So I must have made “Abacha” like a 100 different ways and I needed to try it for the 101th time. Abacha, which also sounds like the name of the infamous Nigerian dictator Abacha is quite different and indegenous to the Igbo speaking people of Nigeria, is also known as African salad…I don’t know why it’s called African salad as it’s only known only to the people of Eastern Nigeria, so I don’t get all the turning up of the name *tongue out!…That’s how Ghanaians want to now take our Jollof and change it’s name to Ghana Jollof…Akuko for the gods!…
This particlar recipe reminds me of my mother making abacha with akidi. Akidi is a small tiny bean seed. It looks reddish or black, and it is mostly used by the Igbos’. Anyway, I needed some akidi and I could not source any beans with it’s resemblance, so I called my sister in Nigeria for a few cups.
This recipe gave me that nostalgic feeling of visiting the village with my folks. The sound of the mortar while the ehuru is being pounded, the smell of the ukpaka… I don’t know why it reminds me of palm kernel pomade.
When I was little, my great aunt Priscilla (GOD rest her soul) used to make me some Abacha with ukpaka…ahhh what a feeling. She would bring us a bowl covered with cocoyam leaves and she would instruct that it was for my dad and I…her presence in our house always meant that there was Akara or Abacha somewhere for me hahaha 🙂
Let us get right to it
*Ps: how to make Ngo’ mix can be found here: https://goldensweetlove.wordpress.com/2015/01/29/liquid-gold/
- 2 cups of dry abacha(made out of cassava)
- 1½ cups of ugba/ukpaka/oilbean
- 2-3 pieces of ose Nsukka
- 1tsp of ogiri(optional)
- 6toasted or roasted ehuru seeds
- 1cup of chopped roasted goat meat with skin on(you may use smoked cow skin)
- one small onion
- a hand full of chopped utazi
- ¼ cup of cooked akidi
- 3 large garden eggs or Thai egg plants(chopped into small chuncks)
- Ngo' or potash or baking soda mixed with a little warm water(thickening agent)
- ½ cup of whole dry prawns(divided)
- I tsp of dry grinded pepper
- salt to taste
- Bring some water to a boil and pour over the dry abacha; promptly drain, fluff with a fork, or your fingers; then cover and set aside.
- Toast or roast the ehuru seeds over oen flame or in a pan. finely blend it with half of the dry prawns and ose.
- In a pot, pour in some palm oil(do not heat); then strain in the liquid from the ngo'(Recipe in blog). To use potash or baking soda, Soak the potash or baking soda in some warm water and let it dissolve; then strain with a sieve into the oil(the baking soda does not need straining as it melts easily). Stir the oil and thickening agent quickly to make a slightly thick liquid known as ncha in the Igbo language.
- Add the ogiri into the oil and melt with a wooden spoon. Pour in your blended Ehuru mixture and bouillon if using any; then stir in your meats along with the ukpaka, and akidi. Combine until the oil has touched every ingredient.
- At this point, add the abacha, grinded crayfish, pepper, half of the chopped utazi, the remaining sliced onions, and the egg plants. Check for seasonings and combine all the ingredients into the pot by stirring carefully. Garnish with the rest of the utazi and serve.
- Serve with fried peppered fish