Ogbono soup is a Nigerian soup made with ground ogbono (wild African mango) seeds. It is a popular soup and method of preparation differs from one tribe to another. Toddlers or children are introduced to swallow with the soup because of its viscous nature.
The soup goes with practically any swallow, eba, amala, fufu, wheat, my favorite is semo. While it is one of the most popular delicacies in Nigeria, the ogbono seeds cannot be substituted for another ingredient, hence, it is the most important ingredient in making this dish.
There are two major ways to go about making ogbono soup; the boiling and the frying method. You can make your ogbono plain or add vegetables, usually pumpkin leaves, spinach and bitter leaf are the most common vegetables used. For this particular recipe, I will be using pumpkin vegetable (ugwu).
- Ground ogbono
- Ugwu leaves
- Stock fish
- Palm oil
- Assorted meats (Shaki, bokoto, ponmo, offals, goat meat)
- Ground Crayfish
- Locust beans (iru)
- Habanero pepper and scotch bonnet peppers
- Stock cubes and salt (to taste)
Grind your ogbono seeds into powder form and set aside. Wash, pick and slice you ugwu leaves. Chop your onions, clean the shaki and other assorted meats with hot water till its white and has no sand particles, wash and blend the peppers, wash the stock fish and debone as much as possible. Clean the locust beans as well.
LET’S GET COOKING
You want to start boiling the tougher meats first (goat meat, bokoto and shaki) in the pot together with the stock fish, add you onions, salt, seasoning and stock cubes, add enough water to cover the meats and boil on medium heat. Get another pot and boil your offals, ponmo and other soft meats, boil on medium heat till its semi done.
While the meat is boiling, get a small pot, pour your palm oil and slightly bleach, the transfer the fried oil into a small boil, add your ground ogbono and stir, you have to keep stirring and mixing till you get a fine paste with no lumps.
Check the boiling meat to see if its soft enough, then add the offals and other softer meats and let it simmer for about 20minutes. Your stock should have reduced in quantity. Add the blended pepper and stir, when the pepper has mixed with the meat and stock, then add your locust beans, crayfish and smoked fish (optional). Add the fine paste of ogbono and palmoil and stir. Leave the mix to blend and cook together for about 5minutes, you will know when its cooked because that peculiar ogbono aroma will fill the atmosphere.
When you have your draw soup all done and you’ve checked for salt and maggi, add your chopped ugwu leaves and stir, leave it to simmer for about 3minutes before putting the heat off.
It is very important that you transfer the soup from the pot into a bowl, if you leave the soup in the pot, the vegetable will keep cooking even though its off the fire and this will make the leaves change colour and taste.
Your delicious ogbono draw soup is ready and can be served with any swallow of your choice.