash again for about 5 minutes.
Peel and boil cocoyam for 20 minutes until it becomes soft
Pound in a mortar to form paste.
Remove the snail from their shell and wash properly with water and alum.
Wash beef properly for at least 10 to 15 minutes until they become tender.
Depending on the number of people to be served, add red oil, pounded cocoyam, crayfish, ogili and pepper.
Stir and allow to boil for 10 minutes. Add salt to taste but remember that excess salt intake can raise the blood pressure.
Culled from Nigerian Guardian News