I have just learnt how to make Oha soup and so I thought I would share with you guys what I did. Of course, there are many variations of Oha or Ora soup on the internet and people make things differently, so do leave a comment to share your own special twist.
I could not get hold of fresh cocoyam on the day, so I used the powdered version which is of course easier – no boiling and then mashing ahead of being used as a thickener. In my opinion, it worked just as well as the original thing. You will see from the recipe below that I used both achi and cocoyam, rather than just one or the other.
The most exciting thing for me about this soup was the ogiri paste, which I have never played with before. It is basically fermented oil or locust bean (a bit like iru). It stank, but in the most intriguing and delightful way. It was somewhere in the middle of smoky, metallic and pungent. My nose got all twitchy and alert and I know now that I am going to have to get some more to experiment with. When you put it in the soup, it gives off the most distinctive scent. If you ever wonder what gives Oha soup its signature smell, this is it! Kitchen Butterfly has an excellent write-up about fermented seeds and things over here.
Even before the leaves were added to the pot, I thought the colours were gorgeous. Such vigorous oranges and reds. I tasted it so many times at this stage. I couldn’t get enough of that stinky metallic goodness. And of course I had to sample a few bit of dry fish as well, just to see how they were soaking up all the flavour.
You are probably wondering about my Garri Paprika Rolls and you’re thinking ‘ehen, Minjiba has come again oh.’ Well yes, I have really come again. I believe that one should be able to eat garri and soup without feeling as though one has swallowed a goat whole. We eat too much starch and not enough of the soup.
It is so much healthier to eat lots of green, veggie-rich soup and very little or no swallow. So in honour of that, I wanted to make the garri look ornamental, as an artistic reminder of the sort of proportions that we should adhere to. And also because heck, why can’t garri look pretty? I am all about redefining Nigerian food, and so today, we upgrade our humble garri mound into roulade status. Yes sir!
Anyway, here you are. Enjoy! x