Ofe Egusi with Plantain Fufu
Written by Chinelo Nwagbo
NIGERIA has a lot of foods, which are not only tasty but also help to keep the body healthy. Egusi soup is a nutritious food that is eaten in almost all the states in the country. From the roadside hawkers to the tables of the elite, it is a welcome meal for festivity.
This soup is a popular dish among the Igbo of in the eastern part of Nigeria during occasions such as New Yam festival and Igbankwu nwanyi (traditional marriage).
Egusi soup stands as a unique dish because of its taste, method of preparation, nutritive content and its potential therapeutic/medicinal value. It is rich in folate, potassium, manganese, magnesium, iron, copper, iron, calcium, vitamin B3, vitamin B3, protein, potassium, and vegetable fibre, which are all essential for maintaining good health.
Studies have shown that intake of egusi soup helps to nourish and maintain a smooth skin. It is an ideal food for children to help provide nutrients that are needed for energy production, physical growth and development.
Pregnant women and nursing mothers can also benefit from this dish for their wellbeing. Convalescing patients can recover quickly from their illness and also build a strong immune system against diseases and infections when they include egusi soup in their diet.
There are a lot more benefits that can be derived from consuming egusi soup. Take this nutritious soup today and enjoy all its health benefits.
Egusi 2 cups (milk tin)
Beef 8 medium pieces
Stockfish Head 1 medium head
Smoked fish 1 medium size
Pumpkin leaves (ugu) 1 medium bunch
Fresh pepper (ground) 4 large size
Onion (ground) 1 large bulb
Okpi (iru) 1 small wrap
Seasoning cube 2
Water 1 litre
Salt to taste
Method of preparation
Wash and season the beef and stockfish head with onion, seasoning cube, salt and pepper then steam till juice dries up.
Add 2 cups of water and continue cooking for 20 minutes.
Pick, wash, cut the pumpkin leaves and blanch slightly then set aside.
Wash and bone the fish.
Heat the palm oil, and then add ground fresh pepper, onion. Fry for about 5 to 10 minutes.
Add ground egusi.
Cover the pot and do not stir for about 6 minutes.
Add water and continue boiling for 8 to 10 minutes.
Add the remaining seasoning cube and stir.
Simmer for about 2 minutes and add salt to taste.
Then add the pumpkin leaves (ugu) and allow to simmer for another few minutes.
Remove from heat and serve with plantain fufu.
Plantain fufu is a staple food in many tropical regions. Carbohydrates are prominent in plantain composition. It also contains significant amount of vitamin C, B1, B2, E, potassium, iron and magnesium. Consumption of plantain fufu is essential for people suffering from heart disease or circulatory system disorders because of its richness in potassium, B group vitamins, magnesium. It is an ideal food for diabetes because of its little amount of carbohydrate, which is absorbed slowly and do not produce a sharp rise in blood glucose (sugar) level. Plantain consumption alkalizes the blood, which helps in elimination and neutralizes the excess acids that cause arthritis and gout.
Plantain fufu (flour)1 cup
Water 2 cups
Method of preparation using gas/electric range/coal pot
Bring 2 parts of water to a boil in a cooking pot (stove should be on high heat).
Add 1 part fufu (plantain flour) mix as you mix/knead continuously.
Continue kneading for 10 to 12 minutes until well done.
Form into balls as desired.
Serve with egusi soup.
Source: The Guardian, 12th March 2014.