It is fresh and dirt-free. It has numerous medicinal values and benefits to human health and lifestyle. The leaf exhibits some antibacterial and antifungal properties that make it a good home remedy to several health issues such as dysentery, diarrhoea, high blood pressure, and many others.
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BITTER LEAF SOUP RECIPE
Bitter leaf soup is a popular soup that can be made with either ede (cocoyam), achi, ogbono, egusi (melon seeds) or offor. Bitter leaf soup like every other Nigerian soup is named after a particular leaf that is used in preparing it. Bitter leaf can be made in more than five different ways by different ethnic groups in Nigeria especially in the eastern part of the country. The good thing about this recipe is that it can be refrigerated for a very long period of time. It is of great importance to bear in mind that ogiri (fermented melon seeds) and cocoyam are of great importance when it comes to this soup because if you have tried this soup before, you will agree with me that ogiri adds a special flavour to it. The bitter leaf is washed till most of the bitterness goes off. This could take a while.
It is advisable to let some of the bitterness hang around though because that’s what gives the dish its unique taste. However, the washed ones are available for sale in the markets either wet or dried. Buying the already washed bitter leaf makes the cooking process a bit easier. It is also advisable to still wash it a bit to your taste when you buy a bitter leaf that is already washed from the market.
Alternatively, where the fresh bitter leaf is not accessible, it is advisable to use the washed squeezed bitter leaves, all you need to do is to soften the bitter leaves by boiling them in ordinary water for about 10 minutes and then wash them in cold water.
- 150g of washed and squeezed bitter leaf
- 12 Medium cocoyam
- 21/2 CKSP palm oil
- Assorted meat-trimmed cut into 3cm pieces
- 1 Big stock fish head
- 12 medium-size dried fish
- 3 Seasoning cubes
- 1 tbsp ground pepper
- 4 tbsp. ground crayfish
- ½ tsp. crushed ginger
- ½ tsp. crushed garlic
- 1 tsp. ogiri (locust bean)
Before you cook Bitter leaf Soup
- Make sure that the bitter leaves are well washed, such that there is no trace of bitterness left. If not, wash and squeeze it more. If the bitterness cannot be completely washed off (which is usually the case with most washed bitter leaves sold in the market), boil it for about 15 minutes and wash it in cold water.
- Wash and cook the cocoyam till soft. Remove the peels and use a mortar and pestle to pound the corms to a smooth paste
- Boil the shaki (cow tripe), stockfish and dry fish in 1 litre of water till they are well done. The first sign of a done shaki is that the cuts will start curling on themselves.
- Wash the beef add to the pot of shaki etc. and continue cooking. When the meat is done, add 3 cubes of Maggi/Knorr and cook for 5 minutes.
- Add pepper, ground crayfish, bitter leaves (if they have not been parboiled) and cook for 10 minutes. Then add the cocoyam paste (in small lumps) and the palm oil then goes to step 5.
Note:If the bitter leaves were parboiled to remove the bitterness, then for step 3; add pepper, ground crayfish, the cocoyam paste (in small lumps), the bitter leaves and the palm oil. In other words, add all the ingredients at this stage.
- Cover the pot and leave to cook on high heat till all the cocoyam lumps have dissolved. You can add more water if you feel that the soup is too thick.
- Add salt to taste and the soup is ready.
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