How to Cook Nsala Soup
Nsala soup or white soup as commonly called by Nigerians is a meal famous to the eastern tribe and riverine area of Nigeria. The unique feature of this soup is that you do not cook it with Palm oil. The major components of this soup are yam and catfish. However, you can use any other proteins of your choice for cooking, although catfish is an essential requirement.
Ofe nsala is a bit similar to the Efik soup called Afia Efere, but the extra condiments make it different from Nsala. In this article, however, we would be discussing how to cook Nsala soup with goat meat and catfish.
To cook Nsala soup with goat meat, you would need the following ingredients:
Nsala Soup (White Soup)
Nsala Soup or White Soup as commonly called by Nigerians is a meal famous to the
eastern tribe and riverine area of Nigeria.
- 1 Cup Ground Crayfish
- 2 Cubes Seasoning
- 2 TBSP Ground Uziza Seeds
- 1 Cup Uziza Leaves
- 2 Mid-size Dried Fishes
- 2.5 Kg Goat Meat
- 2 TBSP Ground Pepper
- 1 TBSP Salt
- 1 Small Bulb Onion
- 5-7 Mid-size Yam Cubes
- Utazi Leaves
The first step, peel the yam cubes, wash and boil. After 10 minutes, drain the yam slices then pound till it is a smooth paste with a mortar and pestle. If you do not have a mortar and a pestle, you can put the boiled yam cubes in blender or food processors, add a little water, until it is a smooth paste. (You can use the water used to cook the yam).
The pounded yam serves as a thickener for the soup, once this is done, put it aside. Next thing to do is to wash the goat meat, and spice it onions, a seasoning cube, and salt. Leave to parboil for at least thirty minutes. While the beef is parboiling, wash the dried fish in a bowl. While washing, remove the entrails to avoid eating the bile, which is bitter and unpleasant. After cleaning the fish, add it to the meat that is being parboiled.
After the proteins in the soup have been softened, the next thing to do is to add the quantity of water needed to make the soup. The amount of water you add depends on the number of ingredients you have, plus the number of people who would be eating.
While the stock (a combination of fish and meat and water) is boiling, add pepper and the thickener (Pounded yam). Ensure that the thickener melts into the stock water. This is to avoid lumps while eating the soup with swallow. After 10 minutes, add the ground Uziza seeds and leave to boil.
Wash the Utazi leaves; they should be in small quantity because they are bitter. Chop the Utazi leaves.
Add the ground crayfish and Utazi leaves, leave to boil for 2 minutes, then turn off the light.
Your Nsala soup is ready to be eaten. You can either eat it with semolina or fufu.
Moving on, this is the procedure for cooking Nsala soup with catfish. Though similar, there are a few differences.
To cook Nsala soup with catfish, you would need the following ingredients.
- One medium-sized catfish.
- 5-7 medium yam cubes.
- A handful of Utazi leaves.
- A cup of ground crayfish.
- One teaspoon of Ogiri.
- One teaspoon of Uziza seeds.
- Quarter teaspoon of Ehuru.
- 1 Small-sized bulb of onion.
- Two teaspoons of ground pepper.
- Three seasoning cubes.
- Two medium dried fishes.
The first step, peel the yam cubes, wash and boil. After 10 minutes, drain the yam slices then pound till it is a smooth paste with a mortar and pestle. If you do not have a mortar and a pestle, you can put the boiled yam cubes in blender or food processors, add a little water, until it is a smooth paste. (You can use the water used to cook the yam). Set the pounded yam aside for later.
Remove the entrails of the dried fish, wash with hot water, season with salt, a spice cube and half part of the small onion bulb (diced). Cook it until it is soft, then set aside.
For the catfish, it is advisable to get it de-enthralled at the shop if you do not know how to do it properly. Place the cleaned-out catfish in a pot, pour enough water to cover the fish, add the remaining chopped onions, seasoning cube, and salt. Cook for 10-15 minutes. Add the pepper, crayfish, Uziza, and Ogiri. Also, this is an excellent time to add the dried fish you have already cooked. Leave to simmer for another 5 minutes.
Add the yam paste bit by bit so that they can dissolve without turning into lumps. Leave to simmer for a short while. Wash the Utazi leaves and chop into small bits. Finally, sprinkle the chopped leaves, add salt and the last seasoning cube. Allow the soup to simmer for another 25 minutes, then turn off the heat.