I cannot stress it enough that Nsala i.e. the Igbo white soup is different from that of the Efik’s. They are both white, but they are not one or the same. Afia Efere which is the Efik version makes use of less ingredients unlike the Igbo version which uses Uda, Ogiri Okpei, Ehuru, Utazi and Uziza.
While I love the Nsala version, I really love the simplicity of the Efik style. It makes use of only the Uyayak pod(Aidan fruit). One funny thing is that I had been cooking this dish without knowing. It all started a while ago when I wanted to try out Nsala for the first time. I had a nasty cold that Winter and I needed a hearty Nigerian soup, but I did not have all the ingredients, so I decided to wing it and use potatoes as a thickener and the Uyayak pod I had handy. I posted it on my Facebook page and some one said “this is Afia Efere.” After that, I decided to do my little research and they were right. It was a happy accident. We like this kind of kitchen mistakes 🙂 Now, every Winter season, this soup features on my table. You just have to try it 🙂
Unlike Nsala which traditionally makes the use of fresh fish, Afia Efere makes the use of chicken, and not just any chicken; but the stewing hen. These days, people now make these dishes with any type of protein and while I stick to the original traditional spices for this dish, I have used goat meat, chicken and other parts of beef. It all depends on how you want to make it.
Not only is this soup versatile, it is great for the Winter; and even greater if you are on team #fitfam. I have done my clean eating with it and even without the side of fufu or rice, it is quite filling. I have also had it with plantains as well and I enjoyed it. Every one I make it for seem to enjoy it and always end up wanting more.
One local ingredient, it is that easy. An easy to make dish with bold flavors!
Thank GOD I am African o! And thanks to our fore fathers who came up with these types of food.
- 1 small to medium stewing chicken cut into stew sizes
- 1 Uyayak Pod(divided)
- 3 tbsps. dry pepper(divided)
- 3 tbsps dry grounded crayfish(divided)
- 1 large dry fish(wash and soak to soften)
- 4 pieces of boiled yam pieces mashed with a mortar and set aside
- 1 bouillon
- salt to taste
- break the Uyayak pod into two and grind half into fine powder then pour in some water. Pour the mix through a fine mesh sieve and set aside.
- Place chicken into a soup pot with two table spoons of the crayfish, two table spoons of the dry pepper, salt and the bouillon cube. Let the meat cook in it's own juices. Once the stock starts to dry up, pour some water to the level of the meat and check for seasonings. Once the meat is tender, pour in the sieved liquid from the Uyayak pod into the meat stock and drop the other half into the pot. Add in the dry fish and the yam mash and stir to combine. Cover and cook for another 5 minutes. Once the soup thickens to your desire, add the remaining dry pepper and grounded crayfish, stir and set aside