|Nigerian pepper soup with Agidi/eko|
It’s been a rain filled December in Lagos which is really weird. By this time of the year, we usually expect the extremely cold-dry harmattan season but instead we’ve been having series of impromptu downpours. On one such day, my friends and i got severely beaten by the rain. It was unexpected, so we forgot to go out with our umbrellas and had to pay dearly for it by ending up with soaked cloths, hairs and shoes. This is one of the several incidences that’d make you wish you had even a small beetle Volkswagen 😐 . We had to head back to my house where i made a quick pot of hot pepper soup and Agidi/Eko. As Usual, the power was out so we sat on an old couch at the veranda gisting and whiling away time while waiting for the soup to get done. I really don’t know but pepper soup seems to have this cooling effect which really cannot be explained. Pouring Rain, cold weather, cool friends and a hot bowl of assorted meat pepper soup with Agidi!!! What more could a girl ask for :D…..Being beaten by the rain ain’t no biggie Joor!!!
|Local Nigerian Spice Kiosk|
The Nigerian pepper soup is a heartwarming soup which is quite versatile in it’s preparation according to the region it’s being prepared. It’s a dish prepared with the stock from any type of assorted beef/meat, Chicken or fish plus the secret ingredient……The Local pepper soup spice. Most times, I prepare my pepper soup spice myself to be sure of its freshness and at other times, I simply buy the pre-packaged pepper soup spice sold by the local spice vendors packaged in salad cream bottles. The Nigerian pepper soup spice is unique as it adds a lovely flavor to the soup. For this recipe, I used goat meat and Assorted meat but you can substitute this for Fresh fish, cow meat or chicken.
•Prep time: 30 mins
•Cook time: About an Hour
•Side dish: Agidi/Eko, White rice/Yam
•Misc: Serve Hot
• 500g Goat meat
• 500g Assorted meat: Cow/goat Intestines, Tripe a.k.a Sharki , Pomo, Liver
• 4 Seasoning cubes
• 3 tbsp. Powdered Chili pepper or 4 Scotch Bonnet (Red (Rodo) or Yellow)
• 1 Red Onion, Whole
• 3 tbsp. Crayfish, Ground – Optional
• Salt to taste
Ingredients for the Pepper Soup spice:::
• 3 Seeds Calabash Nutmeg “Monodora myristica” (Ehu/Ariwo)
• 100g Dried ginger
• 100g Dried garlic
• 1 tbsp. Mpuru uziza seeds “piper guineese” (Ashanti pepper)or Alligator pepper “Ulima / Atariko”
• 3 sticks Uda Uwentia (xylopia aethiopica) “Negro pepper” (Simply Uda or Enge)– Optional
Preparation of the pepper soup Spice:::
Step 1: Before using the calabash nutmeg, you’d need to roast it either in an open flame or on a frying pan (preferably old). This enables you peel the skin off easily while Activating the aromatic compounds of the nutmeg.
Directions: Place the nutmeg on the open gas burner or an old frying pan and heat up. Stir constantly till you start to perceive the aroma. To know if the ehu is ready, try peeling off the outer skin. If it comes of easily, then it is ready. Peel off the skin and set aside
Step 3: To prepare the Uda a.k.a Negro pepper which are long dark pods with very bitter seeds, Hit the uda with something heavy and open up the pods, remove and discard the sticky black seeds in it. In an open flame, roast the pods and then set aside. The Pods would be added whole while we are cooking the pepper soup as it’d later be discarded once the cooking is done. Most times, it’s commonly used in the preparation of pepper soups for nursing mothers as it helps in cleansing the tummy.
Preparation of the pepper soup
Step 1: Wash the red onion and scotch bonnet. Place in a blender and puree till smooth.
Step 2: Before you cook, Make sure you wash the Assorted meat thoroughly especially the sharki, pomo and roundabout. For the intestines, Turn inside out and remove the saturated fats there. For the pomo, Scrape the inner part and back with a knife. Wash thoroughly and place the meat in a medium sized pot.
Step 3: Add the blended Onion and Scotch bonnet or Powdered chili, Curry powder, Seasoning cubes (Crushed) and salt to taste and water just enough to cover the meat in the pot. Cook on medium heat for about 35-40 minutes till soft.
Step 4: By now, the liquid in the pot would be reduced and concentrated. Add a little more water, Ground crayfish, uda and 2 tbsp. pepper soup spice. Check for salt and seasoning, then leave to cook for another 10mins. Once done, discard the Uda sticks.
Turn off the burner and serve with Agidi/Eko, Rice, Boiled plantain, Boiled yam or simply take it alone as an appetizer.
|Nigerian Assorted meat pepper soup with Agidi/eko|